Most consumer drones can last for about 20 to 25 minutes in the air. But what if yours could fly for several hours at a time?

That's the goal of Intelligent Energy's hydrogen fuel cell-powered range extender for drones. For the last 14 months, Intelligent Energy has been testing two drone configurations: one powered only by a hydrogen fuel cell, and the other by a fuel cell-battery hybrid system.

Promising longer flight time and faster re-fueling, the first prototype will be on display at CES next month. The U.K.-based power technology company specializes in the development of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, for use in the automotive, consumer electronics, and stationary power markets. But now it's branching out to drones, for which it combined an ultra lightweight fuel cell stack with a battery to boost in-air time and reduce recharging time.

"Drones are one of the most exciting new technologies. [But] even with advanced batteries their value is limited," Julian Hughes, head of Intelligent Energy's Consumer Electronics Division, said in a statement.

"For commercial use, they need to offer better flight times and range," he continued. "That will all become possible with the release of our range extender platform. A longer flight time coupled with quick re-fuel opens a wide range of new commercial possibilities for businesses."

Possibilities like inspection of offshore platforms, search and rescue, high-quality aerial photography, precision agriculture, and package delivery.

But buyer beware: If you're hoping to unwrap an unmanned aerial vehicle this month, or are planning to leave one under the tree for someone else, be sure to read up on the Federal Aviation Administration's rules and regulations. Starting next week, users will need to register their drone with the FAA; the Department of Transportation is accepting registrations online starting Dec. 21. All U.S. owners of small drones—weighing 0.5 to 55 pounds—must sign up no later than Feb. 19 or face fines for flying non-registered devices.