I for one really look forward to the day when recharging my notebook or cell phone simply means squirting more fuel into its fuel cell rather than searching for an AC outlet. Fuel cells are coming for sure and a few of them are already on the market like the offering from Medis, though they aren’t quite what most of us want. What I want is a fuel cell like the one KDDI is showing off that is refillable with methanol and runs for up to 320 hours.
The prototype fuel cell that company is showing off is a sort of hybrid device that has the fuel cell coupled to a lithium ion battery to help provide enough power for surges in use. The battery/fuel cell hybrid is good for the aforementioned 320 hours of run time and a recharge is as quick as refilling the methanol container.
The big letdown of this prototype is that KDDI doesn’t expect to have the technology on the market for at least a few years. One day we will be able to go for weeks without having to find an AC outlet for our gadgets, one day.