Isabella | UAV Coach

Will Hydrogen Fuel the Drones of the Future? | 7 Benefits of Hydrogen Over LiPo Drones

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This week, a new, hydrogen-fueled drone arrived on the commercial drone market, Narwhal 2—an upgraded hydrogen quadcopter with LTE module and 30 km video transmission range.

Narwhal 2 was designed by BSHARK in partnership with MicroMultiCopter (MMC)—manufacturer of the world's first hydrogen-powered drone, HyDrone 1550.

There are many pros and cons to hydrogen-fueled drones, and we talk about some of them this week in our article, "Will Hydrogen Fuel the Drones of the Future? | 7 Benefits of Hydrogen Over LiPo Drones."

Share your thoughts here on the pros and cons of hydrogen-fueled drones, or make a prediction about the future of hydrogen as a fuel source for RC aircraft and drones. 

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1 hour ago, Isabella | UAV Coach said:

This week, a new, hydrogen-fueled drone arrived on the commercial drone market, Narwhal 2—an upgraded hydrogen quadcopter with LTE module and 30 km video transmission range.

I guess at $6800 its not a bad price for the drone but what's the price of their hydrogen fueling station ?. I bet its a lot more than the drone. 

 https://www.bsharktech.com/product/orca1

Initially I liked the idea of using hydrogen fuel cells to prolong flight times but didn't know that storing and transporting hydrogen is not so easy or economical which I guess is why these guys have created this fueling station.

Maybe diesel generators are better in multi rotors for long flight times and fast refueling.

 

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Reading over briefly, I don't see very many cons with hydrogen. But  I don't doubt hydrogen drones do have it's cons though. Like it might be more expressive to buy than batteries. More things to fail on it. Extra parts and accessories to buy that cost lost more than it would for battery powered drones. I really like the idea of having longer flight times though.

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Once again it really depends on the problem your trying to solve.  Each energy source has its "pros and cons."  

We use both battery and gas; you can't beat battery for just sheer horse power, with 12s and 27" props you could lift a horse.  Battery's are heavy, take a while to charge an your not going to lift it for very long.   

We have a generator drone for long endurance but its huge, with 7 liters of fuel can fly about 2 hours at sea level and can lift a max of ten pounds with full fuel.  

The trouble with hydrogen, and I'm no expert here - my comments are a result of the little opportunity I've had to play with one, is that the way it separates protons from electrons it can't provide enough watts to power a drone that will lift much more than itself.  

For the types of missions we do and the payloads we carry we need approximately 4000 watts to hover, the most watts we could get out of the hydrogen drone we were "testing" was about 1200.  

So if you want a drone that can fly for a long time but not lift anything this would be the way to go.  I'm sure it will improve.  Also, the whole "its better for the environment thing," its on a drone, get over it already.

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