In a move with implications for drone builders, hydrogen engine maker Plug Power, based in Latham, New York, is acquiring Montreal-based EnergyOr, a manufacturer of ultralight hydrogen fuel cells. EnergyOr’s fuel cells can extend mission durations of UAVs by a factor of two to four times compared with vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.
“EnergyOr is the expert in the UAV fuel cell market, and we are excited to incorporate their technology and expertise as part of the Plug Power team,” said Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh.
UAVs powered by EnergyOr fuel cells have set several endurance records. In March 2015, they powered the world’s first fuel cell multirotor UAV that was later used in conjunction with the French Air Force's Centre d' Expertise Aérienne Militaire (CEAM). In December 2015, the company’s fuel cells powered the H2 Quad 400, the first fuel cell quadrotor to operate outdoors in a real-world environment.
“UAVs are just one of the many industries that hydrogen power can disrupt,” said EnergyOr CTO Thomas Jones.