Toshiba has unveiled a prototype fuel cell that it hopes will become the power source for laptops in the future, BBC News reported Saturday.
Toshiba has unveiled a prototype fuel cell that it hopes will become the power source for laptops in the future, BBC News reported Saturday. The fuel cell breaks down methanol (alcohol) to generate power, and Toshiba claims, that it will provide enough juice to run a laptop for about five hours. Future versions of the fuel cell should be able to power a laptop for about 10 hours.
The methanol cartridges are about the size of a computer mouse. The prototype of the fuel cell is larger -- about the size of a house brick. Average power output is 12W and maximum is 20W. Unused energy is stored in the fuel cell. The commercial versions will be slightly larger than existing lithium-ion batteries and use the same power interfaces so they should work with older laptops.
Toshiba hopes to put the fuel cell on sale in early 2004.
This is a story that poses many questions for CR leaders
- Should CR attendees or alumni be discouraged from using such devices if the temptation to break open the battery becomes overwhelming?
- Can laptops themselves be admitted for counselling if they start using too much power, have negative consequences, but continue to use?
- Will one battery be too much and ten, not enough?
- Can straws be fitted to the batteries in an effort to drain the reserves?
- Would carrying the laptop violate the "open container" law for many states in this country?