Researchers bolster fuel cell efficiency

— 4:25 PM on March 8, 2004

Stanford researchers have discovered a trick that can boost the power of miniature fuel cells by up to 50%. The trick only works with hydrogen cells, which won't help the liquid methanol cells currently being developed for consumer electronics applications. Still, hydrogen cells could be practical for notebook batteries and other applications.

Standard laptop batteries can usually run for two to four hours without a recharge. Some hydrogen fuel cell companies hope to produce cells that run up to 20 hours, says Cha, and he claims that his technique should increase the running time by as much as 50 per cent on top of that. Or you could achieve the same running time for just 70 per cent of the fuel.
Squeezing 30 hours of run time from a notebook battery would certainly be impressive, but I have to wonder where users are going to be able to charge hydrogen fuel cells.
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