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Abstract

The advent of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), micromachines, microsystems, integrated passive components and low power electronics for various types of functionalities has resulted in a surge of research in the development of power sources of matching configuration to meet the device requirements (Chan et al., 2005; Yen et al., 2003). The increasing demand for a wide variety of commercial, portable, electronic appliances such as cellular phones, laptop computers, personal organizers, digital cameras, portable radios, notebook computers, personal digital assistants, embedded monitors, military devices and specialised devices such as autonomous sensors, clinical and diagnostic test devices, micro-analytical systems, global positioning systems etc., has spurred the development of micro power sources (Lu et al., 2004; Choban et al., 2004). Since energy is stored in a fuel cell as a reservoir of fuel rather than as an integral part of the power source, fuel cells are expected to provide higher total energy for a given size or weight than batteries, calculated as Watt-hours per liter (Wh/1) or Watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) due to the high amount of energy that can be stored in fuels such as hydrogen, sodium borohydride, methanol, ethanol, hydrocarbon. A second advantage of fuel cells is that once the fuel is consumed, it can be replenished instantly and the system continues to provide power. In fact, a fuel cell will continue to supply power indefinitely as long as fuel and air (O2) are supplied. As a result along with the evolution of various electronic devices, the miniature fuel cells have emerged as a possible power source through the endless pursuit of ever-higher levels of performance, density and functionality.

Keywords

Fuel Cell Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Anamaya Publishers, New Delhi, India 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Venugopalan
    • 1
  1. 1.Battery Division, Power Systems GroupISRO Satellite CentreBangaloreIndia

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