The latest drone flight record has been set recently, this time for a continue flight time of 331 minutes! This record surpassed even the research teams own expectations, they were planning for a flight time of 240 minutes, but this new high-pressure hydrogen storage bottle technology performed so well the flight carried on for over 90 minutes beyond. The flight took place in harsh conditions at a high altitude, low oxygen, and low temperature environments. It really shows off some of the advantages for hydrogen fuel cells as compared to lithium ion batteries, which would only have been able to power a one-hour flight for a comparably size weight drone in similar conditions. And it’s not just the hydrogen fuel cell itself, but this new storage bottle technology that’s really punching above it’s weight. Of course it’s just an R&D project, and not production-ready tech yet; but impressive nonetheless and when this technology makes it into production it could become the dominant power source for the vast majority of drones up there in our future skies.
Further extending the future potential for hydrogen energy storage a different research group has developed a breakthrough and totally unique hydrogen storage technology based on metal-organic framework. This technology could better the storage capacity for hydrogen by an order of magnitude as compared to even the high-pressure hydrogen storage bottle used to loft that drone into the record books. Now this technology, is exciting as the potential may be, does have some operating constraints that would likely limit its practicality for drones at least, and potentially other common electric use cases such as mobile phones cars and appliances. Most critically, this technology requires the low low low operating temperature of -196 degrees Celsius. So if a mobile phone, you probably would not want to carry that around in your pocket. And for an electric car, achieving and maintaining this low temperature would probably waste more energy than what you would gain from MOF as compared to lithium ion batteries currently driving electric cars today.
So Lithium ion batteries still dominate current electric powered device and vehicle use cases today. And for vast majority of manufacturers, the future focus remains on lithium ion batteries. GM, for example, is continuing their big push towards 100% clean energy by 2023. Now GM’s clean energy future is quite the Noble effort, but it won’t have anything to do with our Noble Gas Hydrogen. This is because, while hydrogen storage could potentially deliver better performance than lithium ion batteries, the actual energy source for the hydrogen energy chain is fossil fuels, in particular natural gas is the prevalent source of hydrogen in use today.
Hydrogen storage potential is super exciting from the pure energy storage and delivery perspective to be sure. However, this is not the most important problem to solve from a comprehensive and strategic perspective as it relates to the overall cost and impact on the planet and our lives. The actual source of our energy must come from clean renewable energy sources if we are going to build a sustainable future of end-to-end clean energy supply and consumption.
We here at MX Fusion love mobile devices and mobile apps, enjoying art and music on the go is what we are all about. But streaming music with beautiful imagery takes lots of watts. We hold deep appreciation for the efforts and genius behind these advancements in energy tech. And we continue to keep a hopeful optimistic outlook on continued improvements in clean energy to make more available for powering our devices!
Now let’s enjoy a Fusion for Future Tiny Wave | Controversy (Housetrap Mix):