StoreDot, an Israeli drone start-up, has been able to reduce the charging time of drone battery to less than 5 minutes by using ultra-fast charging (UFC) technology, without the need for human intervention.
The battery technology uses the company’s custom-developed metalloid nanotechnology alloys with a very high diffusion and low resistance when the lithium ions are introduced.
When the drone lands in the charging station a flap opens on the battery to allow the charger to connect with it, once the lid of the station closes the drone begins to charge removing the need for so many extra batteries to be purchased. The new battery technology can last from anywhere between 100 and 150 cycles.
Dr. Doron Mysersdorf, CEO of StoreDot, had the following to say on the company’s ultra-fast charging (UFC) technology being paired with drones:
“The launch of a UFC solution for drones changes the game. By reducing battery charging time to just 5 minutes – which is up to 18 times faster than existing drone batteries – and eliminating the need for human intervention, drone operators have far greater freedom about where they can site charging stations. As a result, continuous, fully-autonomous drone operation is finally being made a reality.”*
Most multicopter drones can only fly for about 30 minutes because their battery has to be recharged for one to two hours, which obviously limits their practical use. This means drones spend much longer time in the charging station than in operation – and this is why most commercial drone operators carry multiple batteries to deal with the problem, which is more time-consuming, and an expensive solution. In contrast, StoreDot’s FlashBattery technology delivers a full charge in just five minutes.
StoreDot press release explains how important this achievement is:
“UFC overcomes two of the major barriers that have prevented the drone industry from realizing its full potential – the need for a “man-in-the-loop” to replace battery packs between missions and restrictions on where charging stations can be located.”*
Dr. Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot comments:
“The launch of a UFC solution for drones changes the game. By reducing battery charging time to just 5 minutes – which is up to 18 times faster than existing drone batteries – and eliminating the need for human intervention, drone operators have far greater freedom about where they can site charging stations. As a result, continuous, fully-autonomous drone operation is finally being made a reality.
Drones will now be able to spend much more of their valuable flight time engaged in actual missions, greatly extending their range, rather than having to return to base to have their battery swapped out. At the same time, UFC will also enable drone users to expand their operations into regions they could not previously access. Both of these factors will significantly increase operational efficiencies and profitability, making the business case for drone use much more attractive than ever before.”*
FlashBattery technology not only reduces drone charging times drastically with very little tradeoff in terms of energy density, but their ultra fast charging system is offered at a competitive price.
According to Dr. Doron Myersdorf:
“In applications where cutting response times is critical, and where organizations must also demonstrate a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, the use of drones can play a crucial role in helping to establish a competitive advantage. However, commercial drone ventures haven’t really taken off up until now as they haven’t yet delivered an economical business model. For these types of companies, UFC technology can hugely improve and extend their existing operations and make them much more profitable. We believe this technology can also open the door for new players to enter this space and extend their service offering, making drones a more attractive proposition as a new revenue stream.”*
Sample cells are now available to drone manufacturers for testing and should be available to the public by the end of 2020.
Present & Future
Until now, there were two hurdles to overcome with drones, the first hurdle was that most commercial drone batteries took such a long time to charge and the second issue was that current drones needed human intervention, both hurdles have been overcome, thanks to StoreDot.