Apple investigating fuel-cell-powered MacBooks

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Posts: 3,221member
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolbolas

owned?

anyways, with this crazy new tech maybe it will be possible, ...

What point are you trying to make? You linked to an article that has a link to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). I gave you a link to the paper published by the NREL scientists who did the work. That paper explicitly states that the maximum efficiency of its MEG solar cells is 85%. You chose to believe a headline writer over a group of trained and experiences scientists?

Your article's author makes the casual and stupid comment about finding a better law when it appears to you are breaking a physical law. Statements like this give popular journalism a bad name. If the laws of thermodynamics can be broken, then none of the laws that govern the Universe mean anything.

Make no mistake. Efficiency is a very simple concept:

efficiency = (work or energy output)/(energy input) x 100%

It deals exclusively with the ratio of energy entering and exiting a device. There is no such thing as "internal efficiency."
Posts: 254member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me

What point are you trying to make? You linked to an article that has a link to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). I gave you a link to the paper published by the NREL scientists who did the work. That paper explicitly states that the maximum efficiency of its MEG solar cells is 85%. You chose to believe a headline writer over a group of trained and experiences scientists?

Your article's author makes the casual and stupid comment about finding a better law when it appears to you are breaking a physical law. Statements like this give popular journalism a bad name. If the laws of thermodynamics can be broken, then none of the laws that govern the Universe mean anything.

Make no mistake. Efficiency is a very simple concept:

efficiency = (work or energy output)/(energy input) x 100%

It deals exclusively with the ratio of energy entering and exiting a device. There is no such thing as "internal efficiency."

i am taking AP physics, i know how efficiency works. In fact we just covered it less than a week and a half ago.

reading the article?which i think you did, can't tell?it does indeed say that QE is not conventional.

however, if you can have a QE of over 100% (peak external 113-115%; internal of 130%)

note; this is a kind of efficiency, there is internal and external.

with the energy you get from that, if you can raise conventional efficiency rating to something that is insanely high (80-90%) you could theoretically have a new efficiency of over 100% for the solar cell.

Now, i should say this is from my understanding on physics, and my rudimentary understanding of QE.

Now to the original point; putting solar cells on any form of notebook would be nice. It would allow longer runtimes, maybe even charge the battery if the notebook doesn't use much power.

That being said, solar panels are to costly currently .
Posts: 3,221member
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolbolas

i am taking AP physics, i know how efficiency works. In fact we just covered it less than a week and a half ago.

...

Young man, you don't understand physics at all. If you say something like that to your teacher, then hopefully your teacher would take the time to explain to you how and why you are wrong. If not, then your teacher should be dismissed.
Posts: 17member
Back on topic, IIRC Toshiba had trouble getting more than about 35W out of their methanol-powered fuel cells.

So, one could use a fuel cell to recharge a laptop's battery, albeit much more slowly than plugging it into mains power.

And yes, methanol-powered fuel cells have been approved for use on aircraft (the fuel is heavily diluted, won't burn or explode)
Posts: 13,377member
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncbill

Back on topic, IIRC Toshiba had trouble getting more than about 35W out of their methanol-powered fuel cells.

35 watts is a lot of power and in the context of this patent, where it is used in conjunction with a battery, could lead to very long run times between charges. I'm not sure where the value comes in these long run times though once you get past ten hours I really don't see the point as most of us have to sleep and eat.

Quote:

So, one could use a fuel cell to recharge a laptop's battery, albeit much more slowly than plugging it into mains power.

I suspect the more important goal is sharing the load so to speak. If you can reduce the load on the battery you greatly extend its ability to maintain its charge. With today's electronics, especially the coming Ivy Bridge processors, I wouldn't be surprised to see overall system power drop well below 35 watts during idle or light load periods. This could mean that the fuel cell is even charging the battery during computer power on.

Quote:

And yes, methanol-powered fuel cells have been approved for use on aircraft (the fuel is heavily diluted, won't burn or explode)

For walk on passenger use? I'd find that to be shocking in an age where a bottle of water is seen as a potential threat. Beyond that what is the point in having a fuel supply that is in effect watered down. You would reduce your energy capacity considerably, add a contamination source and increase the size of the required storage vessel.

In someways I hope that I'm wrong and that Apple is in the process of making a break through but I have very deep reservations. I just don't see the required reliability nor the ease of use for the average user. How would Apple go about convincing people that filling up their laptop is a normal part of operation? Further unless an approach is found that is economical and easy to "reload" I can see people paying tens of dollars for a few ounces of methanol or other alcohol. The whole thing just has me skeptical.

Of course now people will have another reason to carry a flask around with them. The old excuse of its for medical reasons will be replaced with it is for my laptop!
Posts: 13,377member
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmvsm

How long will it take the oil and battery lobbies to shut this idea down...again?

Contrary to popular opinion these lobbies don't have the power to shut down any competing product. They may make a technology uneconomical but that is only a reflection on the technology not the power of these "lobbies".

Wind power is a good example of something that makes economic sense and has steadily become accepted as a power source. Solar electric on the other hand has never made sense competitively with other sources so the industry has relied on the government to sustain it. Due to the economic considerations of solar electric we have seen significant corruption in that industry.

It truly amazes me at the paranoia expressed expressed by many over big business. Big businesses can collapse in very short times in the face of new technologies. Kodak is a recent example of a business that did just that even after years of "control" over their industry. It is a reality that is repeated again and again.
Posts: 188member
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4

imagine how hard it would be to get a device with a Hydrogen Fuel cell through the airport screening......

I agree. There would need to be substantial changes in the perception of the use of a product that has a high volatility. I'm seem to recall an article where airlines said they'd ban products powered by fuel cell on board the aircraft. Not to shoot down the idea, but it just sounds scary in a plane - guess I'm one of the people who's perception would need some changing. Time will tell should this ever be a viable solution as a land based product first.
Posts: 13,377member
You really don't have to even have an explosion to cause serious problems. Even a small fire on an aircraft quickly becomes a safety issue. Even smoke from batteries can be a significant problem which is why airlines have procedures to handle safety issues like battery failures in cell phones.

The problem can be summed up fairly simply, you are flying in a can with no way to exit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroG

I agree. There would need to be substantial changes in the perception of the use of a product that has a high volatility. I'm seem to recall an article where airlines said they'd ban products powered by fuel cell on board the aircraft. Not to shoot down the idea, but it just sounds scary in a plane - guess I'm one of the people who's perception would need some changing. Time will tell should this ever be a viable solution as a land based product first.

Posts: 3member
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax

And Ballmer, at a summit for tech luminaries, ridicules the idea of anything other than traditional batteries powering consumer devices. "Consumers love batteries and the feeling of security of knowing they can plug their computer into the wall every few hours using a transformer. No one wants to go days without plugging in."

Ballmer is the best tech-analyst in the world, actually.

If he says something won't work - it's a sure winner!
Posts: 1member
This will definitely create a revolution in battery industry??..

http://mirolta.com/2011/12/27/hydrog...ook-in-future/
Posts: 11member
So these would be somehow closed systems without the need to replace the hydrogen or the need to drain water? I can't imagine Apple making a product that has a water drain, haha.

That liquid metal stuff looks awesome. That would be cool to have an iPhone case made out of that stuff... and if they could also somehow make the screen look like the shiny liquid metal when it's off I'd wet my pants.
Posts: 11member
If fact, someone needs to invent a display that looks like a mirror when it's turned off. That way you could have an ultra thin TV hanging on you wall that doubles as a mirror when turned off.
Posts: 14,961moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Cheetah

If fact, someone needs to invent a display that looks like a mirror when it's turned off.

Like an iMac? Except of course not looking like a mirror when it's turned on.

They already have these types of display:

but I think people would be put off having a TV that acts like a mirror. Ugly people outnumber attractive people significantly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Cheetah

So these would be somehow closed systems without the need to replace the hydrogen or the need to drain water? I can't imagine Apple making a product that has a water drain, haha.

It depends on how much output it has. The output could be moist vapour. Still not ideal next to electronics but they'll figure it out. It's not like they're the kind of engineers who would put an antenna gap right where you put your finger or anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MineshRai

This will definitely create a revolution in battery industry?

It certainly needs one. This development seems to be a good start at least:

5-10x standard lithium batteries means one charge per week. Some mixture of these developments will help change mobile devices in a big way and hopefully transportation too.
Posts: 11member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin

Like an iMac? Except of course not looking like a mirror when it's turned on.

They already have these types of display:

but I think people would be put off having a TV that acts like a mirror. Ugly people outnumber attractive people significantly.

Hmmm, seems like that type of screen would be popular... maybe it doesn't look like a true mirror or have good picture quality while it's on or something.

And you may be right about the ugly people comment, haha. I would rather have a nice shiny mirror hanging on the wall then a black slab, but then again I work out and stuff .

You would think a phone with a mirror display would be a hit with the ladies at least. I guess they could just use the FFC for that though. But a phone made out of the liquid metal with a screen that looks like liquid metal when off would be a cool design just because it would be something different looking.