A flurry of announcements this week suggests the promise of hydrogen cells extending drone flight time to two hours or more may come within reach to individual as well as enterprise users before too long.
Doosan leads the (expensive) hydrogen way
The mix of news reflects advances in hydrogen cell power development that, for now, is too young and expensive for any but specialized business operators to consider. Drones powered by the technology are listed anywhere from $2,200 to $3,800 – on the rare occasions prices are indicated, that is. Larger producers probably charge more.
In exchange, however, owners get three times the life of LiPo batteries of the same weight. That is, two hours or more time aloft. Hydrogen cells also have the appeal of being ecologically friendly compared to standard technologies.
But the cost limits the economic rational of hydrogen cells largely to companies running mapping, inspection, or security operations in industrial, agricultural,…