MTI Micro Demonstrates Industry Breakthrough in Fuel Cell Life Test


MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. (“MTI Micro”), the developer of Mobion(R) off-the-grid portable power solutions and a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology, Incorporated (“MTI”) (NASDAQ: MKTY), today announced that it has achieved 2,700 hours of continuous operation with a Mobion(R) laboratory cell – the building block of the Company’s Mobion(R) chip and systems. In comparison, a typical cell phone plan in the U.S., marketed to moderate to heavy users, includes 3,000 minutes per month which, over the life of a typical 2 year contract, translates to only 1,200 hours of use.

In an industry report published by the Journal of Power Sources, tests conducted on direct methanol micro fuel cells show degradation of up to 35% after only 360 hours of operation. In addition to the 2,700 hours of continuous run-time, our Mobion(R) test, which is still ongoing, successfully demonstrated a significant achievement by showing power degradation of less than 15% – which we believe is a breakthrough for the micro fuel cell industry.

“Our test results are a clear indication of the technical progress we have made on performance metrics including life, degradation, temperature, and humidity levels which are required to bring products to market in the consumer electronics industry. To our knowledge, there are no other published results that match ours,” said Jim Prueitt, Vice President of Engineering and Operations at MTI Micro. “With these results, we believe we continue to be a leader in the micro fuel cell industry as we work toward the commercialization of our Mobion(R) power sources.”

According to Frost and Sullivan, the average power degradation in a lithium ion battery can be approximately 50% of their charging capacity after two years. As most cell phone users notice after a short time of ownership, the battery in their phone does not hold a charge like it did when it was new. They must recharge their phones more and more often and be more conscious of saving power.

“In less than a year, we have been chosen by three consumer electronic OEMs who are striving to meet the needs of consumers who want a longer lasting and more reliable power source,” said Peng Lim, Chairman and CEO of MTI. “We believe these results show our technological leadership and our future ability to help OEMs meet those needs with our Mobion(R) technology.”

With these latest test results, MTI Micro is also in line with targets set by the Department of Energy in a recent funding opportunity announcement which required fuel cells under 50 Watts to have a life test of at least 2000 hours.

MTI Micro’s strategy is to provide Mobion(R) portable power products for use in the multi-billion dollar consumer electronics industry for applications including cell phones, digital cameras, PDAs, MP3 players and other handheld electronic devices. The Company’s Mobion(R), 100% methanol feed, passive DMFC technology has been demonstrated in fully-functional prototypes and concept models in three primary product directions: external cord-free rechargeable power packs, attached fuel cell power sources and embedded micro fuel cell designs.

About MTI MicroFuel Cells

MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. (“MTI Micro”), a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology, Incorporated (NASDAQ: MKTY), is the developer of Mobion(R) off-the-grid portable power solutions. MTI Micro has a team of entrepreneurial business executives, researchers and scientists; a proprietary direct methanol micro fuel cell power system and a number of system prototypes demonstrating size reductions and performance improvements; and related intellectual property. MTI Micro has received government funding and developed strategic partnerships to facilitate efforts to achieve commercialization. More information is available at

Statements in this press release which are not historical fact including statements regarding management’s intentions, hopes, goals, beliefs, expectations, projections, plans, anticipation, outlook or predictions of the future are forward looking statements. Such statements include, among others, MTI Micro’s future business prospects, technology and performance; the market potential for MTI Micro’s Mobion(R) fuel cell systems and the progress it is making in developing and commercializing those systems for consumer applications; future funding commitments from the DOE; and, the importance of and benefits from any laboratory testing. All forward-looking statements are made as of today, and MTI Micro and MTI disclaim any duty to update such statements. It is important to note that MTI Micro’s and MTI’s actual results could differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the anticipated results not to occur include, among others, risks related to financing; uncertainties in development, manufacturing and competition; and the risk factors listed from time to time in MTI’s SEC reports including but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Source: Mechanical Technology, Incorporated

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