Ads
News service and business centre for materials handlingHOME
Search  
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16569

16582,16583,16584,16588 9321
Future forklifts powered by compressed air
Thursday, 16 Dec 2010 ( #492 ) - Brooklyn, Victoria, Australia
Local News Story
The forklift is an ideal vehicle to use the technology Di Pietro has developed.
Forget hydrogen fuel cells: the future for forklifts has to be Australian inventor Angelo Di Pietro’s air motor technology based on his unique rotary piston concept.

It sounds too good to be true, but the Engineair motor has virtually eliminated vibration, internal wear and friction, and produces no emissions.

It’s cheap to run too – air is everywhere and free. The only cost is the energy used for compression. With modern compressors, this process can be very efficient and the energy could come from a green source such as solar or wind which would totally eliminate CO2 emissions. The compressed air drives the motor without any combustion or harmful exhaust gases, the perfect solution to a clean and healthy working environment.

Di Pietro has appeared on numerous television shows to demonstrate the technology, winning the ABC’s New Inventors show in 2004.

He has already demonstrated its efficiency in running a motor vehicle, a market trolley, a garden utility truck, a motor scooter and a lawn mower – the next step is to develop a forklift running on compressed air, a project Di Pietro and his associate Dr James Ma, a physicist, are already tackling.

Ma tells Forkliftaction.com News that the forklift is an ideal vehicle to use the technology Di Pietro has developed, particularly in warehouse applications where zero pollution is highly desirable.

He says the project should be completed by early next year and, if successful, the team will contact forklift manufacturers to perform a full demonstration.

"The forklift we’re converting will be powered by three special air motors, which replace the three electric motors in the original Nichiyu forklift. So, instead of a battery supplying electricity, we use air cylinders supplying compressed air."

The advantages of a compressed air forklift over an electric forklift are numerous. Batteries are expensive, take hours to be charged and have a limited life of no more than 2,000 charge cycles. Compressed air can be charged up in a matter of minutes from a filling station. Air tanks virtually have an unlimited life and can be filled and refilled hundreds of thousands of times. Because forklifts need the counterbalance weight, low-cost steel tanks can be used instead of expensive carbon fibre tanks, making it economically feasible. A major problem with compressed air vehicles is availability of compressed air over long distances. In a warehouse environment, this problem does not exist as forklifts do not travel far. A compressor with air storage tank is all that is needed as a filling station. For large sites, the compressor could take advantage of cheap off-peak power at night time and store the compressed air for use during the day.

Ma believes the hype over hydrogen fuel cells will soon be forgotten once the advantages of compressed air become apparent.

"There is a lot going on in America and Europe on hydrogen fuel cell forklifts, and the advantages of fuel cell over battery is now well known. Compressed air forklift will retain all the advantages of fuel cell plus much more. It does not use hydrogen, which is the biggest problem, and the fuel cell itself is expensive and has a limited life as well.

"Sure, compressed air has a lower energy density than hydrogen. But air is free - the only cost is the energy to compress the air. For a warehouse environment, a compressed air forklift is a very viable proposition."

The biggest obstacle that Di Pietro has to overcome in converting the forklift to use compressed air is to ensure it can carry enough to run a reasonable shift.

Ma tells Forkliftaction.com News that the forklift they’re currently converting can run for two hours continuously.

"If a longer running time is required, we can just add more air tanks and increase the air pressure. At the moment we have 150 litre tank capacity at a pressure of 350 bar. But with a filling time of one to two minutes, it is really not a problem. "

Typically, greener options usually carry a heavier price tag but Ma says this type of forklift will be price-competitive once in production.

"At the moment, it’s costing us $3,000 on three air tanks, we supply our own air motors (and) we save $5,000 on the battery. Once mass produced, the cost of an air compressed forklift will be comparable to or cheaper than a battery electric forklift. With the almost instant recharging time and long operating life, compressed air forklifts will be more productive, cost effective and save money in the short term and long term.

"We hope to turn the whole world onto running compressed air forklifts wherever possible," he concludes.
Discuss Forkliftaction.com News stories in the Discussion Forums!
x
separate border
THIS WEEK'S NEWS
Global News

Global News

UNITED STATES Bluff Manufacturing has been acquired by Wincove Private Holdings, a ... [more]
UNITED KINGDOM Yale Europe Materials Handling has launched a new mid-range ICE ... [more]
FINLAND Kalmar has been awarded the contract to heighten three ZPMC ... [more]
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16574
Ads


UniCarrires Americas, Toyota Material Handling USA [more]
UNITED STATES Genie has released a new consolidated maintenance protocol for its ... [more]
UNITED KINGDOM Tim Waples, vice president and CEO of Doosan Industrial Vehicles ... [more]
UNITED KINGDOM The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is urging organisers and ... [more]
CANADA Industrial tyre company Camso has launched an independent division, Solideal ... [more]
UNITED KINGDOM A crew member of a boat docked at Easter Ross ... [more]
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16575
Ads


Advertisement
MaxTruck has signed an exclusive Agreement with LINDIG Fördertechnik GmbH for the German market. LINDIG has a long and successful track record in the Material handling business with leading trademarks. The MaxTruck 2T has met with huge interest from the German market. MaxTruck is convinced that LINDIG has the ... [more]

Announcements (Ads)

KEYTROLLER introduces their newest generation SPEED SAVER device designed for ... [more]
Efficiency and productivity and reduction of the overall cost of ... [more]
This year marks TVH's 14th participation in CeMAT Hannover. With ... [more]
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16577
Ads


Industry Leading Platform Forkliftaction has launched a new company logo ... [more]
Curtiss-Wright’s Industrial division (Hall 26, Stand C14 - CeMAT Hannover ... [more]
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16578
Ads


It’s safe to say that hydrogen fuel cells are changing ... [more]
TASK EYE has been in research and development for the ... [more]
CeMAT to be co-staged with HANNOVER MESSE every two years, ... [more]
IMO’s amended SOLAS regulations requiring verification of a freight container’s ... [more]
The nation’s largest intralogistics and materials handling show has confirmed ... [more]
Advertisement
Your Access to CeMAT Hannover 2016 starts with our CeMAT 2016 insider blog: www.forkliftaction.com/cemat16   Live from the Forkliftaction stand: Don’t miss highlights from the world’s biggest intralogistics event. Kicking off: To celebrate the launch of our CeMAT2016 blog, we share our new company video. {statlink|1|View ... [more]
Safety First

Safety First(Blog)

One of these days these forklifts are gonna walk all ... [more]
Subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter.
NEWS ARCHIVE | PAST NEWSLETTERS
©2013 Forkliftaction.com - All rights reserved
 
x
©Forkliftaction.com
Forkliftaction Media Pty Ltd
PO Box 1439
Milton QLD 4064
Australia


Storing your login information automatically.

When you select the 'Remember me' option, your login information will be stored on your computer in the form of a cookie. When you visit Forkliftaction.com again, the stored login information will be retrieved automatically and you will not have to submit your login parameters (email address and password) each time you want to visit our members-only pages.

A cookie is a small piece of data that is sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. A cookie can't read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. Cookies do not damage your system.

 Back to Top