When people suggest possible uses for electric multicopter drones, it
frequently seems like they're forgetting something – presently, most
such aircraft can only fly for a maximum of around 25 minutes per
battery charge. Horizon Energy Systems, however, is developing a quadcopter that should do a lot better. Known as the Hycopter, the fuel cell-powered drone is hoped to be capable of 4-hour flight times once completed.
At the end of last month, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies began shipments of its latest hydrogen fuel cell-powered remote-control toy car, the i-H2GO
. Like its predecessor, the H2GO
, it runs on hydrogen obtained from user-supplied water. The main thing that's new about the i-H2GO, however, is the fact that it is now controlled using a free app on the user's existing smartphone. I got my hands on an early production model, mainly just so that I could truthfully say "I've driven a fuel cell car."
It’s probably safe to say that most of us will never get the chance to operate a Mars rover. While it is
now possible to purchase remote-control miniature buggies with onboard cameras, most of them still seem like ... well, like toys. The H-ROVER, however, is a little different. Looking like it would be right at home trundling across the Martian topsoil, the little tracked vehicle is powered by a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and super-capacitor system.
People who are trekking in the wilderness, stranded at disaster sites or living in developing nations all have one thing in common – lack of access to an electrical infrastructure. Solar charging devices such as the Solio
and Joos Orange
have been designed to meet the needs of some or all of these groups. One of the latest such systems, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies’ Sunbox USB 3.0, is particularly versatile.
The latest test of Horizon Energy System's AEROPAK fuel cell power system
has seen it fitted aboard an Elbit Systems Skylark I-LE UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) and put through its paces. Although the AEROPAK has been put to the test in other UAS aircraft
, the official test flight recently carried out in Israel marked the first time a fully operational system using the AEROPAK - including take-off and recovery with an operational payload integrated onboard - has been tested.
Although wave power
is attracting a lot of attention as a renewable energy source, it is
possible to generate power from still water. All you need is an electrolyzer, which separates water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen, then feeds them into a fuel cell. Electrolyzers, however, require catalysts to get the process rolling. While hydrogen production catalysts aren’t much of a problem, the platinum catalysts used for oxygen production are expensive, don’t last very long, and the creation of them incorporates toxic chemicals. This Monday, however, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) announced the development of a new oxygen production catalyst that is 200 times more efficient than platinum. The nickel-borate-based catalyst has been licensed to Sun Catalytix, which is hoping to be producing safe, super-efficient electrolyzers within two years.
Today is a day that you will probably tell your grandchildren about – the day they released the first affordable, pocket-sized fuel cell for personal usage. As with flying cars, personal jet packs and a usable voice recognition computer interface, the promise of a safe, affordable, personal power plant was entering the realm of perpetual vaporware. Now it's finally here! Whatsmore, at US$100, the Horizon MiniPak might well prove to be the “disruptive” technology the press release claims it to be. By producing electricity from hydrogen at the point of use and offering effectively unlimited run-time for personal electronics, it will almost certainly be the public's first experience of the coming Hydrogen Economy.
Singaporean company Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies
will release a small home hydrogen refueling and storage solution at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas later this week that could kickstart mankind’s transition to a hydrogen-based economy. The HYDROFILL is a small desktop device that plugs into the power supply, a solar panel or a small wind turbine, and automatically extracts hydrogen from its water tank and stores it in a solid form in small refillable cartridges. The cartridges contain metallic alloys that absorb hydrogen into their crystalline structure, a storage method which the company claims offers the highest volumetric energy density of any form of hydrogen storage, even higher than liquid hydrogen.