CES 2016: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drones Land At CES Show Floor

Posted: Dec 16 2015, 12:14am CST | by , in News | CES


CES 2016: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drones Land at CES Show Floor
  • A Prototype of fuel cell powered range extender for drone to be unveiled at CES 2016

Energy tech company Intelligent Energy has developed a prototype of Hydrogen Fuel Cells to extend Drone Flight Time.

Drones will be a big highlight of CES 2016. Intelligent Energy has developed a prototype of a hydrogen fuel cell powered range extender. The range extender is specially designed for use in drones. The range extender in drones will offer longer flight time and fast re-fuel capabilities. The former two are the biggest challenges for manufacturers of battery-powered drones currently.

The prototype of the range extender will be unveiled by Intelligent Energy at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. According to Intelligent Energy they have received positive response from prospective customers. 

Drones are an exciting new technology but their value is limited due to battery life. For drones to be used commercially they need better flight times and battery ranges. The demand for drones has been increasing rapidly. The market is held back by the short range and long recharging times associated with batteries. Intelligent Energy has come up with a solution to the problems.

Intelligent Energy has combined ultra-lightweight fuel cell stack with a battery in their extenders. The drone extenders can now offer up to several hours of drone flight time. The extenders can also incredibly reduce the downtime required for recharging between flights. Drones can be charged within 2 hours with the extenders. Conventional drones on the other hand currently require up to 2 hours for recharging. 

Julian Hughes is the Group Business Development Director at Intelligent Energy. Hughes is also the Acting Managing Director for Intelligent Energy. According to Hughes the longer flight time can open a wide range of new commercial possibilities. The drones can now be used for search and rescue along with HQ aerial photography. Drones can also be used for precision agriculture and parcel delivery. 

“Drones are one of the most exciting new technologies. Even with advanced batteries their value is limited. For commercial use, they need to offer better flight times and range,” said Julian Hughes, Group Business Development Director and Acting Managing Director for Intelligent Energy’s Consumer Electronics Division.

“That will all become possible with the release of our range extender platform. A longer flight time coupled with a quick re-fuel opens a wide range of new commercial possibilities for businesses such as drones for inspection of offshore platforms, search and rescue, high quality aerial photography, precision agriculture and parcel delivery and more. Given we also have the ability to tailor solutions to customer requirements, this could completely revolutionize the potential of drone technology.”

World's largest electronics show, CES 2016, will run through January 6-9 in Las Vegas. Read the latest CES 2016 News.

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