Hydrogen fuel cell drone sets new world record, flies continuously for 331 minutes.
FuelCellWorks reported that according to various Chinese media sources, a research drone powered by a hydrogen fuel cell set a world record by flying 331 minutes without interruption.
The news first appeared in the Science and Technology Daily, indicating that Beijing Xinyan Chuangneng Technology Co., Ltd. developed a six-rotor hydrogen fuel cell drone that flew for 331 minutes. It was a joint project between Xinyan Chuangneng and China National Airways.
This time of flight is made possible by hydrogen fuel cell technology. The drone is equipped with a high pressure hydrogen storage cylinder that supplies hydrogen to fuel cells to generate electricity.
Apparently, Xinyan Chuangneng has only been working on the implementation of hydrogen for a year. During this period, they successfully developed a 2kW metal plate fuel cell with cell and air-cooled system.
Keeping compact size, light weight and high power density provides excellent performance even at high altitude.
Speaking of high altitudes, the long flight time in low oxygen, low temperature and extreme wind conditions shows that hydrogen fuel cells can withstand harsh conditions.
Originally slated to fly just 240 minutes, the team exceeded their own expectations by 91 minutes. Prove the value of hydrogen fuel cells, while emitting only water vapor.
A similar lithium battery powered all weather drone has a flight time of less than an hour.
Drone technology is starting to be used more and more, especially now that United Parcel Service (UPS) has partnered with Wingcopter to provide medical drone deliveries to remote locations. Hydrogen could play a big role in the total distance that could be traveled if these fuel cells became a commercially viable technology.