Hot-swappable micro Fuel Cell System can run laptop for two days
By Mike Hanlon
March 7, 2006
March 8, 2006 UltraCell demonstrated its UltraCell XX25 micro fuel cell system at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today. Powered by a reformed methanol fuel cell technology, the UltraCell XX25 is a pre-production unit designed for the military. Beta testing of the XX25 will begin mid-year, and a commercial version, the UltraCell UC25 could be available by the end of this year. The UltraCell UC25 will run a laptop computer for up to two working days on a single methanol fuel cell cartridge and as these lightweight cartridges are also hot-swappable, the UltraCell systems can run indefinitely without any need for electrical recharging.
"Our fuel cell systems literally cut the cord to electrical dependence," said James Kaschmitter, CEO of UltraCell. "They fit perfectly with the emerging revolution in downloading, networking and wireless communications."
In addition, the UltraCell XX25 portable power source for the military will significantly lower the total weight carried by soldiers on extended missions, as well as reduce operational costs through the reduction of throwaway primary batteries and the logistic burden of recharging batteries.
UltraCell has designed the XX25 for evaluation to military testing specifications, ranging from extreme operating temperatures to combat-situation vibration and shock conditions. The UltraCell lightweight fuel cell system, for example, will be manufactured to operate in sub-zero and desert environments or survive hard drops while in transit. Meeting these stringent requirements makes the UltraCell system ideal for a full range of ruggedized electronic product applications.
Delivery of the UltraCell XX25 production samples for military evaluation at CERDEC (Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center) is slated for the second quarter of 2006. UltraCell is currently initiating planning of Beta testing of the UC25 with qualified commercial customers for the second half of 2006.
The Army has selected the UltraCell XX25 because it has up to a 70% weight advantage over currently available military rechargeable batteries, based on a 72-hour mission at 20 watts. (Longer missions at higher power levels will show greater improvements.)
UltraCell's patented reformed methanol fuel cell (RMFC) system generates fuel-cell-ready hydrogen from a highly concentrated methanol solution. The new portable power systems thus have the power density of a hydrogen fuel cell but use the readily available, low cost methanol fuel in a convenient, compact package.
A brochure for the UltraCell UC25 can be downloaded here.