The new tech provides extended endurance in tough robotics and drone operating conditions.
Leading hydrogen engine and fueling solution provider Plug Power has announced a new 1kW Progen fuel cell system. It was developed for use with small scale robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), automatic guided vehicles (AGV) and other applications in the aerospace industry.
This new tech expansion provides Plug Power with access to a new market.
The Progen fuel cell system represents a broadening of the tech and line of products Plug Power acquired last year when it purchased EnergyOr. That fuel cell systems company was based in Montreal and held a broad spectrum of aerospace fuel cell system design and application experience. The new system developed by Plug Power combines rugged construction and lightweight design with its proprietary closed-cathode, air cooled technology.
In this way, the new tech design offers a slew of advantages over rivals in this market.
“Plug Power builds cutting-edge technology from ideation to operation,” said Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh. “ProGen hydrogen fuel cells allow devices with electric motors to run cleanly and efficiently. The 1kW ProGen lets Plug Power power everything from electric vehicles to small robotics and UAVs, and everything in between. Yet another solution to support the global supply chain.”
The Progen fuel cell system was specially designed to offer extended run time and endurance.
The design is meant to make it possible to provide lengthier flight endurance and runtimes, even when the operating conditions are highly demanding. The fuel source is composed of compressed hydrogen, allowing the system to outperform the typical lithium battery by three to four times in terms of its endurance. By using liquid hydrogen fueling systems, the advantage over the average lithium battery is as high as nine times better endurance.
At 1kW, the new Progen fuel cell system is notably larger and more powerful than the 450W version. Its design allows for the elimination of a substantial amount of the original technology’s complexity when compared to the traditional liquid-cooled systems. The weight of the heat exchangers and liquid cooling loop are removed due to the closed-cathode and air-cooled design.