Fuel-Cell Makers Thinking Small for Big Results

Designers and contractors planning facilities that incorporate radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology may be hearing a lot more about fuel cells in the near future. However, the devices might not be used to power the facilities, but rather, as replacements for the batteries used by portable RFID readers.

09/01/2004


Designers and contractors planning facilities that incorporate radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology may be hearing a lot more about fuel cells in the near future. However, the devices might not be used to power the facilities, but rather, as replacements for the batteries used by portable RFID readers.

Manufacturer MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc., Albany, N.Y., has introduced a new technology, called Mobion DMFC, which it says will allow miniature fuel cells to be integrated directly into handheld devices. Previous portable alternatives were too large for such designs.

The company says the new technology incorporates advanced materials that control onboard methanol distribution, eliminating the need for water supplies and integrated micro-plumbing systems. The product is said to extend device run times by three to 10 times over existing lithiumion batteries.

MTI says RFID readers in industrial warehouse settings will be among its first targets for product development, along with military communications equipment.





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