In a positive sign (sighâ€¦) that we are moving that much closer to the everyday reality of fuel cells, MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc., based in Albany NY, said it has signed a deal with a Japanese camera company to develop micro fuel cells for digital cameras and other hand-held electronic devices.
MTI is still shy about naming that Japanese company but says itâ€™s a top producer in the digital camera market. The deal will be MTI’s second partnership with a global electronics manufacturer. In 2006, MTI signed an exclusive $1 million agreement to develop power packs for Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. of South Korea.
The breakthrough in MTIâ€™s fuel cell development is its so-called Mobion technology. The company says its proprietary Mobion chip architecture significantly reduces the complexity of a fuel cell system’s internal construction thereby reducing manufacturing costs, increasing performance, and enabling further system miniaturization. These factors are critical for the successful launch of fuel cell products in the consumer market.
Fuel cells are about the size and volume of todayâ€™s batteries but lasts three times longer or more. They can be recharged by refilling with methanol. (Hereâ€™s hoping this one doesnâ€™t go the vaporware way.)