Hydrogen Drones Take To the Sky

Heven Drones
Ben LevinsonBen Levenson is Co-founder and CEO of HevenDrones, a manufacturer of heavy-lift actionable drones capable of solving a range of commercial, infrastructural, humanitarian and military challenges.  From autonomous last-mile delivery to defense missions, emergency response, and infrastructure repair, the company’s fully-customizable drone solutions deliver cutting-edge performance, patented stability and superior lifting capability. Powered by an expert team with military, engineering, and scientific backgrounds, the company enjoys a strategic partnership with Plug Power and is a partner and supplier of the Israel Ministry of Defense. In February, HevenDrones launched its first hydrogen-powered drone for commercial use, the H2D55. With 5-times greater energy efficiency than traditional lithium battery-powered drones, the H2D55 is capable of flying for 100 minutes with a payload capacity of 7 kilograms. The launch of HevenDrones’ hydrogen product line addresses the challenge of flight endurance and payload capacity associated with lithium battery-powered drones as well as the long term environmental impact linked to lithium mining. Without the need to frequently replace batteries, hydrogen fuel cells will also lower long term ownership costs for organizations implementing drone technology at scale. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Ben talks about HevenDrones, the company’s innovative hydrogen drones and the promise and future hydrogen propulsion systems. Mentioned Links Show Outline
  • Hydrogen-powered drones [00:00:00] Ben Levinson explains the technology behind Heaven Drones’ hydrogen-powered drones and the benefits of using hydrogen as a fuel source.
  • Introduction to Heaven Drones [00:03:27] Ben Levinson introduces himself and explains how Heaven Drones is focused on building drones that can act as flying robots. Ben describes the unique design of Heaven Drones’ drones, which allows them to be effective as flying robots and also fly for significant distances.
  • Incorporating hydrogen as a fuel source [00:08:59] Ben Levinson discusses how Heaven Drones decided to incorporate hydrogen as a fuel source for their drones. The search for an effective energy source for drones led to the use of hydrogen, which has a high energy density and weight advantage.  Heaven Drones uses a hydrogen fuel cell that replaces the lithium battery, providing five to eight times more energy and flight time. Swapping out hydrogen cylinders is simple and advantageous over batteries, allowing for shorter refueling times and 100% renewable energy.
  • Operational Aspects of Using Hydrogen [00:13:41] Fuel cells require less maintenance and have longer operational cycles than lithium batteries. Extreme weather conditions can be overcome with the company’s innovations. Heaven Drones has a traditional line of battery-powered drones, but hydrogen drones are best suited for customers who need longer flight times and have access to hydrogen supply chains. Ben also discusses the benefits of using hydrogen as a fuel source for drones, including extended range and operational time, and the potential for hydrogen propulsion systems to revolutionize the industry.  Describes the capabilities of Heaven Drones, including their focus on building drones that can act as flying robots, their autonomous container concept for logistics, and their exploration of use cases in construction, agriculture, and emergency services.
  • Expansion of Heaven Drones [00:22:00] Announces the opening of Heaven Drones’ first US office in Miami and their global expansion plans, including partnerships in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
  • History of Heaven Drones and the Drone Industry [00:22:50] Discusses the founder’s involvement in the drone industry for the past five years, the inspiration behind starting Heaven Drones, and the potential for growth in the industry. Details the two-year development program for hydrogen propulsion systems and the recent launch of Heaven Drones’ first commercially viable hydrogen drone.
  • Lessons Learned in the Drone Industry [00:24:37] Reflects on the early stages of the drone industry and the potential for growth, accelerated by factors such as COVID-19 and recent events in Ukraine.  The challenges of building a drone company, the need for patience, and the importance of building an aircraft program.
  • Enabling Access to Drones [00:26:16] The importance of working together to make drones more accessible to the masses and the need for an ecosystem to achieve this goal.
  • Future of Heaven Drones [00:27:34] The launch of a new line of hydrogen drones, global growth, and exciting partnerships in different industries. The limitless potential of drones and the need for innovation to push drones out to the world.
  • Bright Future of Drone Industry [00:29:53] The challenges and potential of the drone industry, the trend towards becoming more efficient, and the bright future of drones.

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