StoreDot is Charging Commercial Drones in just 5 Minutes

StoreDote from Tel Aviv announced an automated charging station fully-charging a commercial drone in five minutes. This ultra-fast charging (UFC) wireless station designed to charge drones using StoreDot FlashBattery technology. It overcomes two major barriers disturbing the drone industry: the need for a “man-in-the-loop” to replace battery packs between missions, and restrictions on where charging stations can be located.

Today, it takes between 60-90 minutes to charge a commercial drone, with full charge giving a flight time of approximately 30 minutes. As a result, drones spend far longer in the charging station that in operation. To overcome this problem, additional batteries must be purchased and swapped out between flights. This costly process also requires a ‘man-in-the-loop’ to replace the batteries, making drones operations less autonomous.

The need for a person to be involved in the charging process also limits the range of operation and demands locating charging stations at easily accessible locations. This means that drones currently have to spend much of their limited flight time travelling to and from the nearest charging point, greatly reducing their operational efficiency. It also restricts the use of drones in harsh or dangerous terrains – often where they could bring the greatest benefits.

Dr. Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot, said that by reducing battery charging time to just 5 minutes and eliminating the need for human intervention, fully-autonomous drone operation is finally being made a reality. “Drones will now be able to spend much more of their valuable flight time engaged in actual missions.”

StoreDot uses organic compounds synthesized in its labs, to produce its instant-charging battery – FlashBattery. The technology is based on novel materials replacing the active graphite with metalloids such as Silicon, combined with proprietary organic compounds that protect the active materials during fast charge. While LiBs are aimed at increasing battery capacity, StoreDot has taken a new approach and redesigned an entirely new Li-ion battery structure in order to tackle the need for frequent charging.

ElectReon Raised $50 Million for EV Charging in Motion

The year 2020 is a critical year for Electreon Wireless from Beit Yanai, near Tel Aviv. The company has almost completed the viability tests of its unique Wireless Electric Roads (ERS) technology, and now is preparing itself for the next phase: commercialization and large scale projects. This week it gained the trust of some of Israel’s biggest institutional Investors, such as Migdal, Psagot, Mor, Excellence and more, who invested US$50 million in the company.

Electreon Wireless was established in 2013 and developed a new concept of Electric Road: It makes use of Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer via electromagnetic fields produced under the roadbed, to charge the batteries of passing Electric Vehicles, thus allows for smaller and cheaper batteries, and new services such as “Charge as a Service”.

The system consists of a copper coils as road infrastructure placed under the road at the center of the traffic lane; A receiver located under the vehicle chassis; Communication system to provides real-time communication with each vehicle and a Power station – An underground system that transmits the energy to the road’s infrastructure.

Prior to the last investment round, Electreon had achieved a major milestone: It had completed a test of dynamic wireless charging of a 40 ton long haul electric truck on the island of Gotland, Sweden. The test verified that the road infrastructure successfully functions in real life conditions and that the system is not affected by snow or rain.

Charging a moving truck on the island of Gotland, Sweden
Charging a moving truck on the island of Gotland, Sweden

The test was conducted on a public stretch of electric road, that was deployed in November 2019, between the airport and the town of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland. The system provided dynamic charging of the truck on a 50 meter section at a speed of up to 30 km/h. The results proved that the system operated while the truck was on the move and all the receivers functioned and transferred 45 kW to the truck’s battery. Additional electric road segments will be deployed and an electric bus will be in commercial operation as an airport shuttle.

The company is expecting to complete full commissioning of its demo projects in Tel Aviv and Sweden by the end of 2020. Those projects include a 25-30 km deployment that will charge heavy-duty trucks in Sweden, and a 10 km shared deployment for public transportation and other commercial users in Tel Aviv. The company also plans to establish a local presence in selected new markets such as GermanyItalyFranceCaliforniaIndia, and Latin America, and to use the funds to accelerate the development of commercial projects.