Toshiba's Fuel Cell Phone Charger Uses Liquid As Power - HotHardware
Toshiba's Fuel Cell Phone Charger Uses Liquid As Power

Toshiba's Fuel Cell Phone Charger Uses Liquid As Power

Standard batteries? That's old hat? The Touchstone charger? Even that's so yesterday. Solar powered? Been there, done that. Toshiba's looking to one-up everyone else in the cellphone energy game by introducing a Direct Methanol Fuel Source (DMFS) for mobile devices. You heard that right--it's a fuel cell, for your cellphone. No, it's not the future, it's right now.

The product, which is being called the Dynario, is a clip-on charging solution that attaches to the back of a phone in place of the standard battery. It promises to bring "almost instant refueling" and it keeps your mobile charged even when an AC outlet is nowhere in sight. The device requires a mix of methanol and ambient oxygen, and the chemical reaction between the two in the fuel cell produces electricity.



Users simply open the cap, squirt in some of the liquid and re-cap it. Just like that, the fuel cell begins to power the phone. No extra button pressing is needed on the user's end. It takes around 20 seconds to fill the cell container completely, though there's no word on just how long it'll keep the phone ringing. At least at first, it will only be released as a limited edition unit in Japan, with 3000 being produced in the near future for an undisclosed price.
0
+ -

Shot not carrying fuel of any sort on me. The idea is interesting, but again this is not practical.

0
+ -

The practicality lies in the energy density of the fuel. If the fuel (methanol in this case) can provide more energy than batteries of a comparable size and weight, then it becomes a more practical alternative. The real advantage that I foresee would be if, for example, your laptop had a refillable fuel cell. The time to refill a fuel cell is a matter of seconds, opposed to the many minutes required to recharge a battery. Not to mention the fact that fuel can be brought along with you to places without electricity. I expect we will see future devices equipped with hybrid battery/fuel cell energy storage systems.

0
+ -

If the picture is accurate, I'm afraid that this will be too large for most users. But the idea of the fuel cell is an important one, and goes great with laptop power, where the cell can fit right in to the battery compartment. Pity that they'll likely only be produced for current and future devices; I'll not be using my TiBook off one any time soon.

Fortunately methanol (in appropriate quantities and containers) has been approved for air travel for a couple years now.

0
+ -

From what I recall, you can take the fuel cells on the airplane, but you can't take any additional fuel with you.

0
+ -

This is so awesome! I've been wanting fuel cell tech to reach mainstream for years now. Casio was supposed to have battery replacement cells available in 2004, with functioning prototypes shown off in 2003. Someone must have greased some palms, though, since they never showed up. Let's hope Toshiba can get away with this one without attracting the major battery maker's evil gaze.

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: