With the news last week that Toshiba could have a fuel cell powered device on the market by Christmas, today it’s the turn of Panasonic to make some methanol promises. It won’t be a fight for a spot underneath the tree between the two companies, though; Panasonic say they’ll have fuel cells, capable of running a laptop computer for five hour, on the market by 2012.
That runtime might be down somewhat from other systems we’ve heard about, but the difference is that Panasonic are trying to get it all to fit inside a standard notebook battery compartment. Refuelling would be via an injection of highly concentrated methanol, with 50cc’s needed to give you that roughly five hours of use.
The company has also been demonstrating some longer-lifespan prototype fuel cells, capable of running for up to 20hrs from 200cc’s of methanol. It’s uncertain whether or when these prototypes might reach the market.