Montreal, Canada: EnergyOr Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems, recently demonstrated a long endurance flight of more than 10 hours with its fuel cell powered, operational unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The aircraft, FAUCON H2, 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.
The integrated hybrid UAV propulsion system was designed to take full advantage of fuel cells for their high energy density, and lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries to provide short bursts of power during take- off, climb and severe weather conditions. The result is that UAVs powered by EnergyOr’s line of EPOD fuel cell systems have a flight endurance that is up to four times longer than those powered by rechargeable LiPo batteries.
FAUCON H2 is one of the first UAV platforms to be designed specifically around the fuel cell which allowed the entire flight system to be optimized, resulting in very high system level efficiencies for both the UAV airframe and fuel cell system. It has a wing span of 3 meters, length of 1.2 meters, total mass of 9 kg (including representative payload mass of 1 kg) and a cruise speed between 65 km/h and 100 km/h.
EnergyOr has again demonstrated its advanced fuel cell technology and confirmed its robustness, efficiency and reliability, stated Michel Bitton, President and CEO of EnergyOr. What makes this an even greater achievement is that FAUCON H2 is not an experimental aircraft built just for long endurance. It is a versatile, rugged and practical operational UAV.
EnergyOr recently developed the EO-310-XLE which is its latest generation of advanced fuel cell system technology. This lightweight and rugged UAV propulsion system is similar to EnergyOr’s other EPOD products, the EO-210-LE and EO-210-XLE, but provides 50% additional power with effectively the same size and weight. It has been designed specifically to deliver extended flight endurance at high altitude, high ambient temperatures, and under the most demanding of weather conditions. EnergyOr is also investigating fuel cell systems for 20 kg and 65 kg UAVs.
"In conjunction with its development partners, EnergyOr will now move forward to commercialize its advanced line of fuel cell products," said Michel Bitton.
Small, electrical UAVs are a growing segment of the unmanned aircraft market and are designed to operate in many diverse environments: military applications, police surveillance, border patrol, inspection of remote power lines and pipelines, traffic surveillance, emergency and disaster monitoring, search and rescue, agricultural applications and aerial photography, to name a few.
EnergyOr Technologies (2002), 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, exceeding 5 hours of flight endurance. In March 2009, EnergyOr integrated the EPOD EO-210-LE fuel cell system into the Bird Eye 650 developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and demonstrated successful long endurance flights of similar flight times.
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 which include compressed gas and chemical hydride cartridge hydrogen delivery systems, and also complete system integration services. Please refer to our product brochures online for more information or contact EnergyOr directly.
To promote its line of advanced fuel cell products, EnergyOr will attend the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Exposition in Washington, D.C. from August 16th to 19th, 2011. In November 2011, EnergyOr will display and demonstrate its fuel cell product line at the Unmanned Systems Canada Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.