BMPower has created the world's lightest fuel cell stack for drones

15.07.2019, 03:44

BMPower, a developer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel power systems for drones and robots, has created the most powerful fuel cell stack per unit mass which is capable of supporting the operation of a power plant with a capacity of up to 2.1 kW and allowing drones to stay in the air for at least 3.5 hours. This invention was the result of company’s preparation for the “The First Element. Air” contest (Russia), in which BMPower participated together with other partners from Unmanned Helicopter Systems (UHS) on July 10 — 12 in Moscow.                                                        

The organizers of the competition set an extremely difficult task for the participants - to overcome the indicator of the specific mass energy intensity of the installation 700 Wh/kg.

The specific power of the BMPower hydrogen fuel cell stack is 1000W/kg, which is the best version in the world at the moment (global competitors in drone systems — up to 740W/kg). The stack weight is 2090 gr.

“We are pleased that we took part in this contest together with UHS. Unfortunately, the technological barrier itself was not overcome by the team, since hydrogen needed a very light cylinder, which was not produced on time by another partner. Nevertheless, the fuel cell stack produced by BMPower could overcome this barrier with a margin 1000W/kg, which is a world record for the specific power. And we were the first who did that!” said the founder and BDO at BMPower, Alexey Ivanenko.

Technological contest "The First Element. Air”, organized by the Russian Venture Company (RVC), the Skolkovo Foundation and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), motivates Russian companies to develop environmentally friendly and energy-intensive hydrogen fuel power systems for unmanned aerial vehicles, which are comparable in efficiency with the traditional engines operating on gasoline.

Its organizers hope that in the process of competition, participants will be able to create an energy source for drones with fundamentally new characteristics, which will have a positive effect on the flight duration - now it does not exceed half an hour when using rechargeable batteries.

Using BMPower's fuel element will allow drone developers to increase their time spent in the air by 5 to 7 times!