- IE’s development partner ISS Aerospace launches Sensus 6 hexacopter
- Sensus 6 is powered by IE fuel cells and flies for 100 minutes with an 8kg payload
- IE’s proprietary lightweight design enables lifting of larger UAVs and increased payloads
LOUGHBOROUGH — Intelligent Energy (IE), the market leader for lightweight Fuel Cell Power Modules (FCPMs), welcomes the news today that its 2.4kW FCPM has been integrated into UK-based ISS Aerospace’s (ISS) heavy lift fuel cell powered UAV, which has achieved a flight time of 100 minutes.
ISS is one of IE’s development partners for the 2.4kW product, it’s highest power UAV module. The Sensus 6 UAV is designed for long endurance commercial, energy, defence and security applications.
See the Sensus 6 in flight
As the leader in fuel cell power products for the UAV market, IE offers the lightest and most power dense, certified products available on the market. As well as their compact design, the products offer many advantages for commercial and military UAV users, including providing a solution to the current issue of endurance for companies that need longer flight times, like inspection services, parcel delivery and military applications.
ISS designs, builds, and operates cutting edge unmanned aerial systems for a wide range of international commercial clients active in a number of industrial sectors. The company has now integrated fuel cells into two of its commercially available UAVs.
Today’s product launch joins the existing hydrogen fuel cell UAV product line from ISS and offers customers even more endurance than ISS’s Sensus 4 quadcopter, which integrates IE’s 800W FCPM. The addition of Sensus 6, means that customers requiring even greater lifting capability and increased payloads, can now benefit from fuel cell powered UAVs. Both products from ISS are now available for commercial, energy, defence, and security applications.
Lee Juby, Chief Sales Officer at IE said: “We know our fuel cells can deliver significantly longer flight time when compared to traditional batteries and ISS has now brought to market two commercial UAV products using our FCPMs. ISS identified IE’s FCPMs as being the ideal power product to improve UAV operator efficiency by significantly extending flight duration compared to that offered by Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries.”
Ryan Kempley, Chief Executive Officer at ISS , commented: “We were excited to be one of the development partners in the 2.4 kW project as IE’s hydrogen fuel cells have been a game changer for ISS and our Sensus 4 UAV is typically capable of flight durations of around 60-90 minutes, depending on the size of the cylinder being used and payload requirements.
“The new Sensus 6 integrates IE’s 2.4kW FCPM and here we see even more impressive gains in endurance with 100 minutes of continuous flight time with an 8kg payload. We were only able to achieve 25 to 40 minutes using LiPo batteries. Having the ability to fly for such a considerable amount of time, whilst maintaining the multirotor VTOL format, opens up many possibilities for wide area and extensive operations.”
Mr Kempley continues: “The benefits of fuel cells don’t end there for us and we have found the refuelling process of the hydrogen cylinders to be simple and quick, meaning we can be back up in the air in the matter of a few minutes rather than experiencing lengthy re-charge times that you get with batteries.”
IE’s Head of UAV Product Development, Andy Kelly, will be speaking about the benefits of fuel cells for UAVs at this week’s AUVSI Xponential event, which is being held virtually. More details can be found here: https://www.xponential.org/xponential2020/Public/SpeakerDetails.aspx?nav=true&FromPage=Speakers.aspx&ContactID=31051
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.
More information about fuel cell power for UAVs can be found here: https://www.intelligent-energy.com/our-products/uavs/
About ISS Aerospace
ISS Aerospace is an established, UK-based company specialising in bespoke, autonomous systems with applications in wide-area operations undertaken by the Commercial, Energy, Defence and Security sectors.
We are a nimble developer of disruptive technology in an underpopulated segment of the market, ISS has several world firsts to its name and has contracts with major clients in a number of key industrial sectors.
Focus is given to the wider value of the integrated system rather than the unmanned vehicle alone. This includes development of autonomous air, marine and land carriers designed for challenging day-to-day operations.
Visit www.issaerospace.com to learn more about our product range.
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 and air are 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 makes fuel cell technology an excellent choice for forklift trucks and warehousing. Fuel cells are commonplace 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.