On the 30th of May, Estonian based SKYCORP OÜ with the Estonian Hydrogen Association presented in Tallinn Europe’s first commercially available hydrogen drone, the e-Drone Zero.
The next generation hydrogen Fuel Cell technology used on the drone allows it to have a flight endurance of 120 minutes instead of the usual 20-30 minutes as seen on batteries. It dramatically increases the value from drone missions and opens up new use-cases especially with future Smart Cities. Additional benefits include refuelling in just 1-2 minutes to increase productivity without having to carry multiple sets of LiPO batteries around.
The Proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM) allows for an average 3 times higher energy density when compared to lithium polymer batteries. The fuel cell doesn’t burn hydrogen, but rather generates it’s electricity through a chemical process which combines oxygen, hydrogen and produces electricity and water vapour as the only by-product.
SKYCORP’s CEO, Marek Alliksoo, hopes to see hydrogen replace especially petrol or other fossil fuel-based drones, as the main advantages of hydrogen drones come from completing more demanding and time-consuming tasks.
In addition to green energy the fuel cell doesn’t produce additional noise, vibration, additional maintenance requirements and its lifetime is measured in thousands of hours.
SKYCORP with its experience and know-how has also received a lot of additional interest from other companies to convert their platforms to hydrogen fuel cells and not only for drones.
The last few years have seen a massive gain in developing the main hydrogen infrastructure and different types of vehicles benefiting from hydrogen technology appearing on the market: trains, buses, trucks, cars, naval vehicles and now also drones.