Loughborough– Intelligent Energy, the market leader for UAV lightweight Fuel Cell Power Modules has this week agreed on a distributor deal with Japanese UAV development company RoboDEX Inc.
Intelligent Energy’s Fuel Cell Power Modules are the lightest and most power-dense available on the market, offering many advantages for commercial UAV users. In particular, they are offering a solution to the current issue of endurance for companies offering parcel delivery and inspection services. Intelligent Energy fuel cells achieve three times the flight duration compared to batteries and their lightweight design means they can lift larger UAVs and carry heavier payloads.
Intelligent Energy and RoboDEX have worked together for over 12 months now and RoboDEX was selected as one of the first customers to receive early shipments of Intelligent Energy’s new 2.4kW Fuel Cell Power Module. The Yokohama based company specializes in the design and development of commercial UAVs and has designed UAV solutions specifically around Intelligent Energy’s modules.
RoboDEX recognizes the benefits fuel cells can offer commercial UAVs offering much longer flight times than that of UAVs powered by traditional batteries. As part of this new agreement, RoboDEX will officially distribute and offer technical support for Intelligent Energy’s products. They will provide UAV products to the market, offer integration support of the Fuel Cell Power Modules and provide operational support as part of a complete drone solution service for the Japanese market.
Last summer RoboDEX hosted a demonstration flight event at Fukushima Robot Test Field in Japan to showcase Intelligent Energy’s 800W Fuel Cell Power Module integrated onto an M600. At the same event, it also displayed the new lightweight 2.4kW module. Interest and demand from the customers following this demonstration have driven the distributor agreement which further cements the relationship between the two companies.
Lee Juby, Chief Sales Officer at Intelligent Energy, welcomes the news. He says: “Having worked with RoboDEX for more than a year now, we are confident of the service they will be offering to the Japanese market. They recognize our fuel cells are the only real solution for achieving longer commercial flight times, and in turn, the integration expertise they have demonstrated over the past year has proved that they are the right business to support our commercialization efforts in Japan.
Daisuke Kaio, Representative Director at RoboDEX added: “We are very pleased to work with Intelligent Energy under our distribution agreement and we will now be looking to develop together the market for fuel cell-powered UAVs here in Japan.
“Over the next two years, we will introduce various types of UAV integrating Intelligent Energy’s 2.4kW Fuel Cell Power Module. Initially, we plan to target the Japanese logistics industry. We believe our UAVs coupled with Intelligent Energy fuel cell power will greatly improve the way UAVs are used in the industry.”
Intelligent Energy’s 2.4kW Fuel Cell Power Module is commercially available alongside the Company’s 650W and 800W products. All products are modular and can be paired with another module of the same power to double output.
Offering an example of achievable flight time, Lee Juby explained: “A retrospectively fitted 2.4kW mounted onto a DJI M600PRO frame with a 9 litre 300Bar hydrogen cylinder, could achieve a flight time of over 80 minutes compared to just 20 minutes with its battery power pack.”
Intelligent Energy is planning to exhibit its fuel cell solutions for UAVs at this year’s Japan Drone which is now scheduled to take place 29-30 September in Chiba. To find out more about Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell power products, read our customer stories and to view videos of our products, visit www.intelligent-energy.com/our-products/ Alternatively, email [email protected] or [email protected] to book a meeting or to request further product details.
About Intelligent Energy
Intelligent Energy is focused on the development and manufacture of its Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell products for customers in the automotive, aerospace, generator, telecoms, materials handling and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sectors. The company is headquartered and manufactures in Loughborough in the UK, with additional offices and representation in the US, Japan, China, and South Korea.
RoboDEX is a Japanese company, that designs, develops, manufactures and provides operational support for commercial drones. Robodex are experienced at the introduction of new technologies to develop new types of drone for the market.
About Fuel Cells
Fuel cell technology is similar to battery technology in that individual cells are built up to give the desired power output. However, fuel cells do not run out of charge as batteries do and will produce power for as long as hydrogen fuel is provided to the cell. Hydrogen is readily available around the world, often generated using green energy.
Fuel cells are deployed in multiple applications where clean, lightweight, efficient and cost-effective power is required. Fast re-fuelling and lack of emissions make fuel cell technology the immediate choice for forklift trucks and warehousing. Fuel cells are common-place in clean construction and backup power for critical telecoms. Powering UAVs with fuel cells allows three times the flying time which gives significant advantages in applications such as aerial surveying and filming.
Zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell technology will be preferred to battery technology in vehicles where rapid re-fuelling, high power, and long-range are important. Typical fuel cell applications include SUVs, buses, and trucks, along with smaller cars where a high availability is critical, e.g. taxis and shared vehicles. Over 13,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are on the road today. FCEVs are expected to be an integral part of the connected and autonomous vehicle (“CAV”) revolution over the coming years.
Fuel cells are expected to become a dominant technology in de-carbonised aerospace.