Panasonic develops world's smallest notebook fuel cell

Panasonic today announced [JP] it developed the world’s smallest fuel cell for use in notebooks, reducing the size of its predecessor by 50%. The new model is sized at 270cc, which makes it as small as existing lithium ion batteries used in notebooks currently on the market.

Panasonic says the fuel cell will be positioned at the underside of notebooks and provides about 20 hours of power with 200cc of fuel. The prototype weighs just 320 grams. The fuel, highly concentrated methanol, can be stored in bottles.

Panasonic also developed a paperback-size fuel cell for use in cellular phones and other mobile devices. The company claims that this model is powerful enough to run portable TVs and that it can charge two devices at the same time. Weighing 350 grams, it measures 360cc.

Both products are to be commercialized in 2012. Panasonic will present the new technology to the general public during next week’s Hydrogen Energy Advanced Technology Exhibition [JP] in Chiba near Tokyo.