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Toshiba DMFC prototypes slot in mobile audio players

Posted: 20 Sep 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fuel cell? mobile audio player? dfmc? direct methanol fuel cell?

Toshiba Corp. has developed two prototype direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) units and begun tests to validate their operation with mobile audio players. Each unit integrates the DMFC that Toshiba announced in June 2004.

The fuel cell units have an output power of 100mW and 300mW and have been applied to a flash-memory-based digital audio player and an HDD-based digital audio player, respectively.

Both prototype players include components related to the testing and are W35mm x L110mm x D20mm (flash memory) and W65mm x L125mm x D27mm (HDD) with the fuel cell units. The sizes can be reduced substantially by removing the extra components and applying optimal design for commercial products.

The design of the fuel cell units reflects current moves toward international standardization of micro fuel cells and meets the International Electrotechnical Commission's draft safety standards now under review.

According to the company, DMFC features a passive fuel supply system that is suited to smaller fuel cells and use with a highly concentrated methanol solution. Fuel cells usually mix methane with water in a concentration of less than 30 percent, a dilution that supports generating efficiency but which requires a fuel tank that is much too big for portable equipment.

Toshiba aims to accelerate technology enhancements, including development of production technology, to support integration of DMFC into commercial products that is expected to come out in and after 2007.

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