Intelligent Energy to Demo Drone Fuel Cell Power Modules in Japan

Published: 15 Jul 2019

Intelligent Energy 2.4kw fuel cell power module

Intelligent Energy, a developer of lightweight fuel cell power modules for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has announced that it will be showcasing its product range and conducting a demonstration flight at an event being organised this week by one of its Japanese customers, Robodex.

Robodex is hosting the event for potential Japanese customers and its Japanese partners to demonstrate the capabilities of other power solutions available for drones. Robodex and Intelligent Energy will be conducting a demonstration flight at the event to showcase Intelligent Energy’s 800W Fuel Cell Power Module (FCPM), integrated on a DJI M600PRO. In addition, it will display its latest 2.4kW fuel cell power module for the first time in Japan.

Intelligent Energy has, in the last 18 months, launched four products specifically designed for commercial UAVs. These products provide a solution to the constraints of battery power and offer minimum downtime and fast refuel, making them a compelling option for the commercial UAV market.

Recently, Intelligent Energy’s 800W Fuel Cell Power Module was used to achieve a new world record for the longest multi rotor flight time, conducted by South Korean company MetaVista. The multi-rotor UAV flew for 12 hours, 7 minutes and 5 seconds using liquid hydrogen to fuel the module. This record greatly exceeds the previous one held for 2 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds, demonstrating just what can be achieved.

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

“Initially, we will be offering the 2.4kW FCPM to select customers, of which Robodex is one. 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 M600PRO frame with a 9 litre 300Bar hydrogen cylinder, a retrospectively fitted 2.4kW FCPM could achieve a flight time of over 80 minutes with a 3kg payload to just 20 minutes with its battery power pack.”

Two 2.4kW modules can also be linked in series to provide up to 4.8kW of power without the need for additional hardware. The module provides the continuous power to the UAV and is hybridised 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 optimised further still on a customised frame.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions 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.

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