New Industry Products

2.4kW Liquid Hydrogen Fuel Cell for Commercial UAVs

April 22, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Intelligent Energy will launch a 2.4kW fuel cell power product for the commercial UAV market at AUVSI Xponential 2019, Chicago (30 April - 2 May).

The company pointed out that in 18 months it has launched four products specifically designed for commercial UAVs. These products offer a solution to the constraints of battery power and enable minimum downtime and fast refueling compared to alternatives technologies such as batteries.

Intelligent Energy, points out that South Korean company MetaVista used its 800W Fuel Cell Power Module, which the company launched just eight months ago, to achieve a new world record for the longest multi-rotor flight time.

Using liquid hydrogen to fuel the module, the multi-rotor UAV flew for 12 hours, 7 minutes and 5 seconds. This record dramatically improves upon the previous one held for 2 hours, 6 minutes 7 seconds.

Two 2.4kW modules can also be connected in parallel to deliver up to 4.8kW of power without needing additional hardware. The module gives continuous power to the UAV. The design is hybridized with a small battery to manage the peak loads. The module can be fitted onto a number of off the shelf frames. However, efficiencies and flight time can be optimized further with a customized frame.

"We have the lightest and most power dense fuel cells available on the market and we continue to design new and innovative products to ensure we are leading the way in fuel cell power for commercial UAVs,"

Lee Juby, Chief Sales Officer at Intelligent Energy, said.

"Initially, we will be offering the 2.4kW to select customers with first deliveries planned for October 2019. The modules will then be made widely available to customers from early 2020. This latest product can achieve much longer flight times, for example on a DJI M600 frame with an 11 litre 350Bar hydrogen cylinder, a retrospectively fitted 2.4kW FCPM could achieve a flight time of over 2 hours compared to just 25 minutes with its battery power pack."

Attendees of AUVSI Xponential can see the full array of Intelligent Energy's Fuel Cell Power Modules at stand #3413 and speak to the company's team of experts. Intelligent Energy's Andy Kelly, Head of UAV Product Development, will present on Tuesday April 30, at 11am, with a talk titled Beyond Batteries: How Fuel Cells Offer a Viable Solution to Current Flight Time Constraints of Traditional Power Sources.