14 Jul 2017

Technology Collaboration Helps Start-up Extend Flight Time of Drones



Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones are becoming more popular for both recreational and commercial purposes. Due to the limitations of current lithium batteries, manufacturers are looking for alternative power solutions to keep drones in the air longer and reduce the inconvenience of recharging or changing batteries shortly after a flight. 

EnergyNova Pte Ltd is a local start-up which designs and manufactures compact, light-weight, and on-demand hydrogen generators, which when paired with a fuel cell, can be used in a wide range of consumer applications including powering drones. With an aim to work towards a prototype that can power a drone for two hours, it was looking to further improve its product’s design and efficiency as it worked on developing its commercially viable product. Through IPI’s online portal, EnergyNova was connected to researchers from Temasek Polytechnic’s Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC), under the School of Engineering, who had developed a proprietary hydrogen generation system that performed better than conventional systems. 

A research collaboration agreement was inked to integrate Temasek Polytechnic’s technology in EnergyNova’s hydrogen generation system as well as a licensing agreement which allows EnergyNova to commercialise its improved hydrogen fuel cell system.  

“This technology partnership with Temasek Polytechnic will enable EnergyNova to improve the performance of our hydrogen generation system and accelerate time to market ahead by approximately 12 months. We are truly excited to work with Temasek Polytechnic to develop this cutting-edge technology and look forward to working with drone manufacturers to develop more compact hydrogen generation solutions to power their drones for even longer flights in the near future,” said Dr George Zhang, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at EnergyNova.

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