Fuel cell technology is evolving at a rapid speed, it seems. In March, for example, Toshiba revealed plans to mass-produce portable fuel cells charging notebooks and phones. Now NGK Insulators, a company based in Nagoya, Japan, announced [JP] that it has developed the world's most energy-efficient solid oxide fuel cell.
Fuel cells of this kind usually max out at energy efficiency rates of 55-60%, but NGK's product is offering 63%. It's able to continuously generate 700 watts at 800°C.
The new fuel cell is currently just a prototype, but NGK expects a commercial version by 2012 or 2013. The company says it will first target businesses, for example malls or convenience stores, possibly followed by a version for homes.