MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. ("MTI Micro"), the developer of Mobion off-the-grid portable power solutions and a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology, Incorporated ("MTI") , has announced that it has achieved 2,700 hours of continuous operation with a Mobion laboratory cell - the building block of the Company's Mobion chip and systems. In comparison, a typical cell phone plan in the U.S., marketed to moderate to heavy users, includes 3,000 minutes per month which, over the life of a typical 2 year contract, translates to only 1,200 hours of use.
In an industry report published by the Journal of Power Sources, tests conducted on direct methanol micro fuel cells show degradation of up to 35% after only 360 hours of operation. In addition to the 2,700 hours of continuous run-time, our Mobion test, which is still ongoing, successfully demonstrated a significant achievement by showing power degradation of less than 15% - which we believe is a breakthrough for the micro fuel cell industry.
"Our test results are a clear indication of the technical progress we have made on performance metrics including life, degradation, temperature, and humidity levels which are required to bring products to market in the consumer electronics industry. To our knowledge, there are no other published results that match ours," said Jim Prueitt, Vice President of Engineering and Operations at MTI Micro. "With these results, we believe we continue to be a leader in the micro fuel cell industry as we work toward the commercialization of our Mobion power sources."
According to Frost and Sullivan, the average power degradation in a lithium ion battery can be approximately 50% of their charging capacity after two years. As most cell phone users notice after a short time of ownership, the battery in their phone does not hold a charge like it did when it was new. They must recharge their phones more and more often and be more conscious of saving power.
"In less than a year, we have been chosen by three consumer electronic OEMs who are striving to meet the needs of consumers who want a longer lasting and more reliable power source," said Peng Lim, Chairman and CEO of MTI. "We believe these results show our technological leadership and our future ability to help OEMs meet those needs with our Mobion technology."
With these latest test results, MTI Micro is also in line with targets set by the Department of Energy in a recent funding opportunity announcement which required fuel cells under 50 Watts to have a life test of at least 2000 hours.
MTI Micro's strategy is to provide Mobion portable power products for use in the multi-billion dollar consumer electronics industry for applications including cell phones, digital cameras, PDAs, MP3 players and other handheld electronic devices. The Company's Mobion, 100% methanol feed, passive DMFC technology has been demonstrated in fully-functional prototypes and concept models in three primary product directions: external cord-free rechargeable power packs, attached fuel cell power sources and embedded micro fuel cell designs.