Power technology firm Intelligent Energy has revealed a new modified drone that is powered by the company's hydrogen fuel cell, allowing it to stay airborne for a longer time than drones running on normal battery do. This new drone can stay in air for up to two hours, which, according to BBC Click, is six times longer than the average drone running on a normal battery.
Also, when it comes to recharging the hydrogen fuel cell, it only takes a few minutes to refuel compressed hydrogen. This will be a big relief for drone users who have to wait a few hours before they are ready to use the drone with full battery power.
The drone, as seen in the report, features a fuel tank on its underbelly and carries fuel cells on the top. The fuel cells have small fans attached to them, which allow air flow to the fuel cell.
Intelligent Energy has a history of experimenting with hydrogen fuel cell technology. It believes the hydrogen-powered drones can be used in agriculture, oil and gas, mapping forestry and other industries that make use of drones.
The company, based at Loughborough in the U.K, also told the BBC that it will initially target commercial companies and only later will it launch the modified drone as a consumer product. The company looks ahead to have the fuel cells ready for commercial use by 2017, and a consumer product might follow eventually.
"Drones are one of the most exciting new technologies. Even with advanced batteries their value is limited. For commercial use, they need to offer better flight times and range," said Intelligent Energy employee Julian Hughes to Wired in December 2015.
This drone could come as a boon to drone users who have always contemplated having a longer flight duration for the drones, especially when they are on assignments.