[11:17 Sun,21.May 2023 by Thomas Richter]
DJI&s popular Mavic 3 drone can stay in the air for up to 46 minutes under ideal conditions - longer even than most other drones, which manage closer to 30 minutes. Nevertheless, even this time is still too short for many tasks such as longer turns at great distances. But how could the flight time of a drone be decisively increased?
HyliumX hydrogen drone
The South Korean company Hylium Industries has tried an answer to this question and developed a new drone called HyliumX, which uses liquid hydrogen as fuel and thus achieves flight times of more than 5 hours. However, only indirectly - the motors of the six propellers of the massive hexacopter are powered by electric motors as usual, but the necessary electricity is not supplied by a lithium-ion battery, but it is generated in flight by the combustion of hydrogen of a special fuel cell.
Such long flight times are possible due to the much higher energy density of hydrogen compared to a LiIo battery, i.e. much more energy can be used for the same weight - no wonder, since hydrogen has the highest energy density of all fuels. A modern battery, for example, has a maximum energy density of 0.8 megajoules per kilogram, while 1 kg of hydrogen has 120 MJ. Since the hydrogen does not serve directly as propulsion - as for example with a rocket - but its energy must be converted first under some losses into current and besides the tank shell from titanium still another additional weight on the balance brings possesses, the practical flight time by hydrogen is "only" approx. 6-10 times larger.
HyliumX - the hydrogen tank
The HyliumX has a night vision camera and can transmit video over a distance of 10 kilometers by radio - unfortunately, not much more technical data is known about the hydrogen drone. Another advantage of liquid hydrogen is the fast refueling process, in just 5 minutes the tank is refilled and the drone is ready for use again. However, a special tank system is required for this, along with a supply of hydrogen.
The system is therefore only currently suitable for very specific industrial applications, but it does demonstrate the potential of hydrogen as an energy carrier. Hylium intends to offer its own delivery service for liquid hydrogen for its drone in the U.S. and to set itself apart from its numerous competitors by the exceptionally long flight times of its drones, which predestines them for some special tasks.
HyliumX hydrogen drone tanker truck
A potential danger is posed by the hydrogen tank due to its high explosiveness - The tank was therefore designed to survive falls from great heights without damage. Hydrogen is environmentally friendly - it burns with oxygen and delivers pure water as exhaust gas. Ideally, the necessary hydrogen is also produced green, i.e. with electricity from renewable energy sources.
As early as 6 years ago, Hylium Industries had already presented a first prototype of the HyliumX, at that time still a smaller model with only four propellers. In the meantime, the model has grown significantly and is now ready for the market.
more infos at bei hylium-industries.com
deutsche Version dieser Seite: HyliumX: Neue Drohe bleibt mehr als 5 Stunden in der Luft - dank Wasserstoff