<divNEAH Power Systems, Inc., a company developing fuel cells for the military and portable electronic devices, has announced it has successfully demonstrated a new type of low cost, high reliability and power, liquid electrolyte based direct methanol fuel cell that does not require air to operate. NEAH claims this is the first major innovation in fuel cell technology in over 20 years, where a repeatable, reliable non-PEM based system has been successfully introduced and demonstrated in sustained operation.
The prototype was self contained and sized to generate 8W of gross power, fuel cartridges were replaced multiple times and repeatable performance demonstrated.
"We are thankful to the Office of Naval Research for funding significant portions of this research. This technology is singular in that it can operate in places where air isn’t available," Dr. Chris D’Couto, NEAH’s President and Chief Executive Officer, noted. "This system can service many specialized markets, such as underwater and surface water manned and unmanned vehicles, as well as numerous aerospace applications, and will be the building block for fuel cell solutions for Hobie Cat and other key customers." NEAH fuel cells operate in both an aerobic and anaerobic manner. "Our micro fuel cells may eventually replace batteries for most uses," D’Couto said, "meaning that cost-efficient and ‘green’ technology is at hand to not only preserve the environment, but to provide nearly perpetual power to the military, manufacturers of almost any product that require an energy source, and to the millions of consumers who require energy on the go."