Military Laptops To Use Methanol Fuel Cells

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A California based company says it has received a follow-on contract for fuel cell development from the U.S. military. The company says that one of its single 250cc fuel cells are designed to run a ruggedized laptop computer for up to eight hours.

The company said the award would accelerate the further development and field testing of its next-generation 25 watt reformed methanol fuel cell, called the XX25. "This new contract will drive advanced system design and provide units for further military field demonstrations and field testing," said Keith Scott, CEO of UltraCell.
 

wtiger

[H]ard|Gawd
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After what? 8 years of these things being "just around the corner" they finally managed to make one that works reliably and with more than a couple watts.
 

pigwalk

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Methanol? Does production take place in trailer park bathtubs?
 

Monkey God

Mangina Full of Sand
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well if its a military contract, generally things take twice as long as they normally do anyways.
 

TAXMANCOMETH

Weaksauce
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Is it fart powered? err.. that's methane. hmmm. maybe if you were stone drunk and farted, you'd get methanol.
 

bob

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A California based company says it has received a follow-on contract for fuel cell development from the U.S. military. The company says that one of its single 250cc fuel cells are designed to run a ruggedized laptop computer for up to eight hours.

<Gets overly-excited about a laptop with decent battery life>
"25 watts"
</excitement>

As far as im concerned, this is still vapor-ware, much like living on the moon or having delicious cake on demand.

I wonder about Ethanol... I dont have any methanol on-hand in my home, but I do have massive quantities of distilled ethanol fit for human consumption.
 

Alienraptor

Weaksauce
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Dec 2, 2004
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Well even though it seems kind of similar to ethanol, you really don't want to be drinking methanol. Just saying.
 

Vincenz

Limp Gawd
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well if its a military contract, generally things take twice as long as they normally do anyways.
It also means that they accepted the contract from the lowest bidder, which means that another company will likely come out with a better product for consumer use.
 

krupted

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speaking of ethonal- you all know the reason they make E85 and not E100? i guess they say people would drink it! apparently that means its cheaper still at the pump then it is off the self hahaha
 

goodcooper

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speaking of ethonal- you all know the reason they make E85 and not E100? i guess they say people would drink it! apparently that means its cheaper still at the pump then it is off the self hahaha

i think there are many other reasons than just that, but yea...


http://www.ethanolrfa.org/resource/made/ said:
The anhydrous ethanol is then blended with about 5% denaturant (such as natural gasoline) to render it undrinkable and thus not subject to beverage alcohol tax. It is then ready for shipment to gasoline terminals or retailers.
 

movax

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I was saddened to find out that battery tech is pretty much stagant when looking at a new lappy..right now I get 10+ hours on my trusty old Pentium M workhorse...batteries are not keeping up with hungrier CPUs, random radio devices (WiFi, bluetooth, wimax, whatnot) and drives. :(

Then again, I do believe that current chemists & co. have hit a wall when it comes to formulating new batteries, and that the future leads towards fuel cells...but that's a ways off, heh.
 

NoEcho

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250 cc's is a dirt bike's displacement. Seems like a lot to run a laptop. And I"m not sure what 8 hours is unless that's on 'one tank of gas'. That's like saying your car's maximum range is one tank of gas. It assumes you won't be able to refill your tank. The utiliity of fuel cells over batteries is that you refill the tank so they run, theoretically, forever. And you could refill the tank with common lighter fluid. At least for the fuel cell I saw Sony talking about some time ago.

In a pinch I imagine you could distill some booze and run your laptop off of that.
 
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