Intelligent Energy flies higher in drones market

Intelligent Energy flies higher in drones market

A Loughborough-based clean energy company has announced two strategic moves.

Intelligent Energy said it has agreed a deal with US drone manufacturer FlightWave Aerospace.

The partnership will enable FlightWave to integrate Intelligent Energy’s lightweight 650W fuel cell power module into its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) product range in North America.

Intelligent Energy, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, develops hydrogen fuel cells for the automotive, stationary power and drone markets.

The first product from this partnership will be FlightWave’s Jupiter-H2, a multi-rotor, endurance UAV capable of flying for up to two hours.

The Jupiter-H2 will be powered by Intelligent Energy’s market leading, lightweight, air cooled fuel cell technology. The two companies will be unveiling the new Jupiter-H2 UAV at InterDrone in Las Vegas this week – September 6-8.

The Jupiter-H2 is the first UAV to be uniquely designed around Intelligent Energy’s technology.

Jupiter-H2 is expected to be available globally from January 2018 worldwide, and the two companies will work together to market it across a variety of industries with orders now being taken.

Julian Hughes, senior vice president of IE US Inc, said: “It’s great to be back at InterDrone launching this game changing product, just 12 months on from demonstrating a prototype.

“We are delighted to be working with FlightWave, a company which shares our vision and passion for creating innovative solutions to realise the full potential of commercial UAVs.”

FlightWave commercial marketing officer Edmund Cronin said: “We view the Jupiter-H2 as an innovative vehicle.

“It’s particularly well suited to use cases requiring both long flight time and stable manoeuvrability in narrow indoor or outdoor spaces – for example, in a very large but cramped warehouse.”

In addition to this partnership, Intelligent Energy said it is launching its own lightweight 650W fuel cell module that has been purpose-built for the drone market.

It offers significantly longer flight times compared to traditional battery power, the company said.

The company said: “Key benefits for the end user include increased productivity and less downtime owing to quick refuelling and increased payload capability, meaning the UAV can fly longer, fly further and achieve more.”

The lightweight 650W fuel cell module is already available for order.

Intelligent Energy said: “The 650W module runs on hydrogen and ambient air to produce clean power in a simple, cost effective, robust and lightweight package. It is scalable and can be integrated into UAV platforms without compromising payload placement, providing an optimised operational solution for a wide range of industries.”