Mp3 player on alcohol

A methanol-powered MP3 player will play considerably longer than a battery-powered one. PhD student Bas Flipsen figured out the optimal design.

“A methanol fuel cell is typically twice as big, twice as expensive and twice as light as a standard lithium-ion battery,” says Bas Flipsen (MSc), who is currently putting the finishing touches on his PhD thesis cover at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. He did not make a working prototype of an alcohol-powered MP3 player, however, as he thought it would be little too challenging now that he knew exactly what the thing would look like.The largest components are the fuel tank, the fuel pump and the battery needed to buffer the power. Fuel cells like the DMFC (Direct Methanol Fuel Cell) provide little power over longer periods of time, so a (smaller) battery is needed to supply the peak power. The fuel cell will recharge the battery. The fuel cell itself occupies only 6 percent of the available space, but it’s the most expensive component (typical costing hundreds of euros).

The alcohol-powered MP3 player is merely an exercise for Flipsen. He first built up a database with the available components, and then classified all possible power sources according to their power per weight and per volume. A computer algorithm he developed chooses the most optimal parts from the set and packs the components in the smallest possible volume.Flipsen’s numerical approach is rather unique at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, he noticed. As an aeronautical engineer (MSc in 1997), he thought of designing as calculating and optimising volume and weight. During his second Master’s degree in Advanced Industrial Design Engineering, he discovered that industrial designers mainly valued aesthetics and consumer wants. Still, aesthetics and calculation are not mutually exclusive. “Computer-optimised packaging supports designers in making aesthetic choices,” Flipsen concludes.

S.J.F. Flipsen, ‘Metrics based study on the feasibility of Direct Methanol Fuel cell systems employed in portable electronic during the conceptual design phase’, 14 December 2010, PhD supervisors Prof. Han Brezet and Prof. Christos Spitas.

Een nieuwe datum durfde hij niet te noemen, wel zei Plasterk tegen het ANP dat “studenten niet de dupe mogen worden van technische problemen bij de vervoerder.”

De studentenorganisaties zeiden gisteren de chaos rond de ov studenten-chipkaart meer dan zat te zijn, en ook staatssecretaris Huizinga liet de Tweede Kamer weten bezorgd te zijn over de technische problemen. Ze had gisterenmiddag een gesprek met de top van Trans Links Systems (TLS), de organisatie achter de ov-chipkaart.

Begin deze week hadden 400 van de 650 duizend studenten hun kaart nog niet geactiveerd. Bij de oplaadpunten stonden vaak lange rijen en veel apparaten bleken niet of gebrekkig werken.