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Drones are transforming operations in a number of industries, including infrastructure inspection, agriculture, search and rescue, mining, and more.
Drones are becoming an integral part of renewable energy products. Hydrogen fuel cells can solve many of the shortcomings of batteries, with none of the noise, pollution and reliability issues of internal combustion engines.
A new long-duration fuel cell power solution for commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) was launched recently.
The FCair fuel cell product line, developed by Ballard Unmanned Systems includes an industry-leading hydrogen fuel cell power system, hydrogen storage vessels, pressure regulators, refueling solutions and hydrogen gas supply.
The product line supports commercial UAV manufacturers and operators in the delivery of fuel cell-powered UAV benefits, including: 3x the flight duration of batteries; 5x the reliability and a fraction of the noise of small internal combustion engines; and significantly reduced operational expenses, according to the company’s website.
The systems are currently in ongoing field trials, having previously been proven in harsh environments and at high altitudes.
The product family also includes lightweight Carbon Overwrapped Pressure Vessels (COPVs), which are hydrogen fuel tanks based on recent advancements in the automotive and aerospace industries. Lightweight pressure regulators, which reduce the 6,000 psi hydrogen storage pressure to 20 psi pressure needed for a fuel cell, and which include features to assure safe and predictable operation, are also being introduced.