Neah Power has announced 2 substantial breakthroughs in the technology used to create a reliable Fuel Cell, over the last 10 years the company has invested over $40m dollars in this research with the help of Intel, Novellus and the Office of Naval Research. As presented to the Military and Industry seminar recently, the Neah product is set to be the benchmark in Fuel Cell technology for many years to come.
Neah Power Systems is developing long-lasting, efficient and safe power solutions for portable electronic devices, including notebook PCs and other power-hungry computer, entertainment, and communications products. Neah Power Systems uses a patented, silicon-based design with higher power densities to enable lighter-weight, smaller form-factors and lower costs.
Patented Silicon-Based Architecture
Neah Power Systems has developed an innovative approach based upon a silicon architecture that is expected to address the traditional challenges associated with micro fuel cells. It all begins with porous silicon, used as the core of the fuel cell engine. This architecture eliminates the need for the polymer membrane used in traditional PEM-based fuel cells. This silicon structure, approximately 400 microns deep, is much thicker than the 10-micron depth of a membrane in a traditional PEM-based cell. This design is expected to enable a much larger reaction surface area, enabling high power in a small form-factor.
Liquid electrolyte flows throughout the porous silicon substrate . This allows for higher levels of exposure of reactants, electrolyte, and catalyst the interaction required for electricity generation.
Taken together, this patented silicon-based architecture is designed to result in higher levels of efficiency and electro-chemical activity, which translate into much higher power densities when compared with traditional PEM-based designs:
Higher power densities enable lighter-weight, smaller form-factors and drive down costs. The practical result is that Neah Power’s fuel cell is expected fit within a notebook PCs internal battery cavity instead of outside the computer.
Water Vapor Captured in Cartridge
Importantly, the Neah Power fuel cell captures water vapor by-products in the fuel cartridge. Other fuel cell designs vent water vapor, which can be messy and have adverse effects on sophisticated electronic gear.
Silicon is Pragmatic and Scalable
By using silicon, Neah Power is taking advantage of decades of process and material expertise from the integrated-circuit (IC) industry. Just as improvements have been made in silicon-based microprocessors, Neah Power’s silicon-based design is pragmatic and scalable—more powerful and longer-lasting fuel cells in smaller sizes are expected to be possible to meet the needs of the next generation of high-powered portable electronic products.
According to the latest market research from marketresearch.com
Worldwide demand for primary and secondary batteries is forecast to grow 3.7 percent annually to $84.3 billion in 2012. Increases will be supported by solid growth in the world economy and industrial production. In addition, rising consumer incomes will support demand for both better performing batteries and battery-using consumer devices. Preventing even faster growth will be declining prices for many types of batteries as raw material prices fall from their high levels in 2007.
China will record the largest gains of any national market, stimulated by healthy economic growth, ongoing industrialization efforts and rising per capita income. Annual demand in the country will climb by more than $6 billion from 2007 to 2012, and China will surpass the US to become the largest battery market in the world. Sales increases are also expected to be strong in Argentina, Indonesia, Iran, India, Poland and South Korea for similar reasons.
The more mature battery markets in the US, Western Europe and Japan will all exhibit modest increases, but these markets will continue to remain critical to battery producers, accounting for more than 40 percent of total demand through 2012. Market gains in these areas will be fueled by largely favorable economic conditions and higher income levels. Renewed growth in motor vehicle production following a period of decline will also contribute to battery sales growth in the US and Western Europe.
Lithium-based rechargeable types to present best growth
Among individual products, lithiumbased rechargeable batteries will post the best growth, supported by the immense popularity of electronic devices such as cell phones and portable digital audio players. In addition, the emergence of lithium-ion powered hybrid vehicles will provide opportunities for these batteries.
Among primary batteries, lithium and alkaline batteries will see the strongest growth benefitting from the increased use of high drain electrical and electronic devices such as digital cameras, which are traditionally powered by primary batteries. Growth will also be supported by the ongoing conversion from basic, lower-cost zinc-carbon and zinc-chloride dry cells to alkaline and lithium types, particularly in developing regions. As a result of this conversion, sales of zinccarbon and zinc-chloride batteries are forecast to decline slightly through 2012.
Lead-acid battery sales will expand as well, but at a much slower pace, primarily due to expected declines in lead prices from extremely high 2007 levels. In addition, moderating global motor vehicle production and motor vehicle use will limit opportunities in the important automotive market.
Industrial applications to see strongest growth
Sales of batteries used in industrial and other applications will outperform other market segments, stimulated by increases in fixed investment spending and total manufacturing output -- particularly in developing regions. In addition, the rising use of better performing batteries, including nickel metal hydride and lithium ion in a number of industrial applications will support increases. Consumer battery demand will also be solid, supported by growing consumer incomes and heightened use of battery-using consumer devices.