Researchers from South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) have developed a miniaturized solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) which can give drones enough power to stay in flight for more than an hour.
In a notice posted on its website on Tuesday (8 March), POSTECH noted: “The research team developed, for the first time in the world, a new technology that combines porous stainless steel, which is thermally and mechanically strong and highly stable to oxidation/reduction reactions, with thin-film electrolyte and electrodes of minimal heat capacity.
“Performance and durability were increased simultaneously. In addition, the fuel cells are made by a combination of tape casting-lamination-cofiring (TLC) techniques that are commercially viable for large scale SOFC.”
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POSTECH added that standard lithium batteries can only give drones a “limited flight time of less than an hour”, which has been one of the biggest problems with drone usage.
POSTECH’s Professor Gyeong Man Choi and his Ph.D. student Kun Joong Kim have developed the SOFC, and their results were published in the March edition of Scientific Reports, the sister journal of Nature.