Drones are fantastic technology, used in all sorts of industries – forestry, conservation, firefighting to name a few – not to mention for leisure. But although they are invaluable and fun machines, like any technology they have certain limitations.
Most current drones give the operator about half an hour of flying time before they have to be landed and recharged. The charging time depends on the drone, but is usually between thirty minutes and an hour. It’s not the biggest drawback, and intelligent drone operators have found ways of achieving their objectives allowing for those charge times.
But what if you could charge a drone in five minutes?
That’s the promise of the new technology being touted by StoreDot. This ambitious Israeli tech company already proved the worth of its charging technologies by charging the specially adapted battery of an electric car in five minutes. Now they’ve turned their attention to drones.
How does it work?
The product, FlashBatteries, uses a technology known as nanodots, which are special electrodes that serve a function similar to supercapacitors. The material used to make the batteries are, they claim, bio-organic in origin and as such promise to be environmentally friendly.
The upshot of this is that they claim to have created a drone charging station that can fully charge a spent drone battery in five minutes flat. The battery itself has slightly less capacity than current, slower charging batteries which will mean a reduced flight time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing when you consider how many more flights overall could be made with such rapid charging technology.
OK, how much?
The company has not yet announced how much the new batteries and associated kit will cost, but they have made sample batteries available. StoreDot is suggesting that the batteries will be comparable in cost to existing technologies.
However, using the batteries in drones in a sort of holistic, all-encompassing system with multiple charging stations and operators swapping out batteries to keep drones in the air would mean buying more kit and batteries, which could increase overall costs.
We await further developments with interest!