StoreDot yesterday gave the first demonstration of its revolutionary five-minute, ultra-fast drone charging technology.
The Israeli lithium-ion battery company uses nano-material and electro-chemical technologies in its innovative batteries.
Using the company’s batteries, drones land in small autonomous charging stations made by third-party manufacturers. StoreDot hopes the unmanned charging stations will be widely distributed across a user’s ‘mission area’.
The drone can then operate on a continuous mission, with only five-minute charges needed every half an hour, rather than returning to base after every flight. This will significantly improve the longevity and range of missions.
Doctor Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot CEO, explained: “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 [ultra-fast charging] 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.”
It will also have bearing on other industries. In 2019 StoreDot demonstrated a five-minute charge of a two-wheeled vehicle, and it also promises 30-second charges for smartphones.
Hosting a virtual reveal and Q&A, the company then demonstrated its new technology successfully. Its drone left the charging station, flew for half an hour, and returned to the station for another five-minute charge.
“There are many companies that say that they have fast charging,” said Myersdorf, “but usually they mean half an hour.
“Our vision is five minutes of charging for any electric vehicle. We have demonstrated this with two-wheelers and four-wheelers, but we have demonstrated that it is very effective with drones too.
Myersdorf also confirmed that the battery will be somewhere in the range of “two to three times” the price of a traditional battery, though a final price has not been set yet, and that a second generation of the technology is on the way soon.
“Gen 2 will have a slightly better battery life,” he said, “but a much better cycle life.
“The charging station will range from those that are cost effective to those that are very fancy. It ranges from low-cost to very expensive. They are made by third party companies,” he added, concluding, “This technology can transform the drone industry with ultra-fast charging.”