Unmanned Systems News

Whitepaper: Hydrogen Safety & Handling for Fuel Cell-Powered UAS

Published: 19 Nov 2019

Ballard drone hydrogen safety whitepaperBallard Power Systems, a leading developer of innovative clean energy solutions and hydrogen fuel cells for drones, has released a whitepaper outlining hydrogen safety standards and efforts currently underway that can be applied to fuel cell-powered drone use. The whitepaper also explores safety and hazard analysis and mitigation methodologies, and aims to correct the misconceptions that exist around the handling and safety characteristics of hydrogen.

Download the full whitepaper from Ballard’s website

The whitepaper gives details of:

  • Drone PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell) power system components
  • Hydrogen refueling system components
  • The four-stage systematic safety planning approach adopted by the PEMFC community, including details of relevant automotive fuel cell reference standards, a proposed new UAS-specific standard, and sample results from an internal safety review
  • An example safety plan for field operations conducted by Ballard using a prototype hex-rotor VTOL UAS platform

Hydrogen fuel cell power systems are being developed, evaluated, and integrated into UAS, and are a critical enabler for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operation of Group 1 and 2 UAS platforms (< 55 lb), as they offer a 2-3x increase in flight time over state of the art batteries.

To find out more about developing detailed safety planning approaches for hydrogen fuel cell-powered UAVs, download the full whitepaper from Ballard’s website.

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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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