Hybrid computers

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According to a story published today in BBC Technology News, IBM and Sanyo are already developing the first hybrid version of a laptop with the aim of commercializing the new system in the next two years.

The hybrid power system is based on the combination of a traditional battery with a methane fuel cell and will be compatible with laptops type Thinkpad currently marketed by IBM.

The new hybrid computer will run for eight hours without having to recharge, although the system has a disadvantage compared to conventional laptops: its weight. While the latest laptop versions are lighter than ever, the hybrid power pack that will power the computer system is quite heavy and will increase the thickness of a thinkpad by 30 to 50 percent.

The methane fuel cell uses a mixture of methane and oxygen to generate power. To recharge it, simply insert a new methane cartridge.

Ensuring that there is a wide offer of this type of methane cartridge on the market is a prerequisite for making the new hybrid computer system commercially viable.

Energy and fuel cells

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