E-cell batteries?

Have anyone used this product:


They claim it’s a sealed hydrogen fuel cell type of battery and claims that it’s better than “normal rechargeable batteries”. However I am unable to find further information regarding this product, because honestly it doesn’t say what it’s capacity is, and those low self discharge NiMH serves me well.

It’s kinda stupid that it’s been so many years and we’re seeing absolutely zero improvements in battery technologies (I mean, we’re all using technologies developed over 20 years ago) and laptops are still limited due to batteries. I heard about fuel cells but I am wondering why have there been no commercial use of fuel cells in laptops (since some have promised very long runtimes with fuel cell technologies… like a MP3 player that can run for days)

… because batteries are bloody hard to make any better. We have not gone very far at all from Galvani’s early notice that different metals in contact with the juices of a frog create a current, nor Volta’s first battery of zinc and silver plates separated by paper soaked in dilute sulfuric acid or brine (a battery of electrical cells, hence the name ‘battery’). Lead acid batteries are still used as they have been for more than 150 years (invented in France by Gaston Planté in 1859) to hold current generated elsewhere.

It’s not for lack of trying, the area has seen intense and outlandish investment on many fronts by many players. Generally, however, all such projects have sputtered out.

LiH batteries, currently some of the best, are limited by cost and availability of raw material. NiMH batteries are limited by internal discharge (they run flat, and the more power you make hem hold, the faster they run down) but are cheaper, and if used fast enough the self-discharge is not a problem.

what we need is a capacitator, a capacitor that can store energy quickly without heating up, can hold it indefinitely, and can discharge repeatedly without internal change. You can bet your bottom dollar that there is much research going on here. But also be aware that storing vast a mounts of power in a small box can make a big bang when the box breaks, as seen in Terminator 3 to good effect.

Well I do know that capacitors can make quite a bang when overcharged/overvolted. Some say they sound like a M-80 (we’re talking about ones the size of a M-80 that holds around 50-100 uF) and the discharge is strong enough to kill a man! Those are commonly found in tube amps.

I think the potential for Hydrogen to hold energy is endless though. I mean, imagine a battery that generates H2 and O2 while charging, and holds it in a self-contained tank, then during use those turn into water while the fuel cell does its thing, and then you charge it again to reserve the process. Could work forever theoretically, until the fuel cell itself breaks down. Only problem is size/output… and how to contain the hydrogen so that it doesn’t leak and explode.

But seriously though, the capacitor thing would only be useful if you need a lot of current dump in one go, like firing a detonator or something. For laptops fuel cell (especially self-contained) would work real well… I just don’t understand why haven’t they came up with a commercial product like a laptop battery that are a fuel cell. Or laptops that runs on hydrogen fuel.

Hydrogen holds about 3 times as much energy as gasoline by weight.

and it’s about 100 times more explosive!

hydrogen fuel cells are probably going to be the way of the future, but making them rugged, small and safe is tricky. for the same reasons, it is not yet possible to replace natural gas with hydrogen: the infrastructure required to safely handle hydrogen is far more expensive and tricky than for natural gas.

hydrogen also escapes more easily, so bangs will be more common. theoretically, using solar energy to hydrolyse water and save the hydrogen is a simple idea, but trapping and using the hydrogen safely is not. The excessive weight of a hydrogen tank suitable for cars is a big disadvantage, too.

By the way, I just got a reply from E-cell about what their batteries are. They said it’s simply a NiMH Battery marketed as “fuel cells”. I think it’s probably similar to the Sanyo Eneloop that are commonly available cheaply.

There are other types of fuel cells that doesn’t involve hydrogen, there are numerous fuel cell technologies that uses methanol, and that was the ones suggested to be used in a laptop.

fraudulent advertising, then.