New partnership to demonstrate hydrogen drone for pipeline inspections

The hydrogen-powered drone is capable of monitoring a one-mile-long pipeline in a single flight

Big Zero Report 2023

A new partnership that aims to demonstrate hydrogen drone technology for the inspection of natural gas pipelines has been launched.

Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI), with the support of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and GTI, will showcase its DS30 drone system powered by hydrogen, which is capable of monitoring a one-mile-long pipeline in a single flight.

SoCalGas plans to use the drone to assist with natural gas pipeline inspections, with the technology providing close-up digital photography for locations that are difficult or hazardous to access and imagery for aerial mapping and three-dimensional topographic models that allow for deeper insight on terrains surrounding the utility’s operations.

The hydrogen fuel cell drone system, which can stay airborne for up to two hours of flight time, can also provide a video record of pipeline routes, construction sites, open trenches and working conditions.

Neil Navin, Vice President of clean energy innovations for SoCalGas said: “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. ”

“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.”

GTI, a research, development, training and professional services organisation, will support the integration of hydrogen into new technologies.

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