The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) recently developed a surprisingly attractive solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC). The sugar cube-sized SOFC, which is made up of 25 needle-like modules measuring 0.8 mm, packs a serious punch due to a high ratio of electrode area to volume. And since small size means a small heat capacity, the module also has a low operating temperature.
While other SOFC’s operate between 700 and 1,000° C, AIST’s module works at only 500° C. The fuel cell’s low absolute value of thermal expansion also means a quick start-up time of five minutes or less.
The new SOFC will likely be used by automotive CPUs, but could one day provide power to fuel cell vehicles. AIST’s mini-fuel cell is currently on display at the 2009 International Nanotechnology Exhibition and Conference in Tokyo, Japan.
Photo Credit: TechOn!
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