Fuel Cells: A Real Option for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Propulsion

Article, Review Spanish; Castilian OPEN
González_Espasandín, Oscar ; Leo Mena, Teresa de Jesus ; Navarro Arevalo, Emilio (2013)

The possibility of implementing fuel cell technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion systems is considered. Potential advantages of the Proton Exchange Membrane or Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEMFC) and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC), their fuels (hydrogen and methanol), and their storage systems are revised from technical and environmental standpoints. Some operating commercial applications are described. Main constraints for these kinds of fuel cells are analyzed in order to elucidate the viability of future developments. Since the low power density is the main problem of fuel cells, hybridization with electric batteries, necessary in most cases, is also explored.
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