Batteries not required
Next-generation hydrogen fuel cells
Honeywell has a decades-long history of innovation in power generation for all kinds of aerospace and defense applications, which was further strengthened by the 2020 acquisition of Ballard Unmanned Systems, a global leader in fuel cell technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Hydrogen fuel cells are the latest addition to Honeywell’s growing portfolio of power systems that improve the safety and efficiency of aircraft for commercial, government and defense missions.
Honeywell hydrogen fuel cells are available today to help UAVs accomplish missions far beyond the capabilities of drones powered by batteries or gasoline engines. Operators of fixed-wing or multi-rotor platforms can fly up to three times longer with Honeywell’s proven hydrogen fuel cell onboard.
What is a hydrogen fuel cell?
A hydrogen fuel cell is an electrochemical device that uses a chemical process to convert hydrogen to electrical power, which in turn can drive one or more electric propulsion motors on the unmanned aerial vehicle. Electricity, water and heat are the only products of this chemical process, which makes hydrogen an extremely clean fuel.
Hydrogen fuel cells are smaller, lighter, more versatile and more resilient than alternatives like batteries or small gasoline and diesel engines. Unlike batteries, hydrogen fuel cells do not need to be recharged. Simply connect a carbon fiber hydrogen storage tank to the fuel cell, and fly! Drones powered by a hydrogen fuel cell have much longer range and flight duration than a comparably sized battery-powered aircraft. Typical rotary and fixed wing platforms can fly up to three times longer with Honeywell’s proven hydrogen fuel cell onboard.
Decades of experience put to the test – every day
The Honeywell 600-watt and 1200-watt liquid-cooled hydrogen fuel cells and our compressed hydrogen fuel source are being proven every day in a wide range of challenging real-world applications. They are ideal for military and commercial missions of all kinds, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), search and rescue, law enforcement, infrastructure and agriculture inspections, and other missions where silent operation and long duration flights are critical.
Honeywell engineers also have eyes on the future. They’re already working on the next generation of even more powerful and reliable hydrogen fuel cells and fuel-storage technologies to meet the demands of the burgeoning UAV community, as well as the commercial and defense aerospace industries.
Have a UAV project? Consider Honeywell Fuel Cells.
If you’re launching a new UAV project or are looking to improve the performance of your military, government or commercial UAV platforms, find out how Honeywell can help.
The hydrogen fuel cell advantage
- Three times the range or flight time of batteries
- Never needs recharging
- All-temperature performance
- Faster turnaround times between missions
- No environmental footprint
- Virtually noise-free
- Logistically simpler
- Liquid-cooled technology
- Operates more efficiently at high altitudes than air-cooled fuel cells
- Longer service life