Neah Power Systems, a supplier of micro fuel cell technology, announced the achievement of a major technical milestone. A fully integrated, multi-cell stack, functioning as the core engine of the fuel cell, was recently demonstrated at the company's laboratory. The results support the exciting potential of Neah Power's silicon-based, patented architecture. Compared to currently announced competitive technologies, this architecture is expected to set a new standard in micro fuel cell technology by scaling to higher power densities and improving operating efficiencies, leading to smaller physical form factors.
Neah Power Systems is developing a silicon-based direct-methanol fuel cell (DMFC) aimed at providing longer-lasting power solutions for mobile and remote applications, such as military communications devices, notebook PCs, and other advanced electronics products. In recent rigorous laboratory tests, the stack provided stable, extended power output, indicating the robustness of the all-liquid silicon-based system. Power density levels exceeding 80 mW/cm2 at room temperature were demonstrated, indicating power capability beyond most currently available competing DMFC systems on a per-unit basis under similar operating conditions. This power level was also attained with a stack that has been reduced in size by more than 70 percent as compared to the company's first stack prototype demonstration in early 2003.
Congressman Jay Inslee (WA-01), who represents the district where Neah Power Systems is located and has supported federal funding for fuel cell research, applauded the announcement. "Neah Power's fuel cell milestone is phenomenal news and an incredible achievement," said Inslee. "The long-lasting energy provided by these fuel cells offers great benefits for national security and improving the safety of our troops. Neah Power continues to advance the cutting edge of fuel cell technology in a way that will create high-paying jobs in the Puget Sound region. I look forward to continuing to stay informed and educate my colleagues about Neah Power's pioneering discoveries."
Neah Power's fuel cell systems have the potential to be small, lightweight, and durable, characteristics that are ideal for portable and remote military applications. The military uses large quantities of portable batteries today, mostly in the form of the BA-5590 model that powers communications gear and other portable applications. According to a recent Smith Barney research report, the U.S. Marines used approximately 3,000 batteries per day during the first two weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom, implying a usage rate of over 4 million units per year for the military overall. In addition, the BA-5590 battery currently used by the military is heavy, weighing almost 2.5 lbs each. Fully developed, Neah Power's fuel cell technology potentially can decrease the weight soldiers have to carry related to portable power by up to 65 percent over a 72-hour mission, which can enhance fighting effectiveness.
"Improving portable power capabilities on the battlefield is one of the top priorities for the military," said Peter Schwartz, a Neah Power Systems Board member and the founder of Global Business Network (GBN), a company providing scenario planning for the U.S. military. "Soldier electronic systems are getting more advanced, not less. Taken together, all of these sophisticated devices require more power and energy to function at their full potential."
Neah Power Systems is a micro fuel cell development company using a patented, silicon-based design to provide long-lasting, efficient, and safe power solutions for portable electronic devices, including notebook PCs and other power-hungry computer, entertainment, and communications products. As an emerging leader in fuel cell technology and design, Neah Power Systems believes that its products will allow users to extend the operating time of their devices multiple times beyond that of conventional batteries. Key investors include Alta Partners, Frazier Technology Ventures, Castile Ventures, WestAM and Intel Capital. Neah Power Systems is headquartered just outside of Seattle in Bothell, Wash.
Further company information can be found at www.neahpower.com or by calling (425) 424-3324.
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