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Group concocts fuel cell notebook guideline

The Mobile PC Extended Battery Life Working Group has released its "Fuel Cell Guidelines for Mobile PCs." The guidelines cover electrical, mechanical, control, thermal, environmental and regulatory aspects of fuel cells designed for mobile PCs.

"As the mobile PC power sources industry focuses on providing solutions for all-day computing and beyond, alternative solutions such as fuel cells will gain increasing importance," said Kamal Shah, manager, Mobility Enabling Initiative, Mobile Platforms Group at Intel in a prepared statement. "This document guides fuel cell developers on what it takes to design fuel cells for all-day computing for mobile PCs."

Fuel cells harvest electricity by sparking chemical reactions, usually with hydrogen or methanol. While fuel cells for consumer electronic devices may come in the next few years, it may not be until the turn of the decade when they come out for notebooks, and then they may only complement, rather than replace, batteries.