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Report Examines the Micro Fuel Cell Market

Research and Markets has announced the addition of "World Micro Fuel Cell Market for Portable Devices" to their offering.

This Frost & Sullivan research service titled World Micro Fuel Cell Market for Portable Devices provides an overview of the market for fuel cells developed specifically for portable devices, along with a complete analysis of key market drivers, restraints, and trends that are impacting investment in this area. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following devices: consumer electronic devices, industrial portable devices, and military man-portable equipment.

The increasing sophistication of portable devices has placed tremendous pressure on power sources to cater to their power output requirements. Since conventional batteries have pulled up short, there is huge demand for innovative power sources such as methanol fuel cells (MFCs) that are robust, easy to use, and affordable, offering extended run times. Fuel cells create but do not store energy the way conventional batteries do, thereby producing only negligible or no harmful emissions, and by-products such as water vapor and trace carbon dioxide. Fuel cells also pack in higher power densities, which make them better suited for power-hungry portable devices. Currently, fuel cell designs are in the prototype stage and act as external power sources for the device. Developers have to ensure that these fuel cells are compact enough for the battery compartments of existing portable devices, produce adequate power, and are lightweight and of flexible design for multiple devices.

However, certain types of MFCs are facing a stiff fight from hydrogen-based formats, which are likely to offer higher power output. Some competing MFC designs include direct methanol, methanol reformat polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, hydrogen, and solutions including a sodium borohydride mix with other stabilizing and energy-containing additives. "Numerous designs are being tested, and competitors are focusing on different aspects such as the types of fuel or design of cartridge," says the analyst of this research service. "However, the common objective is to secure a viable niche market from the conventional rechargeable battery market."

Military Markets Throw up Opportunities for Further Fuel Cell Development

Fuel cells are dealing with many challenges typical to an emerging technology. Early fuel cell customers will help mold and evolve the technology to a level where it can be launched in the more lucrative mainstream market. "The progression between the early adopter stage and commercial market is oftentimes challenging for emerging technologies such as fuel cells," notes the analyst. "However, the military market provides tremendous support for emerging technology development that can create a shorter early adopter stage as compared to the commercial product marketplace." Power sources for military portable equipment should be able to withstand mechanical abuse, since they will be used for long periods and in extreme weather such as dry desert heat as well as cold sub-terrain and humid conditions. They should also be able to withstand shocks, since most of the equipment on field can be operated under water and are often air dropped.

Fuel cells score over conventional batteries in the military space by offering longer runtime and rapid re-refueling options. "The National Academies' National Research Council has recommended the U.S. Army to test micropower sources for portable electronic devices, since batteries used to power sensors, computers, and communication devices are heavy and encumber the infantry," observes the analyst. "Micro fuel cells are being considered for this purpose due to its benefits of extended runtimes, light weight, and rapid recharge."

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:

By Portable Device Type:

  • Consumer electronic devices
  • Industrial portable devices
  • Military man-portable equipment
  • Total World Micro Fuel Cell Market
  • Micro Fuel Cell Market

Micro Fuel Cell Market for Portable Devices

Decision Support Database (DSD)

  • Supporting Data - DSD Tables
  • Nominal GDP
  • GDP Per Capita
  • Personal Disposable Income
  • Per Capita Personal Disposable Income
  • Number of Teleworkers
  • Mobile Subscribers
  • Portable PC Installed Base

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