Case Study: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powers Gas Detection UAV

Intelligent Energy, a developer of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones, has released a case study outlining how its 800W Fuel Cell Power Module was used to power ISS Aerospace’s SENSUS UAV, a modular multirotor platform that can carry a range of payloads.

ISS Aerospace carry out a variety of surveying, inspection and detection missions for international clients, including those in the oil and gas industry, using the SENSUS UAV. A recent field survey was undertaken in Iraq for a global energy company, in order to monitor levels of H2S gas within an oil field. H2S levels can give an indication of where oil is closest to the surface, and the gas also needs to be monitored for safety reasons due to its toxicity even at low concentrations. For this survey, the SENSUS UAV was equipped with parts per billion H2S and S02 gas sensors.

Hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen provide higher on-board energy density than lithium batteries, freeing up more carrying capacity for payloads and fuel, and making them suitable for many long-endurance UAV applications. The case study details the configurations of the SENSUS UAV and Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell solution, and shows the tradeoff options for flight time, payload and range with different hydrogen cylinder sizes and compared to lithium batteries.

To find out more about the benefits of using hydrogen fuel cells for UAVs and drones, download the full case study from Intelligent Energy’s website.

Published: 24 Jan 2020 by Mike Ball