A micro fuel cell (MFC) is an electrochemical device that converts the chemical energy of fuel, such as hydrogen or methanol or some patented fuel, into electrical energy. Unlike batteries, which require recharging, fuel cells can continuously produce electricity as long as there is a constant fuel supply. Though no universally accepted definition exists for micro fuel cells, the term typically describes small fuel-cell systems that provide less than 50 watts of power.
Fuel cells have unique technological attributes: efficiency, absence of moving parts, and low emissions. However, compelling technology alone does not provide a viable business model. Market demand for portable, power-hungry devices and the corresponding need to power them are critical market drivers for micro fuel cells, whereas stationary and transportation applications for fuel cells rely more heavily on environmental and regulatory drivers. Within the fuel cell industry, many analysts believe that micro fuel cells will be the first fuel cell systems to achieve widespread acceptance in consumer markets, despite the fact that stationary and transportation fuel cell systems are further along in technological development.
To date, small scale power supplies have been the missing link in the information revolution the obstacle to the ubiquitous computing environments and smart machines heralded as the next big wave of silicon intelligence.
Within the decade, however, all this will change. As the micro-device market grows, coming innovations will redefine the personal use of power. The individual will now be free from the household and workplace power grids, relying when desired, on personal (and personalized) mobile power systems. Connectivity, communication, and knowledge management will be forever changed.
Small-scale power systems will enhance innumerable new, as well as existing, wireless devices. Uses will run the gamut from augmenting cell phones and laptop computers to powering communicating cameras as well as new applications.
This study focuses on key micro fuel cell products and provides data about the size and growth of the micro fuel cell market for handheld electronic consumer products segment, with company profiles and industry trends. The report also includes a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the market in North America, Europe, Japan, China, India, Korea and the rest of the world (ROW) for micro fuel cells and potential business opportunities in the future.
The objectives include thorough coverage of the underlying economic issues driving the micro fuel cell business, as well as assessments of new advanced micro fuel cells that companies are developing. Also covered are legislative pressures for greater safety and environmental protection, as well as users expectations for economical micro fuel cells. Another important objective is to provide realistic market data and forecasts for micro fuel cells. This report provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in micro fuel cells in the world. This, in turn, contributes to the determination of strategic responses that companies may adopt in order to compete in this dynamic market.
SCOPE AND FORMAT
The market data contained in this report quantifiy opportunities for micro fuel cells for handheld electronic consumer products. In addition to product types, it also covers many issues concerning the merits and future prospects of micro fuel cells, including corporate strategies, information technologies, and the means for providing these highly advanced products and service offerings. It also covers in detail the economic and technological issues regarded by many as critical to the industrys current state of development. The report provides a review of the micro fuel cells industry and its structure, and the companies involved in providing these products. The competitive positions of the main players in the micro fuel cell market and the strategic options they face are also discussed, as well as such competitive factors as marketing, distribution and operations.
WHOM THE STUDY IS ADDRESSED TO
Audiences for this study include marketing executives, business unit managers and other decision-makers in the micro fuel cell industry as well as in companies peripheral to this business. The study would benefit existing manufacturers of handheld electronic consumer products who seek to expand revenues and market opportunities thru incorporating new technology such as micro fuel cells, which are positioned to become a preferred solution for many energy storage and power delivery applications. This study also will benefit manufacturers of micro fuel cells as well as manufacturers of components of micro fuel cells who deal with new types of micro fuel cells for power-hungry electronic products, such as wireless communication devices, and consumer electronics like portable DVDs, video cams, digital still cameras, power tools, radio controlled toys, handheld PDAs, portable audio devices, 2-way radio hand sets, note books and cellular devices.