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Will New Batteries Make Laptops Truly Mobile?

Copyright 2006 Titus Hoskins Current laptops or notebook computers have one major obstacle to overcome: short battery life. Despite their sleek style and ever increasing higher performance levels, laptops have never been truly mobile. With batteries averaging around 3 to 5 hours of usable power, most laptops are limited in the amount of time they can spent away from the warm electrical embrace of a wall plug-in. As most laptop owners will attest, running out of power when you're sending that all important business email or watching your favorite movie has always registered high on the annoyance meter. In today's lingo - it sucks big time! Sure, things are improving, as new technology come on stream (dual-core processors, hyper-threading) users are getting longer battery life from their laptops. But even as laptops become smaller and more efficient, short battery life is still a limiting factor for most laptops. Fully loaded power sapping gaming laptops have been hardest hit by this problem. Try playing a game or watching a movie on battery power at your favorite beach for any extended time and you will see why laptop batteries are in dire need of an overhaul. Laptop manufacturers are no doubt aware of this issue and may be relieved help is on the way. Actually, the solution to the power-challenged laptop is already here. Once more, new technology comes to the rescue. Short battery life for laptops and for all handheld electronic devices will probably be solved by two new energy sources: micro fuel cells and printable solar cells. Micro fuel cells can use such fuels as alcohol or methanol and offers ten times the power of conventional batteries using only 1/20th the weight. Perfectly suited for laptops or notebook computers. It actually burns fuel which can be quickly replenished by merely refilling its reservoir or replacing a fresh fuel cartridge. As everyone knows, recharging a conventional cell battery takes hours, this new battery will only take seconds to recharge or rather refuel. One of the major leaders in this new technology is MTI with its Micro's Mobion® cord-free power pack which will probably replace lithium ion batteries. These use direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Expect these creatures to be in almost 22% of all of handheld devices by 201

1. And if these new micro fuel cells are embraced by the buying public; you can kiss your lithium ion battery goodbye long before that date! Read more info on Micro Fuel Cells here: www.mtimicrofuelcells.com Even more promising is printable solar cells that folds out or can be wrapped around or built into a laptop, giving them a renewable energy source and power. One of the leaders in this new technology is Konarka. They produce a flexible lightweight photovoltaic plastic material that will give any device solar energy. As sunlight is not always available, Konarka technology uses all types of light, including indoor light, to produce electrical energy. These inexpensive printable solar cells could have many applications, including a source of power for laptops. Cheap, renewable and plentiful. Read more on Photovoltaic Solar Cells here: www.konarka.com What we will probably see in the future is a hybrid of the two technologies, micro fuel cells and photovoltaic solar cells, working in tangent to give laptops an energy source that never runs out. Unlimited power available anywhere, anytime. Micro fuel cells and printable solar cells will give laptops the freedom and power they need to be used anytime, anywhere. These new energy sources will finally make the laptop truly portable. It will also make the Internet truly wireless, mobile, and available everywhere. Perish the thought!


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