Seoul (Korea) – Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology has developed a fuel cell that can charge a mobile phone in a few hours. The small 180g cell generates 2 watts of power from combining hydrogen, methanol and air. Researchers say test units have successfully charged phones 200 times in a row.
The Samsung fuel cell can charge a completely drained phone in two hours with a single 10 cc methanol refill cartridge. Each cartridge is good for two recharges and will probably cost slightly more than $1 USD each, which makes it competitive with paid phone charging stations commonly seen in Asia. A typical charging station costs around a dollar and takes four hours to charge a phone.
Samsung has been working on fuel cells for larger devices like PDAs and laptop computers. The company expects all versions of the cells to be commercially available within two to three years.