Fuel Cell Powered Drones

Extended flight times

The use of commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones is growing rapidly. Seven million drones are expected to be sold in the United States alone in 2020 according to the Federal Aviation Administraion.

Flight time has not kept pace with technological advances due to the limitations of traditional battery technology. For commercial use, drones need to offer better flight times and range. A longer flight time coupled with a quick refuel opens up a wide range of new commercial possibilities, including UAVs for inspection of offshore platforms, search and rescue, high quality aerial photography, precision agriculture, parcel delivery and much more.

Building upon Intelligent Energy’s long track record in developing highly innovative fuel cell systems that have been extensively field tested in automotive and stationary power applications worldwide, we now provide a unique solution to extend flight times to drones presently constrained by the limitations of batteries. Flight durations of over three times that provided by batteries have been achieved and fuel cells provide a natural solution for manufacturers moving to larger drones and heavier payloads.

Intelligent Energy’s air cooled fuel cell systems run on hydrogen and ambient air to produce clean DC power in a simple, cost-effective, robust and lightweight package. They have a higher energy to mass ratio than battery based systems and can be refuelled in a few minutes.