Ballard Power Systems Develops Fuel Cell & Charging Technologies for Unmanned Systems

By Mike Ball / 19 Dec 2016

Ballard Power Systems, a global provider of clean energy solutions and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technologies, has partnered with Unmanned Systems Technology (“UST”) to demonstrate their expertise in this field. The ‘Silver’ profile showcases how their fuel cell propulsion systems and portable battery charging technology can be used in a variety of unmanned vehicle applications in military, commercial and consumer markets.

Fuel Cell Propulsion System for UAVBallard’s subsidiary Protonex develops fuel cell propulsion systems that provide a powerful alternative to small internal combustion engines for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), offering improved reliability as well as very low heat and noise signatures. Protonex fuel cell systems are also ideal for deployment in ground- and marine-based unmanned vehicles in a wide range of surveying and monitoring applications, and are designated as EAR99 (Export Administration Regulations 99) compliant.

Advanced Battery ChargerThe Advanced Battery Charger (ABC) is a small, lightweight and rapid off-the-shelf recharging solution that senses the input power available and automatically adjusts charge rates. Four universal power bays permit versatile charging of a wide variety of military and commercial batteries, and four USB power ports are provided for charging cameras, phones, and other small devices.

Drone Charging UnitThe SPM-622 (Squad Power Manager) is a lightweight, compact, and rugged intelligent power management solution designed to withstand the harsh environments of military field use, directly powering virtually any man-packable military equipment. Six universal power ports permit simultaneous powering of devices and charging of up to five batteries. Two of these ports can power equipment at independently configurable 3–34 VDC, and a further three can power additional devices at nominal battery voltage.

Military Power Management SystemThe VPM-402 (Vest Power Manager) is a man-worn, lightweight, rugged power system that reduces the variety and number of batteries carried by warfighters during dismounted missions. It manages and utilizes any power source for commonly used military devices and recharges a wide range of military and commercial batteries. Four universal power ports permit simultaneous powering of devices and charging of up to two batteries. One of these ports can power equipment at independently configurable 3–34 VDC, and a further two can power additional devices at nominal battery voltage or at 5VDC (USB).

Find suppliers of Fuels Cells for unmanned applications >

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact