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Toshiba intros Dynaro fuel cell charging device

updated 10:20 am EDT, Thu October 22, 2009

Toshiba Dynaro charges devices using methanol

Toshiba on Thursday introduced the first portable fuel cell meant to recharge portable electronics devices using methanol. The Dynaro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) allows users to recharge nearly any portable device, and uses ambient oxygen and the methanol from cartridges to produce electricity from a chemical reaction between the two. The generated electricity then travels to connected devices through a USB cable.

Toshiba claims one methanol fill can create enough electricity in 20 seconds to fully recharge two typical cell phones. An integrated lithium-ion battery stores the electricity until it's needed. Toshiba will gauge the success of this product to decide whether or not to continue development on the technology and bring more fuel cell devices to market.

The Dynaro will be made in limited numbers, at 3,000, and cost the equivalent of $326 in Japan. Each fuel cartridge costs $35. Shipping starts on October 29th but hasn't yet included any international plans. [via Akihabara]








By Electronista Staff
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  1. DanielSw

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    0

    Very interesting!

    I'm not familiar with the technology. Is this reaction efficient enough not to give off significant radiant heat?

  1. Glasspusher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2000

    0

    heat

    looks like this thing puts out about 5W electrical, so probably about 10W of heat if it's 33% efficient, which would be on the high side. 10W of heat would make it a nice hand warmer

  1. Glasspusher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2000

    0

    heat

    looks like this thing puts out about 5W electrical, so probably about 10W of heat if it's 33% efficient, which would be on the high side. 10W of heat would make it a nice hand warmer

  1. Glasspusher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2000

    0

    heat

    looks like this thing puts out about 5W electrical, so probably about 10W of heat if it's 33% efficient, which would be on the high side. 10W of heat would make it a nice hand warmer

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +1

    This technology has been around for years

    This technology has been around for years, but just recently is coming available to the consumer. The early models would produce a "trickle charge" for a cell phone. The byproduct of the charger was water, which could potentially be a problem if you were carrying one of these in your pocket. The 20 second charge time seems too much too fast.

    The only "fuel" is methanol in what looks like a plastic dispenser, how the h*** can they justify $35 for a fuel cartridge. There might be $0.10 worth of methanol in that "cartridge".

    Otherwise, I want one....

  1. peter02l

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    0

    Are they joking?

    $35 for a cartridge of ethanol! How many gallons does it hold?

  1. peter02l

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    -1

    Are they joking?

    And they are putting a guilt trip on the consumer:

    "Toshiba will gauge the success of this product to decide whether or not to continue development on the technology and bring more fuel cell devices to market."

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