In a recent article, we talked about the importance of batteries in its role on a drone’s flight longevity. That article talked about using solar panels without any batteries onboard as the main source. This meant that for the entire duration of the flight, the drone would have to rely on the energy its solar panels create.
But that is not the only option on drone energy sources.
The massive online store Amazon for example has another route in mind. They recently teamed up with the Aerospace Club to create a long-flying drone that runs on hydrogen.
Hydrogen fuel is commonly used on combustion engines and cars in general. This would mean that the drone needs a fuel tank onboard to make this a reality. A similar drone idea made records a year ago when it flew for 4 hours and 40 minutes. That is an incredible amount of time for a single flight – especially considering that the drone is standard-sized. The company Quaternium owned the record-breaking drone. It was a quadcopter with landing gear and a massive body, housing fuel tanks inside.
The people at Amazon and the Aerospace Club wants to beat this record. And while you may think they have a complex and intuitive idea in mind, their plan is a bit simpler. Their plan is to make a drone of similar design to that of Quaternium’s – but with bigger parts. Yes, in theory, bigger fuel storage would mean more fuel, which in turn leads to more flight time.
But of course, it is still in its initial stages. Until we see the drone’s design on newer models of drones, we still have to rely on the trusted batteries. Although they have shorter flight times, they have been a reliable power source.
Hydrogen power has some great perks, too. It is clean energy, just like the batteries. It has more power in it, which would be the key to longer travel times.