Polar Technology and Intelligent Energy combine tech to deliver endurance system for UAVs

Polar Technology and Intelligent Energy combine tech to deliver endurance system for UAVs

  • New system significantly increases UAV range
  • Innovative hydrogen cylinder carries 25% more fuel, with no increase in weight
  • System to be debuted at Farnborough Airshow could have applications across numerous industries 

Loughborough – 4 July 24 – Attendees at this summer’s Farnborough Airshow will be given a glimpse into the future of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a result of an innovative partnership between Polar Technology and Intelligent Energy. 

Polar Technology, an engineering business leading the way in the development of composite and metallic technologies to support the hydrogen economy, is debuting an innovative, high-performance hydrogen storage solution at the airshow. 

The new cylinder achieves class-leading 7.5% weight efficiency and has a water volume of 14.4l, whilst operating at 350bar pressure. This is the result of a super-thin-wall liner, which pushes the boundaries of what is achievable with Type 3 technology. The new cylinder holds 25% more fuel without an increase in weight, with dramatic implications for UAVrange and performance.

To demonstrate the impact the new cylinder can have, Polar Technology has teamed up with leading hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer Intelligent Energy. 

Combined with Intelligent Energy’s hydrogen fuel cell, the new cylinder will allow UAVs to triple their range. Not only that, hydrogen fuel cells emit noCO2 compared to IC engine alternatives and generate less vibrations and noise, meaning UAVs with the new system are cleaner and longer lasting than the alternatives.

These fuel cell powered UAVs have applications across numerous industries from energy, they are used for surveying power lines and offshore wind infrastructure, to logistics and delivery services. The increased range and flight time of the Polar Technologies and Intelligent Energy system could replace boats, helicopters and other vehicles that are far more expensive and carbon intensive. 

During the manufacture of the new cylinder, Polar Technology validated the cylinder design through Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The findings that followed this analysis are now being fed back into Polar Technologies broader processes to ensure there is correlation between the theory, FEA, and physical testing.

Commenting, Daniel Chilcott, Business Development Director at Polar Technology, said: 

“We have been working very closely with Intelligent Energy over the past 18 months. Intelligent Energy’s leading-edge fuel cell solution for the UAV market combined with our class leading lightweight cylinders takes the end user experience to another level. 

“Users can begin operating UAVs in whole new ways, opening up new markets and applications. I’m excited to see continued progress which will be boosted further as the legislation for visual line of sight (BVLOS) relaxes in the near future.”

Commenting, Andy Kelly, Head of Product at Intelligent Energy said:

“The combination of our fuel cell technology and Polar Technologies’ light-weight cylinder further distinguishes fuel cells as a power system of choice in the UAV market. Compared to alternative technologies this system is cleaner, longer-lasting and with a dramatically increased range that makes new applications possible . 



About Intelligent Energy Limited

Intelligent Energy is a leader in the development and manufacture of cutting-edge hydrogen fuel cells that overcome the limitations of conventional battery-powered systems.

The privately-owned company, which has 600 patents in place, has been innovating for more than two decades in the automotive, aerospace, power generation, telecoms, materials handling and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sectors.

With its activities spanning key markets in the UK, US, China, South Korea, and Japan, Intelligent Energy has a truly global reach.