Technology company Intelligent Energy has announced a “distance extender” for drones that uses hydrogen as a fuel. The fuel cell range extender gives drones the ability to fly long and take off quickly after an exhausting flying session.
The company thinks it can solve two important shortcomings of drones, namely flight range and speed of battery charging. By combining the fuel cell with a battery, according to Intelligent Energy, you can fly for up to several hours. Loading is also accelerated; changing a fuel cell can be done in a few minutes.
Intelligent Energy collaborated with Boeing Phantom Works, among others, during the development of the first fuel cell powered aircraft, the Phantom Eye. It also produced an auxiliary fuel device based on fuel cells with Airbus. Over the past fourteen months, the company itself tested several drone configurations, including a hybrid system and a hydrogen fuel cell-only system.
From the researches, the hybrid version has now initially emerged as a usable device. The company will show the range extender at CES in Las Vegas in January.