Doosan Mobility Innovation, GTI, and SoCalGas will explore the use of hydrogen drones with up to 120 minutes of flight and up to 11 pounds of maximum payload for pipeline inspection.
This could be an important development not just for the drone market but for hydrogen too with fuel cells providing advantages over traditional battery powerpacks such as extended flight times and less weight in comparison.
Drones could also become a new major market with the technology set to accelerate in the coming years as new opportunities to deploy the technology open up.
The drone system set to be utilised is known as the DS30 and has been developed by Doosan; SoCalGas will utilise the system to assist with natural gas pipeline inspections with drone usage able to provide unparalleled imagery and aerial mapping services to further improve pipeline system maintenance.
The DS30 demonstration will provide close-up digital photography for locations that are difficult or hazardous to access and provide imagery for aerial mapping and three-dimensional topographic models which allows for deeper insight on terrains surrounding the utility’s operations.
Additionally, SoCalGas has said that the drone system can provide a video record of pipeline routes, construction sites, open trenches, and working conditions.
Neil Navin, Vice-President of Clean Energy Innovations for SoCalGas, said, “This hydrogen-powered drone offers an opportunity to more efficiently monitor our pipelines in hard to access areas, allowing us to collect more data to quickly solve potential pipeline integrity issues.
“This project is a great demonstration on the versatility of hydrogen and its broad range of applications as a clean fuel of the future. Adopting advanced monitoring hydrogen drone technology to maintain the integrity of our pipeline system is part of our mission to build the cleanest, safest, and most innovative energy company in America.”
Doosoon Lee, CEO of Doosan Mobility Innovation, said, “Our partnership with SoCalGas and GTI means more than just a simple drone project.
“Our hydrogen-powered DS30 drone is used to inspect SoCalGas’ facility and serves as a perfect demonstration of how zero emission drones can be used, especially in a long-distance application such as pipeline inspection.
“We continue to discover a true value of 2 hours flying drone system powered by hydrogen for our customers. We hope this partnership can represent one of its greatest value.”
Making hydrogen happen
This March, H2 View will explore A Climate for Action and Investment in Europe in an immersive event that features some of the leading stakeholders and influencers in hydrogen, as well as a return to in-person networking and the opportunity to meet the Women in Hydrogen driving the agenda forward.
Taking place in Munich, Germany, confirmed speakers already include the Hydrogen Council, Hydrogen Europe, Clean Hydrogen Partnership, FiveT Hydrogen, Airbus, Nel and Michelin.
Further information on the event, agenda and confirmed speakers can be found here.
To book your ticket, click here.