Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Drones from Intelligent Energy
The Roswell Test Flight Crew met with several companies while attending Interdrone in Las Vegas last week. In this episode, Patrick Sherman of the Roswell Flight Test Crew hears from Julian Hughes, the senior vice president for Intelligent Energy. He describes how the company has developed a small, lightweight hydrogen fuel cell that can be mounted in place of a conventional lithium-polymer battery on board a drone to radically extend its flight time. Fuel cells are three times more energy-dense than a conventional drone battery. In the example of a DJI Matrice 100, on display at the Intelligent Energy booth at InterDrone, flight time increases from 20 minutes to 90 minutes. Also, time to re-charge is also dramatically reduced. Once the hydrogen gas on board the drone is exhausted, the pressure cylinder can be re-filled in as little as two minutes, or replaced with an another, full cylinder. Hydrogen gas is widely available from industrial gas suppliers.