Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Rohm’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell For Phones
Rohm, Aquafairy of Kyoto, and KyotoUniversity, have co-developed compact, lightweight, high-power hydrogen fuel cells designed to power smartphones and other portable devices.
Compared with conventional lead batteries, the cells reduce weight to 1/4 with same capacity, making it possible to provide 400Whr from a device that weighs only 3kg.
Rohm, Aquafairy, and KyotoUniversity will continue to work on assessing reliability and making further improvements, with production targeted for April 2013.
Although methanol and hydrogen fuel cells are being used, they have several disadvantages like the difficulty to increase power output.
Furthermore, current hydrogen fuel cells require the use of cylinders, making them harder to handle and hinder efforts towards miniaturisation.
Rohm and Aquafairy, have succeeded in solidifying calcium hydride in a sheet configuration using proprietary technologies, generating approximately 4.5 litres of hydrogen from a sheet less than 3cc in volume (measuring 38 x 38 x 2mm), providing a power output of 5Whr.
The hydrogen fuel cells operate at ambient temperatures, making them suitable for use in smartphone chargers, tablet PCs, as power sources outdoors and in remote areas, and in emergency backup power supplies. In addition, they emit no carbon dioxide or hazardous gases and can be disposed of as general waste.Tags: backup power supplies, hydrogen fuel cells, kyotouniversity, power sources, smartphones