Friday, October 23, 2009

Toshiba Launches Palm-Sized Fuel Cell For Mobile Phones

Toshiba Corporation has launched its first direct methanol fuel-cell (DMFC) product, called Dynario, to power mobile devices. Dynario is an external power source that delivers power to mobile digital consumer products. Once fuelled with an injection of methanol solution from its dedicated cartridge, Dynario starts to generate electricity that is delivered to a digital consumer product -- a mobile phone or a digital media player -- via a USB cable. On a single refill of methanol which can be made in an instant period (around 20 seconds), Dynario can generate enough power to charge two typical mobile phones, according to the company.
"The power consumption of mobile electronic devices, including mobile phones, has greatly increased with added functionality, including TV reception and Internet connectivity. As a result, battery exhaustion has become a major concern. Dynario's DMFC delivers almost instant refuelling that untethers electrical equipment from AC adapters and power outlets. It runs on mix of methanol and ambient oxygen, and the chemical reaction between the two in the fuel cell produces electricity," Toshiba said in its release.

Dynario integrates Toshiba's fuel cell technology, allowing it to operate with only a small volume of concentrated methanol solution, reducing the size and weight of the fuel tank and the overall product. An ingenious fuel feed structure realises uniform methanol delivery, and stable output to any attached device is fine-tuned by a built-in microcomputer.

Performance is also optimised by Dynario's hybrid structure, which uses a lithium-ion battery charged by the fuel cell to store electricity. The dedicated fuel cartridge was co-developed with Japan's Toyo Seikan Kaisha. Dynario and its fuel cartridge fully comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission's safety standards (provisional edition).

Dynario, together with a dedicated fuel cartridge for refuelling on the go, will be launched in Japan, in a limited edition of 3,000 units only.

Dynario will begin shipping on 29 October 2009. Toshiba said it will gauge customer reaction and opinion from the Japanese release of Dynario and reflect them in the development of future DMFC products.

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