For years the technology of fuel cells is in development but it must overcome many obstacles: miniaturization, performance, cost, production, distribution of fuel. Fuel cells are seen as gateways to Lithium batteries, the performances evolve more slowly than other mobile technologies and can be a bottleneck for the purpose.
In mobile phones, particularly energy with the permanent addition of new features, autonomy remains an important limiting factor and often frustrating because it must manage certain elements sparingly, such as wireless connectivity, failing to return to short of energy before the end of the day.
Currently, efforts have focused on improving existing technologies, adding circuits dynamic management of energy and trying to reduce leakage currents. Pending availability of fuel cells embedded directly into mobile devices, Toshiba will market in Japan Dynario, its first external fuel cell capable of charging mobile terminals without the need to find a power outlet nearby. Dynario appears as an external charger for mobile use and the methanol industry DMFC (Direct Methanol Fuel Cell), combining methanol and oxygen from ambient air to produce electricity. Its advantage compared to external lithium batteries is that it recharges in less than 30 seconds, simply by filling his tank of methanol. To ensure optimum operation, Dynario is nonetheless a hybrid system, energy produced by the fuel cell DMFC being stored in a lithium battery before being delivered to the mobile device, so that s’ ensure a constant flow of electricity output.
A first concrete step for fuel cells
This can be seen, there is only a first step that mainly intended to remove the fuel cell laboratories. Several technical limitations were actually processed by standard solutions. Moreover, Toshiba says he is only a limited series of 3000 pieces. But there is still work to provide a complete fuel cell capable of being mass produced, the Japanese group showed that the technology is sufficiently developed to consider a commercial launch. The fuel cell Dynario be marketed from October 29 to the price of 29,800 yen (about 219 €) and methanol cartridges, produced by Toyo Seikan Kaisha, will be available in packs of five for 3150 yen (around 23 €).
Dynario The dimensions are 150 x 74.5 x 21 mm 280 g with a reservoir of 14 ml while the concentration of methanol cartridges have a capacity of 50 ml., To reload several times the fuel cell. Toshiba says that its system provides enough energy to power two standard mobile phones.
Dynario not revolutionize perhaps not yet the practice but it provides a practical solution to poor battery life of electronic gadgets, a relatively small footprint and simple operation.