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Fuel Cell

Electronics

Miniaturized butane fuel cell system enables new USB battery charger

There's no doubt that mobile electronic devices have revolutionized our daily lives. A smartphone and laptop, both equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, provide mobile computing capabilities only dreamed of a decade or two ago. If only the batteries would keep up. While portable fuel cells have been proposed for a decade as a solution to the requirement for more portable power, actually making such a beast has proven commercially impractical. Now Lilliputian Systems, Inc., an MIT spinoff company, is manufacturing the Nectar, a USB recharger based on a butane fuel cell. Read More

Drones

Ion Tiger sets new UAV endurance record

Back in 2009, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) set an endurance record for electric unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) when its fuel cell-powered Ion Tiger aircraft managed to stay aloft for 26 hours and 1 minute. Now, NRL has announced that the same aircraft has trounced that record, by remaining in flight for 48 hours and 1 minute.Read More

Outdoors

VOTO charges phones and provides light using cooking fires

Just because someone is getting close to nature doesn't necessarily mean they need to ditch their smartphone. However, keeping a device charged while in the great outdoors is not always the easiest thing to do. After all, those trees don't come equipped with power outlets. We've already seen the BioLite stove that generates its own power. A new product called VOTO performs a similar function, but with any cooking fire. Read More

Automotive Feature

Tongji Automotive Design Research Institute begins to make its mark

In the new world automotive order dominated by China, there are many new names we'll soon become familiar with and Shanghai's Tongji Automotive Design Research Institute (TADRI) is one such name destined for global recognition. Think of TADRI as the automotive equivalent to MIT – the type of institution that gives a country a competitive edge. We look at three fascinating vehicles touched by TADRI shown at Auto Shanghai, and explain why there are many more to come.Read More

Environment

Self-healing “artificial leaf” produces energy from dirty water

Back in 2011, scientists reported the creation of the “world’s first practical artificial leaf” that mimics the ability of real leaves to produce energy from sunlight and water. Touted as a potentially inexpensive source of electricity for those in developing countries and remote areas, the leaf’s creators have now given it a capability that would be especially beneficial in such environments – the ability to self heal and therefore produce energy from dirty water.Read More

Automotive

Forze team unveils new hydrogen-powered racer

Following up on last year’s racing foray with the first hydrogen-powered car to take on petrol-burning competitors, the Forze team has now gone on to bigger and better things. Its new racer the Forze VI, delivers what the teams deems "super car-ish performance." Not only does it look like a serious racer the new model contains six times the power of last years’ car.Read More

Children

Fuel cell-powered H-ROVER puts you in the NASA tech's seat

It’s probably safe to say that most of us will never get the chance to operate a Mars rover. While it is now possible to purchase remote-control miniature buggies with onboard cameras, most of them still seem like ... well, like toys. The H-ROVER, however, is a little different. Looking like it would be right at home trundling across the Martian topsoil, the little tracked vehicle is powered by a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and super-capacitor system. Read More

Around The Home

Panasonic reduces size and price of “Ene-Farm” home fuel cell

By relying on a chemical reaction rather than combustion, fuel cells like the Bloom Energy Server are a more environmentally friendly source of electricity than fossil fuel burning power plants – they’re also easier to fit on a residential or commercial block. Unfortunately, their price is still prohibitively expensive for most people. But things are slowly improving as evidenced by Panasonic’s latest “Ene-Farm” home fuel cell, which was jointly developed with Tokyo Gas. Later this year, the unit will be sold in Japan by Tokyo Gas for 1,995,000 yen (approx. US$22,320).Read More

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