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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 16th September, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Toshiba intros fuel cell protoype for portable audio player

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Toshiba today announced that it has developed two prototypes of direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) units for mobile audio players. One features an output power of 100mW for flash memory-based digital audio players and the other offers 300mW for hard disk drive (HDD)-based digital audio players.

The 100mW unit, 23x75x10mm in size, can power flash-based players for approximately 35 hours on a single 3.5ml charge of concentrated methanol, claims Toshiba. The 300mW unit is 60x75x10mm in size and delivers sufficient power to keep an HDD-based audio player running for approximately 60 hours on a single 10ml charge, said the company.
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Old 16th September, 2005, 08:08 PM
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But will they let you on an Airplane with one?
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Old 16th September, 2005, 08:15 PM
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hahahaha. never thought of that
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Old 16th September, 2005, 08:22 PM
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Seems to be a draw back for fuel cell tech...Other than that...Bring it on!! ":O}
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Old 17th September, 2005, 09:04 AM
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If the methanol solution is less than 24% (I think?), then it's allowable on an aircraft. Toshiba are using neat methanol by the looks of it, so no, it wouldn't be allowed onboard an aircraft.

The more cynical might note that many airlines provide power in business/club/first class on a number of their aircraft, so laptops/pdas/etc can be powered from these, as long as you have a suitable ticket.
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Old 17th September, 2005, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~
Seems to be a draw back for fuel cell tech...Other than that...Bring it on!! ":O}
how about banning the planes? Problem solved!
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Old 17th September, 2005, 07:10 PM
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How hard is it to get an early and explosive release of it's energy? Are the threats they pose very real or very economic for the Airlines Aedan?
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Old 17th September, 2005, 07:24 PM
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Not likely to get an explosive release of energy, but methanol vapour catches fire fairly easily. Combining electricity and highly flamable liquids tends to go down badly with airlines. A fire at 30,000 feet is a very serious problem, especially as there's a limited amount of oxygen in an aircraft.

Air travel regulations have banned flammable liquids and solids from aircraft for many many years now. It's certainly been the case for as long as I can remember!
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Old 17th September, 2005, 07:38 PM
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I'm just one of the cynical I guess.":O} Seems there ARE legitimate concerns beyond the losing of revenues gained by offering passengers hook-up for a fee...Things are never as simple as I want them to be! ":O}
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Old 19th September, 2005, 07:25 PM
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And they never will be, if only they offered the internet from 9,144 metre's. Is it possible Aedan?
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Old 19th September, 2005, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got EpOx
And they never will be, if only they offered the internet from 9,144 metre's. Is it possible Aedan?
Getting the internet is certainly possible from an airplane, if that is what you're implying. They might offer it already, but services like EV-DO could be implemented to provide swift internet to multiple passengers for a fairly reasonable price.
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Old 20th September, 2005, 10:21 AM
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Why bother with EV-DO? EV-DO isn't used much outside the US (with the exception of Israel perhaps), and use of EV-DO for aircraft to ground links has serious problems with cell overlap, assuming that a cell is in sight.

Satellite uplink works fairly well in the middle of an ocean, and WiFi works onboard aircraft. That's how Boeing are implementing internet access in flight.
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Old 20th September, 2005, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
Satellite uplink works fairly well in the middle of an ocean, and WiFi works onboard aircraft. That's how Boeing are implementing internet access in flight.
Airbus got there first again
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Old 20th September, 2005, 04:59 PM
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Grrrrr!!! Airbus are becoming the kings of civil aviation. Mass produced planes and cheap too.
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Old 20th September, 2005, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
Airbus got there first again
But they didn't have anyone to talk to until Boeing got hook up! ":O}
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Old 20th September, 2005, 05:07 PM
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True. I've never been on a Boeing plane. Only Airbus. Are they nice to be on?
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Old 20th September, 2005, 05:11 PM
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Local flights have a certain charm, if your enamored of Sardines....
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Old 20th September, 2005, 05:15 PM
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lol, i see what you mean. Planes can be incredibly cramp.
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Old 20th September, 2005, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got EpOx
True. I've never been on a Boeing plane. Only Airbus. Are they nice to be on?
Long-haul, Airbus planes are preferable. Short-haul, the reverse is true. Referring to cattle-class this is. I haven't yet got my gold air-miles card...
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Old 20th September, 2005, 09:26 PM
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You can take extremely flammable stuff on to plane cabins like areosols. One or two of the 150ml cans are fine. Those great big hair spray ones exceed the maximum total volume. Can't remember what the exact maximum is off-hand.

Not sure what the deal would be with the fuel-cells.

EDIT: Asked my father who works on security at the airport. He says "No way" to fuel-cells and that if they can't tell the difference, easily, between a battery powered device and a fuel-cell powered device then they they're likely to just ban all phones, handhelds, etc. altogether. No time to check all of these items in detail!
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