Ads
News service and business centre for materials handlingHOME
Search  
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16951

16975 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

Walk through any materials handling exhibition, and the trousers will ... [more]
CANADA Court documents show that the Toronto-Dominion Bank is chasing close ... [more]
VIETNAM Ben Nghe Port in Vietnam has ordered two Konecranes BOXHUNTER ... [more]
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16954
Ads


FINLAND Kalmar has received an order from Suomen Satamatekniikka Oy, a ... [more]
Hoppecke Industrial Batteries, Hiab, Terex [more]
SWEDEN Hiab is renewing its mid-range loader cranes with 24 totally ... [more]
UNITED KINGDOM One of the UK’s leading food companies, the Addo Food ... [more]
UNITED STATES Pittsburgh-based retailer Giant Eagle is making productivity gains from its ... [more]
UNITED STATES The Raymond Corporation has commemorated the 65th anniversary of the ... [more]
Advertisement
Forkliftaction News examines the latest trends and challenges in its in-depth reports. The upcoming features will draw attention to health & safety, performance, world economics and smart design:
  1. FORKLIFT ATTACHMENTS,  November 2016  Contact us now to participate!
  2. FORKLIFT MANUFACTURING & DISTRIBUTION IN NORTH AMERICA, 2017
  3. ICE FORKLIFTS, ... [more]
Your Focus

Your Focus(Blog)

Dave Mirsky examines the new accounting rules for leases in ... [more]

Announcements (Ads)

Cascade, the global leader in lift truck attachments, forks, accessories ... [more]
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16956
Ads


Mobicon Mini Straddle Carriers TF2 (Top Spreader - 2 High) ... [more]
Real FMX will assist with wear and tear reduction, improve ... [more]
Over 400 exhibitors demonstrating what’s new in the world of ... [more]
Novi, Michigan is set to become an energy focal point ... [more]
IMHX is the largest meeting place for the UK’s logistics ... [more]
/lynad/news_adclick.asp?assid=16953
Ads


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