This new technology could increase the endurance of a fixed-wing UAV by ten times compared to using batteries alone! How? Mesodyne’s technology converts fuel into electricity with heat and light as intermediaries. Specifically, its thermophotovoltaic portable power generator works by burning fuel to heat a photonic crystal thermal emitter to incandescence, leading to infrared radiation which drives specialized photovoltaic cells to generate electricity. Huh?
Simply put, Mesodyne delivers watts of electricity at the fuel flow of a lighter in the palm of your hand.
Their fuel-to-electricity conversion process is a platform technology applicable to any application where performance is limited by battery weight or where all other sources of power (grid, solar, wind, etc.) are not available or practical.
Mesodyne says units will be available for purchase in 2020.