SoCalGas, DMI and GTI announce unique hydrogen drone techJanuary 12, 2022
The companies announced their collaboration for launching the first-of-its-kind technology at the CES.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) and GIT used the opportunity at the CES Las Vegas summit to announce a partnership for the launch of DMI’s first-of-its-kind hydrogen drone tech.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is powered by H2 using a cutting-edge fuel cell powerpack.
The companies took the opportunity to use the 2022 CES event for the demonstration of their DS30 hydrogen drone system. DMI demonstrated the system with the support of SoCalGas and GTI. The system provides top fuel cell powerpack performance offering as much as 120 minutes of flight time. Its maximum payload is 11 pounds. Powered by H2, the DS30 has a 1-mile pipeline monitoring capacity in a single flight.
SoCalGas intends to deploy the DS30 as a tool to help in natural gas pipeline inspections. Using this technique offers aerial mapping and imagery services that simply cannot be feasibly achieved in any other way. This insight can be invaluable for making pipeline system maintenance improvements.
The DS30 hydrogen drone demonstration offered close-up digital photography for otherwise challenging locations.
The demonstration showed how the DS30 could offer close-up digital imagery in locations that would otherwise be difficult and/or dangerous to access. Moreover, it provided photography for aerial mapping and for use in three-dimensional topographic models. This data can be applied to obtaining better insight into the terrain surrounding SoCalGas’ operations. Furthermore, the system can provide a video record of construction sites, working conditions, open trenches, and pipeline routes.
“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,” said SoCalGas vice president of clean energy innovations Neil Navin. “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.”
The technology can be fine tuned using solid hydrogen as it releases hydrogen through hydrolysis without expense of much energy on board to operate fuel cell.