My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Intelligent Energy’s Drone Hydrogen Fuel Cell will make 2 Hour flights a reality

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why Intelligent Energy’s Drone Hydrogen Fuel Cell will make 2 Hour flights a reality

“Drones are one of the most exciting new technologies. [But] even with advanced batteries their value is limited. For commercial use, they need to offer better flight times and range. That will all become possible with the release of our range extender platform. A longer flight time coupled with quick re-fuel opens a wide range of new commercial possibilities for businesses”

Head of Intelligent Energy's Consumer Electronics Division, Julian Hughes, commenting on the developement of a Fuel Cell for Drones

Intelligent Energy, the British company that loves Hydrogen fuel cells, is showing some love for Drones as well.

They've developed a Hydrogen fuel Cell for small drones as reported in the article “Hydrogen fuel cells promise to keep drones flying for hours”, published December 15, 2015 By Ben Popper, The Verge.

Intelligent Energy has been testing their PEM Fuel cell technology for the past fourteen (14) months using modified DJI Drones.

Good to note that Intelligent Energy is the same company that developed a hydrogen fuel cell that could potentially be used in an Apple iPhone to give it days of battery life as reported in my blog article entitled “Intelligent Energy Hydrogen Fuel Cell for Apple - How Hydrogen can give Apple products weeks of battery life by 2017”.

So what have they cooked up for drones? And will this be coming out any time soon?

Intelligent Energy’s Drone Hydrogen Fuel Cell – Why Drones getting PEM Fuel Cells before Apple

Intelligent Energy’s testing has involved using two different configurations; one involving fuel cells only and another involving a fuel cell constantly re-charging a conventional Li-Ion battery as noted in “Fuel cell keeps drones in flight for hours, not minutes”, published Martyn Williams, PCWorld

The result has been flight times as long as 2 hours, a significant improvement on the 20 to 40 minutes, typical of most drones. Drones that can stay aloft using their Hydrogen fuel cell tech will soon be sporting these getting smaller and smaller fuel cells, hastening the rapid pace of developement of drones.

This last configuration makes more sense, as Fuel cells by themselves cannot respond to sudden demands in power, such as sudden lift or battling high winds. But it can be built to support an existing Li-Ion Battery system as they can recharge much faster than conventional Li-Ion Batteries as noted in “Fuel Cells Could Let Drones Fly for Several Hours”, published December 15 2015 by Stephanie Mlot, PC News.

So if Intelligent Energy makes this commercially available it could come as a package that you could augment to your existing battery setup your drone.

This is the case in most PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Vehicles, which are really hybrids of Hydrogen Fuel cells as a power source and Li-Ion batteries as noted in my blog article entitled “PEM Fuel Cell Technology gets Japanese Government support - Hydrogen Gas Stations Coming in First World and Developing World Countries”. 

So will Hydrogen fuel cells be coming to make Drones last longer before Apple adds them to their Apple iPhone and Macbook Pros as predicted in my blog article entitled “Apple files patent for Hydrogen Fuel cell – Why Portable Hydrogen Fuel Cells needed to cut the Analog Power Cord”?

This might just be the case, as Apple has no interest in Developing least not yet!

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