SOFCs to Find Opportunities in UAV Applications
Multiple properties make solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) a good option for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications.
According to a report available from Research and Markets, the global aircraft fuel cells market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.37% from 2017-2021. A small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) needs an engine that is lightweight and highly efficient. As of 2015, the batteries used in many small electric UAVs could allow flight for less than an hour, which was one of the main challenges. However, increased spending on the R&D of battery and power systems is a positive trend.
According to the report, due to solid oxide fuel cells’ (SOFCs) high operating temperatures (< 1,832°F), they can run on almost every carbon-based fuel to generate electricity and power. Sustainable fuels such as syngas, pure and impure hydrogen, and biofuels can be used to operate SOFCs. They can also endure fossil fuel impurities such as ammonia and chlorides, enabling a wider application area.
Many local and international vendors in the market face stiff competition from other fuel cell manufacturers, as well as from alternative technologies such as solar energy and energy storage applications such as batteries and ICEs. These technologies have already established themselves, making it a challenge for fuel cells to gain wider acceptance.
For more information, visit www.researchandmarkets.com.