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Hydrogen quadcopter

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by lotusteve, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. lotusteve

    Sep 11, 2015
    Likes Received:
    sheffield uk
    Flying drones are improving all the time as they make their big mainstream splash, but one crucial part of the experience - flight time - hasn't seen the same kind of improvement. Thirty minutes of battery life is considered strong, but that's pretty limiting.

    But there's hope on the horizon. British company Intelligent Energy revealed this week that it has designed a hydrogen fuel cell made specifically for drones - and it can last for potentially several hours, providing a means for extended flights. And recharging a fuel cell can take as little as two minutes when tapped out.

    Intelligent Energy says the hydrogen fuel cell range extender is meant primarily for commercial purposes - like search and rescue, aerial photography, and package delivery means. That's probably due to cost as much as need. But hopefully the technology would become cheap and effective enough over time to reach consumers.
    The company tested its fuel cells on various existing drone models over the past 14 months, with both a full hydrogen cell model and one with a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell. And now they're ready to showcase the latter technology, although the full-fledged hydrogen cell remains under wraps.

    Intelligent Energy will spotlight the hybrid cell next month at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, amidst a larger demonstration of how fuel cells could ultimately power smartphones, tablets, and other consumer goods over time. Given the potentially huge value to the future of drone technology, that's one debut we'll be keeping a close eye on come January.
  2. Brutaly

    Sep 11, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I saw this earlier this week and i wouldn't hold my breath, as a consumer. I hope i am wrong but i wouldn't be the least surprised if the price tag is >30000 euros.

    There are other companies that has revealed this before, with flight times up to 4 hours (allegedly) and a french company just the other weak released a clip with a gas/electric hybrid (hybrix) with 3 hours of flight time. The issues is that the cheapest version of Hybrix will be approx >25000 euros and from the fuel cell company i cant even get an estimate.According to Hybrix manufacturer they will release in 1-2 months.

    I actually contacted the two of them on behalf of my employer since we use UAS to inspect our electric/power grid and this might be a way to get more uptime.


    And the power isnt that impressive to be honest.

    HES best stack produces 1kw with a weight of 2250 grams. Just check in ecalc and you realize that almost everything in that quad will have to be space age technology.

    Tbh most of the pages the fuel cell company had published seems to have been removed just the last 2 months.

    I think the way forward for us consumers is to go towards gas/electric hybrids. Tbh it wouldnt take to much engineering to get a quad air-born with 2 hours endurance and a cruising speed of 40km/h. I think it can be done for under 1500 euros for the drive line, excluding flight controller, frame and motors. Lets say 2500 euros for a complete quad. The issue is that no one looks for this kind of endurance and are willing to have the noise of a 2-stroke engine at 6000 rpm in the background.
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