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Trickle-down effect

The military needs small, efficient power sources for all it's new hi-tech communications gear, so naturally, it creates a competition for the best portable power source.

A California company has introduced a 25-watt mobile fuel cell system designed to power a ruggedized laptop computer for up to 14 hours at a time using a single 250cc cartridge.

The XX25, as it is called, internally generates fuel cell-ready hydrogen from a highly concentrated methanol solution, providing power to a field computer and communications equipment at weight savings of up to 65 percent, according to Livermore, Calif.-based UltraCell.

14 hours of 25 watt output = 350 watt/hours, or almost seven times the battery life of a MacBoook Pro, from something the size and heft of a hardbound novel.


“Trickle-down effect”