Montreal, Canada: EnergyOr Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced PEM fuel cell systems, recently demonstrated what are believed to be the world’s first fuel cell powered and longest ever duration multirotor VTOL UAV flights, flying for a record 2 hours, 12 minutes and 46 seconds.
This demonstration was performed to highlight EnergyOr’s improvements in overall fuel cell system specific power (Watts/kg), a critical requirement for multirotor UAVs, while still maintaining an exceptional specific energy (Watthours/kg), allowing flight times that are 2 to 3 times longer than those possible with state-ofthe-art, rechargeable Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries.
A conventional, commercial heavy lifting Quadrotor airframe was used to ensure versatility for a wide range of applications, with the aircraft’s AUW at 9.5 kg and payloads up to 1 kg. Further optimization will be performed in the coming months and EnergyOr expects to improve upon these results by extending the flight endurance with similar payloads up to 4 hours.
The commercial market for multirotor UAVs used in civil applications is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years, namely for applications such as hydro and rail line inspections, precision agriculture, search and rescue missions and film production, to name a few.
Battery powered multirotor UAVs have very limited flight times due to existing rechargeable battery technologies.
EnergyOr Technologies Inc. (2002) is a Montreal-based Canadian company that develops lightweight and compact PEM fuel cell systems for high value-added premium niche markets. Its proprietary technology is well suited for aerospace, portable and mobile power applications, or any other application where weight is a critical requirement, including automotive.
EnergyOr develops fuel cell systems that are tailored to suit its customer’s specific needs, collaborating from early in the design process, through to system integration and product qualification. EnergyOr was the first and only company to fly a fuel cell powered UAV in Canada (May 2007), and in December 2007, performed the first ever fuel cell flights in Israel. In March 2009, EnergyOr integrated a fuel cell system into the Bird Eye 650 developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and demonstrated what is believed to be the longest endurance flight of this aircraft to date.
EnergyOr has achieved a flight of more than 10 hours with its fuel cell powered operational UAV, the FAUCON H2. The aircraft, complete with integrated avionics, executed a predetermined flight plan for 10 hours and 4 minutes, then landed autonomously just after sunset on Friday, August 12th, 2011 in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada.
In February of 2013, EnergyOr also performed the first ever fuel cell powered UAV endurance flights in India. EnergyOr offers fuel cell products including the EPOD line of UAV fuel cell systems, the EPAC line of portable auxiliary power units (APUs), the EDAQ fuel cell data acquisition & diagnostic system, and the HPOD hydrogen filling station. EnergyOr provides total system solutions including custom fuel cell stacks and balance-of-plant, hydrogen delivery systems, and complete system integration services.