A new deal struck between UK-based power tech firm Intelligent Energy and an undisclosed drone manufacturer will see the development of new hydrogen-based fuel cells. This new technology could potentially increase the drone range (flight time) of these commercial airborne gadgets immeasurably.
The firm recently showed off its ultra lightweight hydrogen fuel cells at CES in Las Vegas earlier in the month and its hoping this new deal with drastically improve over flight performance in the commercial market. It also significantly reduce a drone’s downtime as refueling would take minutes to complete.
“Our embedded fuel cell technology was well received at CES and we have had huge levels of interest from manufacturers so we are, of course, absolutely delighted to be signing our first letter of intent on the back of the show,” says Julian Hughes, acting managing director for Intelligent Energy’s Consumer Electronics Division. “Major shortcomings to drone development are range and flight time. Using fuel cells to power a drone can markedly increase the flight time. A longer flight time and, therefore, increased range means drones become much more viable for commercial use. We see the signing of this LOI as a very important step to the commercialisation of fuel cells in drones.”
The partnership has yet to produce a working production model yet, so it’s hard to tell if these hydrogen cells will have the effect promised, but the new technology certainly looks promising so this is certainly one to watch.
Via: Intelligent Energy