Fuel cells offer number of benefits for the materials handling industry. The run time of traditional battery packs is limited by the battery's storage capacity and the recharging process are labour, time and resource intensive, and gas/diesel solutions have maintenance and environmental issues. H2 Logic provides hydrogen fuel cell motive power solutions replacing battery or gas/diesel solutions in materials handling vehicles and is looking for end user demonstration sites and partners using Class 3 forklift trucks in 3 shift operation.
In 2008 two forklifts and one lifter using fuel cell systems from H2 Logic will commence pilot testing in the Danish hydrogen highway network Hydrogen Link together with hydrogen refuelling solutions from H2 Logic.
H2 Logic plan to further expand the portfolio of materials handling vehicles using our hydrogen fuel cell motive powers solutions as well as commencing on further demonstration and deployment activities. Our technology can be "hot-swapped" with existing battery packs and we are therefore looking for end users who are interested in converting their existing Class 3 forklift trucks in 3 shift operation for projects in late 2008. We are looking for sites in the following areas:
Advantages of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Forklift/Materials Handling Vehicles
-Only emits water!
-No NOx or SOx!
-No Particulate emissions!
-Hydrogen can be supplied from renewable sources and generated onsite.
-Significant carbon footprint savings
-Very quiet operation (significant when compared with diesel engines)
-No need to for disposal of hazardous waste battery materials
-Runtime is dictated by available fuel supply
-Refuelling - 2 minutes to refuel compared to 5-10 minutes to change batteries
-No degradation of power over time
-Fuel cells are more efficient (than diesel engines) and make fuels last longer
-Efficiency of the fuel cell is constant even at partial loads
-Storage space for spare battery packs and recharging equipment is no longer required - the equivalent fuelling infrastructure requires considerably less space
-There can be multiple refuelling points around around the facilities, removing the need to return to a single point
-Operators can be fully trained within hours
-Plug and play solution is interchangeable with current battery packs
-Increased productivity via longer runtimes and quick refuelling
-Reduced maintenance when compared to batteries
Please respond to this artcile if you are interested in exploring fuel cell forklift projects.
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Plug power (plug) which took over General Hydrogen and Cellex are presently using their Forlift Fuel Cells in a large Distribution Center in Ohio. They are having positive results. Deka Battery out of Penn. State is in partnership with Nuvera out of Mass. They are close to mass producing the Fuel Battery for Forklifts in North America. There are a handful of others working the bugs out on this future device that will eventually power the Lift Truck industry. Like any thing else, it will take time to set up the infrastructure for parts, service, training and of course getting hydrogen to the lift trucks. Currently their are several ways to get hydrogen. Truck it in just like propane, install a massive tank to receive liquid gas and use a cryovac system to create pressurized gas (BOC, Air Products), place a reformer in the facility by using the natural gas to make your own presurize gas and other options that our currently being developed. Go to fuelcellsworks dot com to get tons of info about Fuel Developements. Hope this helped. I have been researching Fuel Cell technology for quite some time and Hydrogen is our #1 element on this earth and we will never run out of it. As for lead, acid, fuels and other materials, you will notice that they keep going up. We are using up these resources faster than we may think and when they are gone, they are gone from this earth. Hydrogen will be the power for every machinery in the future since there may be no alternative. You will also have wind, tide, current, solar and other free sources of power mixed with hydrogen power. Cool stuff.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells are here to stay. Implement and proceed with safety in mind
Hydrogen FUEL CELL manufacturers for forklifts are increasing their output. Keep an eye on Nuvera-Deka, Plug Power and GNB. BOC, Air Products and Nuvera-Deka will provide the Hydrogen. Forget the Mom and Pop warehouses. This is mainly for big warehouse users with 50 or more lift trucks. Mass production will make them more affordable with a bigger ROI. Large warehouses require a battery room for 24 hour operations with cranes, extra batteries, extra employees, extra chargers, ample electric usage and maintaining the battery room. You have to factor in the lift truck operators waiting for battery changes (the highest cost). Hydrogen can be brought in from your gas companies, made from natural gas, broken down from NH3 (ammonia) or made from water with the help of solar power. Hydrogen power is the future since it is our #1 element on this Earth. Cheaper Hydrogen power is in the works. Keep an eye on your big Forklift and Battery companies. There will be several big announcements in 2008.
Good point Toyotaman. While fuel cells sound like a good idea and the answer to all our problems they are actually just good on the surface. Most of the environmentalists that talk their crap don't even understand the basic principles behind what they are preaching. Take Al Gore for instance, he preaches all kinds of crap then goes home to his 9,000 square foot house, just him and his wife. 9,000 square feet is about 4x the size of the average American home. So make sure you conserve energy so Al can go on wasting it.
While I agree with some of what you said... The reality is that the cost and reliabilty of fuel cells still has a long way to go. As of last week the cost of a fuel cell for a 5,000 lb. truck was $40k. It has a ten year life and requires a $20k maintenance contract for the ten years. I worked n the fast charging business for about 5 years and the hydrogen business is working with (and has been testing in the US since about 2001) the early adaptors to get the bugs out. One of the main problems is that on rider forklifts the initial inrush current that is need by the hydraulics pump is extreamly high and the fuel cells have problem supplying this much power. The fix has been to go to super capacitors or a hybrid fuel cell that adds a battery. The battery suppies the truck with power and the fuel cell constantly charges the battery.
The biggest joke I find with feul cells is the carbon footprint, tree hugger angle. I agree that within buildings their is no question that theing will be cleaner than LPD, Gas, Diesel or even Electric. However the dirty little secret about fuel cells is that yu actually need to make Hydrogen! In order to make hydrogen it take an huge amount of electricity! In the US we typically make electricty from burning, yes buring, coal, trash and natural gas. Thes are emmissions. So do you want emmisions coming from a million forklifts or the same amount or more emmissions coming from powerplants that generate the electricity to make the hydrogen to power the zero emmission forklifts.
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