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SoCalGas partners with DMI, GTI to launch first-of-its-kind H2 drone tech demonstration

Image Courtesy: Doosan Mobility Innovation

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has announced that it has joined Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) and GTI at the CES Las Vegas summit to announce their partnership in launching DMI's first-of-its-kind hydrogen drone technology.

With the support of SoCalGas and GTI, DMI will be demonstrating their DS30 drone system, which offers the best fuel cell powerpack performance with up to 120 minutes of flight time and up to 11 pounds maximum payload. Powered by hydrogen, the DS30 can monitor a 1-mile-long pipeline in a single flight.

SoCalGas plans to use the DS30 drone to assist with natural gas pipeline inspections. Drone usage provides unparalleled imagery and aerial mapping services to further improve pipeline system maintenance. The DS30 demonstration will provide close-up digital photography for locations that are difficult or hazardous to access and provide imagery for aerial mapping and three-dimensional topographic models which allows for deeper insight into terrains surrounding the utility's operations. Additionally, the drone system can provide a video record of pipeline routes, construction sites, open trenches, and working conditions.

"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," said Neil Navin, vice president of clean energy innovations for SoCalGas.

"This project is a great demonstration of 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 is excited to partner with SoCalGas and DMI on this demonstration of hydrogen in the fast-growing application of drones," said Ted Barnes, Director of R&D at GTI.

"Our role is to support the integration of hydrogen into new technologies and this partnership allows us to utilize our capabilities while working with leaders in the field."

"Our partnership with SoCalGas and GTI means more than just a simple drone project. Our hydrogen-powered DS30 drone is used to inspect SoCalGas' facility and serves as a perfect demonstration of how zero-emission drones can be used, especially in a long-distance application such as pipeline inspection," said Doosoon Lee, CEO of DMI.

"We continue to discover a true value of 2 hours flying drone system powered by hydrogen for our customers. We hope this partnership can represent one of its greatest value." 

Author : Debi Dash
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