Drones are vital in governments, military operations, commercial industries, medical field and many other Dallas electricity companies. But as drones become even more prevalent in our daily lives, the biggest challenge that drone users face is how to keep them in the air for long. Drones face one major limitation, low battery life. It is the battery power which determines how far it can go and how much weight it can carry. Although external factors such as weight of the package, flight style, wind and recording can significantly reduce a drone’s battery life, the design nature of their battery life is low.
Commercial retailers, their customers and even military personnel want to use drones which have longer operating times, high performance and are reliable. The average flight duration of a beginner quad-copter is around seven minutes. Furthermore, even the most expensive drone models cannot surpass the 25 minutes mark. There are many ways which can be used to extend the battery life for drones e.g. getting a bigger battery, using the conservative flight mode option, removing the propeller guards etc. However, these solutions can only do so little and they won’t add more flight time. A solution such as getting a bigger battery can potentially weigh down the drone while removing the propeller guard can be very risky.
Below are some of the energy solutions that can be used to keep drones powered for long periods of time without affecting their performance. They Include:
1. Use of Wireless Energy
Although currently this idea is in its prototyping stage, there has been a quick proof of concept about how wireless power can be used to power a drone hence allowing it to carry out tasks without a battery pack. The wireless charging technology, also known Inductive charging uses electromagnetic charges to transfer energy between objects. The charging station sends energy via inductive coupling to another electrical device and the energy is used to run the device or charge its batteries. The wireless energy technology to be used with drones is expected to rely on power beaming i.e. using directed energy like the ones used in laser treatments and microwaves. The energy will be send to drones allowing them to stay in air indefinitely. By eliminating physical connectors such as cables and connectors, wireless charging will make it efficient and easy to power drones.
2. Use of Fuel Cell Drones
Fuel Cells have long battery life with significant bonuses when compared to traditional batteries. They have high fuel to energy ratio, high efficiency, low heat transmission and they are also lighter when compared to equivalent energy solutions. Fuel cells have much longer operating times and unlike batteries; they do not have a memory effect when they are refueled. For example, an unmanned air vehicle called Ion Tiger can fly for more than 24-hours with 6lbs of payload using a fuel cell. Therefore fuel cells are one of the best energy solutions for drone battery life because not only will it reduce the overall weight of drones, but it will also allow them to carry more loads and increase the flying duration.
3. Drone Nests or Charging Stations
Drones are expected to become a major part in the logistics of big cities. With the ever charging technology, drones will soon be used by fire fighters, in traffic, by the law enforcement unit etc. However, note that the current drone models have short battery life and they need to be recharged constantly. To make them more effective, drone docking stations should be build at designated points within cities where drones can refill their batteries. This will enable them to fly in longer routes, drop and pick up additional package or even hunker-down when the weather is bad. The drone nests patent has already been awarded to Amazon and it describes that the stations will be installed in lamp posts, cell towers and any other high structure that a drone can easily land on.
Battery life has been a bottleneck in the drone industry for long but energy broker companies are now coming up with innovative and long lasting energy solutions. A company announced that it will be manufacturing batteries for commercial, military and industrial drones. The batteries will each have energy density of 265 Watt –Hours per Kilogram which is much higher because the typical drone battery has energy density of 150 -200 Watt-Hours Per Kilogram.