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Horizon releases drop-in fuel cell system for unmanned aircraft

By

June 9, 2009

Aeropak fuel cell provides four times the power of advanced lithium batteries

Aeropak fuel cell provides four times the power of advanced lithium batteries

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies latest hydrogen fuel cell release is designed as a drop-in replacement for battery packs used in small electric Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Weighing 4.4lbs (2kg) and storing 900Wh of usable electric energy, the Aeropak can to increase flight endurance by up to 300% over lithium batteries, meaning longer range missions and more energy to run on-board cameras and sensors.

Designed for high-impact and able to operate at up to 22,000 feet (6700m), this miniaturized power system uses refillable dry-fuel cartridges and is scalable (up to "several kilowatts") and customizable to suit different unmanned platforms. The drop-in design should also make modifications unnecessary.

Apart from enabling flights to go further and last longer and the ability to run more power-hungry devices, the Aeropak offers a very low heat signature and and silent, reliable power. Other applications are likely to include powering remote ground systems and as emergency power back-up for larger systems.

Perhaps best known to Gizmag for the fuel-cell powered H-Racer RC car and for its involvement in the radical Hyfish jet-wing aircraft project in 2007 Horizon supplied a hydrogen fuel cell that helped the Pterosoar micro-UAV set new distance records for aircraft of its type.

AeroVironment has achieved also achieved success by marrying fuel cell technology to the UAV platform, setting a new long-duration flight record of over nine-hours with fuel cell hybrid-powered Puma UAS.

2 Comments

so when can i see a version suited to my electric bicycle??

2kg for 900Wh ..

My present 3kg 14Ah Li-poly battery (averaging 35VDC) works out to be around 500Wh , giving me maybe 30 mile range. 3Kg for this fuel-cell device would increase its 900Wh by 50% -> maybe 1300Wh , or nearly 3x's .. all based on the grossest of calc's.

Another advantage would be 'instant refuelinlg' (switching fuel packs) .. I wonder what the fuel is?? Not one word about that!

Hydrogen?

The costs could considerably outweigh the power advantages.

tkj
9th December, 2010 @ 12:44 pm PST

it is most likely Sodium Borohydride NaBH4 2H2O 4H2O2 %uF0AE NaBO2 8H2O (2.23 V)

Technology they acquired from Millennium Cell (MCELQ worth zero now)

wo.....

Wilson O
7th September, 2011 @ 05:51 am PDT
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