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8/26/2005
12:42 PM
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Vendor To Ship Laptop Fuel Cell Next Year

The system, which coverts methanol into hydrogen for fuel, has twice the energy density of standard lithium batteries, the vendor claims.

UltraCell Corporation said this week that it plans to ship a fuel cell for laptops next year that it claims has twice the energy density of lithium batteries.

The company said that the fuel cell will convert methanol fuel into hydrogen to provide the power. The fuel cell for laptops will weigh 40 ounces and will be about the size of a paperback novel, the company said in a statement. The company said that the methanol canisters will be hot-swappable, enabling easy replacement when one canister runs out of fuel.

UltraCell said it first developed the system for the military. It said the advantages of its system are that methanol is readily available and that it doesn't generate moisture.

“UltraCell’s novel fuel reformer converts methanol fuel to hydrogen efficiently and in a very compact package," Jim Kaschmitter, CEO of UltraCell, said in a statement. "Our technical team solved several key engineering challenges in thermal design and packaging to achieve this breakthrough. Our system provides a significant performance advantage over competing fuel cell and battery solutions for portable power users.”

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