Intelligent Energy to Supply PINC with Hydrogen Fuel Cells for UAVs
Intelligent Energy will be supplying air cooled fuel cell systems to PINC, a provider of logistics and inventory management solutions, for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This marks Intelligent Energy’s first sale of fuel cell systems for UAVs as the Company moves forward with commercializing its technology.
PINC uses UAVs to identify and orchestrate hard-to-reach inventory and assets in the global supply chain and is a major provider of yard management, finished vehicle logistics, and inventory robotics solutions to the world’s largest manufacturers, retailers and contract logistics providers. PINC has defined the UAV market in the supply chain with an innovative inventory approach that transcends the delivery use case.
Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell systems for UAVs offer longer flight time, fast refuel capabilities and flexibility for varying payloads, addressing a number of challenges. This is particularly evident in the commercial space where UAVs are increasingly being used for a number of applications including inspections, search and rescue and film and photography.
PINC will operate the fuel cell powered UAVs alongside battery operated UAVs as part of its inventory robotics offering, which provides real-time inventory tracking by air. PINC’s unmanned aircraft system (UAS), ‘PINC Air’, allows companies to apply drone technology, coupled with advanced RFID and optical sensor capabilities, to significantly improve the operational effectiveness and efficiency of inventory checks. PINC understands longer flight time is essential to the development of its customer offering and Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell systems will provide this.
Julian Hughes, Senior VP at Intelligent Energy, commented on the deal: “I am delighted to announce the first sales of our fuel cell systems for UAV application. PINC is leading the way with the use of hydrogen fuel cell UAVs in the supply chain and we are certain they will be impressed with the benefits our fuel cells will offer over conventional batteries. We look forward to a long relationship with them.”
Martin Bloom, Group CEO at Intelligent Energy, added: “PINC is based in California, a state that is proactively adopting hydrogen. We see this region as a significant market for Intelligent Energy’s range of market-ready fuel cell products.”
Working prototypes of Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell systems for UAVs were showcased last year at InterDrone. This first UAV deal demonstrates the company’s commitment, as part of its revised strategy, to commercialize fuel cell technology for this fast growing market.
Frank Schroth is editor in chief of DroneLife, the authoritative source for news and analysis on the drone industry: it’s people, products, trends, and events.