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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Forklifts
Will Hydrogen powered Forklifts take over the current Battery or LP powered Forklifts? I say yes, and in the near future. Give me your opinion.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are here to stay. Implement and proceed with safety in mind.
  • Posted 23 Sep 2004 09:42 PM
Total replies: 63. Showing items 1 - 20 of 63 results.
Hi dougster,
My view is different. Fossil fuel powered forklifts may be superseded by hydrogen powered in small/medium capacity. As long as reciprocal IC engine is used, vibration and noise levels are inferior to those generated by electric forklifts. Ultimate power source is the fuel cell. How and when we reach to this goal is quite dependent to developments mostly in the automobile industries where volume can press down the cost increase force. Hydrogen or any hybrid system is a mere transition alternative to the existing prime movers. How would you say?
  • Posted 13 Oct 2004 12:59 PM
Hi dougster,
Let me amend my remark of yesterday.
you are corresct. Hydrogen fuel cell will supercede all the existing fossil fuel powered prime movers.
Sorry and Thanks
  • Posted 14 Oct 2004 10:03 AM
They will come. I just read that Cellex, a company that is making fuel cell packages, and Crown are starting field trials at Wal-Mart in January. There are great benefits in productivity to be made using fuel cells in fork lifts. The cost for pauses made when changing batteries, storage of batteries and people handling them isn´t exactly low..
  • Posted 5 Jan 2005 12:45 AM
  • Admin
  • Admin
  • Queensland, Australia
Also see the 4th article in newsletter [url removed] Fuel Cells Inc and East Penn Manufacturing Company Inc plan to develop a hybrid battery/fuel cell electric power source for forklifts and other off-road industrial vehicles.
  • Posted 15 Jan 2005 10:28 AM
  • Admin
  • Admin
  • Queensland, Australia
Also at Promat this week Raymond Corp gave a Press Conference in which they outlined some of the work they are doing with emerging technologies...."Over the last two years , Raymond has worked with several fuel cell technology companies to explore the viability of Hydogen fuel cell power for lift [url removed] cell companies have had functional demonstrations in North America that provided hands-on testing and assessment."

Contact me about any forum administration issues.
  • Posted 15 Jan 2005 10:35 AM
There actually was a working hydrogen fuel cell forklift at the last Promat show. Unfortunately it was at a small booth in a poor location at the show and I don't think too many people actually saw it. Over the last year or two I have talked with a couple of representatives from the fuel cell industry and neither were willing to say that hydrogen fuel cell technology will be cost competitive with current fuel options. It was obvious that they determined their strategies needed to be related to the clean burning properties and the ease of refueling (versus changing or charging batteries). Unfortunately, if it can't be competitive purely on fuel cost, I don't think the other benefits will be enough to make a significant change in the industry.
Also from a purely environmental standpoint, I think hydrogen fuel is not as "green" as many are led to believe. Though it burns clean, the processes used to create hydrogen fuel may not be. In some cases, fossil fuels will be used to create the hydrogen (or used to create the electricity that is used to create the hydrogen).
I’m not an expert on hydrogen fuel cells, so feel free to jump in and let me know if I am misunderstanding the process.
  • Posted 18 Aug 2005 03:12 AM
Fuel cells can have a large savings for large battery users. Fueling up with hydro in a couple of minutes for the whole day would be a dream come true. Presently the Fuel Cells are too expensive along with the reformers. Fuel Cells can range from $10,000 to $30,000 each and the reformers (hydrogen makers) can cost as much as $15,000 per truck. No company would invest in this cost today or anytime soon. Fuel Cells can be the answer for battery replacement and maybe propane but not at todays cost. The cost will be much lower soon. Only time will tell.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are here to stay. Implement and proceed with safety in mind.
  • Posted 19 Aug 2005 08:35 PM
Indeed they can. I just saw in the news section that General Hydrogen are going to sell 100 fuel cell units for forklifts commercially now. I don´t think they would risk producing a hundred FC-units without the firm knowledge that they will be able to sell them..

About the "cleanness" of hydrogen as a fuel: Yes, it is totally right that if you would be producing hydrogen let´s say by burning coal there would not be any environmental benefits made at all. Hydrogen is just a carrier of energy. There is a short term and long term perspective to this. The long term perspective is that the hydrogen should be produced from renewable energy sources like windmills or solar cells. The short term perspective is that we might have to begin with using existing sources of hydrogen like reforming it from natural gas for example. This gives us the opportunity to a choice of "switching track" further ahead into using renewable energy sources and thus reducing/eliminating the greenhouse gas problem and stop using nuclear power who´s waste products no one wants on their backyard. If we don´t begin using fuel cells we will not have that choice. Using hydrogen also gives us the opportunity to get away from having to adjust the energy output according to the damand depending on the time of day/year. I think General Hydrogen has made a good explanation of the hydrogen concept here. Check especially #4. [url removed]
  • Posted 22 Sep 2005 10:28 PM
  • • Modified 22 Sep 2005 10:35 PM by poster
Thank you for pointing it out. I just posted and didn´t bother to check that the URL got submitted.
  • Posted 23 Sep 2005 01:23 AM
Hydrogen Fuel-Cells for Lift Trucks are still a little ways out. The problem is, they still don't supply enough power for the bigger Trucks (36V applications). The big players, Cellex, Nuvera, General Hydrogen and Hydrogenics are getting closer to producing a great product. Could there be a Merge in the future? A merge could speed up the quality and mass production side of Fuel-Cells. "Fuel is up again"

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are here to stay. Implement and proceed with safety in mind.
  • Posted 3 Oct 2005 09:09 PM
  • dan_b
  • British Columbia, Canada
Interesting discussion. I've seen these fuel cells in lift trucks working. The US government is supportive to reduce the dependency on oil. Lift trucks are an interm step to automobiles. Is it coming? By 2007 I expect we will be setting up large warehouses with these systems.
  • Posted 7 Oct 2005 03:06 AM
I just read a very informative article titled "Application of Fuel Cells to Fork Lift Trucks" in the September/October edition of Industrial Utility Vehicle. The article is posted on their web site (you should be able to find it with a google search).
The article is based on an analysis of fuel cells by Raymond. I felt it gave a rather honest assessment of the technology and where the ROI could be (though I've long ago learned to never trust the actual ROI numbers provided by an equipment manufacturer).
  • Posted 28 Oct 2005 03:39 AM
No one here seems to have considered the net energy problem of hydrogen technology. Hydrogen will always be the fuel of the future for the simple reason that it takes 1.3 units of energy to create 1 unit of hydrogen energy. Hydrogen also can never be stored in a container without leakage because it is the simplest molecule. It can never be used as a replacement for fossil fuel as a transportation fuel because of scalability. The expense and complexity involved with building infrastructure to support hydrogen technology is ridiculous. Moreover, the platinum contained in hydrogen fuel cells will be depleted from the earth long before enough are built to meet demand. If anyone wants credible references to back these claims, I have plenty, email me for them if you wish.

Hydrogen is a red herring and will never be a scalable, practical alternative to fossil fuel because its existence depends completely on a cheap fossil-fuel economy in the first place.

Good grief, charlie brown...
  • Posted 29 Nov 2005 02:50 PM
Hydrogen fuel cells are further along than you may know. We are very close to mass producing fuel cells for industrial trucks. The payback would be great for big companies. When you compare all the cost that comes with the dangerous lead acid batteries/changing equipment or LP trucks/high maintenance, hydrogen is the way to go. Less Platinum is needed for fuel cells today and is decreasing every year. Alternative metals are being used in some applications(nickel w/carbon coating). As for the automotive industry, that's another discussion.
  • Posted 2 Dec 2005 02:51 PM
Does anyone know how East Penn is doing with their Fuel Cell testing at their Industrial Battery production plant in PA. USA?

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are here to stay. Implement and proceed with safety in mind.
  • Posted 12 Jan 2006 11:11 PM
Looks like USA is about crank up its Fuel Cell program. Price of lead is going up and the cost of Forklift Fuel Cells will continue to go down.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are here to stay. Implement and proceed with safety in mind.
  • Posted 2 Feb 2006 11:16 PM
GreenShift (environmental investment firm) is investing in General Hydrogen (hydrogen fuel cells for forklifts company), and Linde (forklift company) is buying Boc (hydrogen gas company). Get ready for forklifts running on fuel cells soon.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are here to stay. Implement and proceed with safety in mind.
  • Posted 7 Mar 2006 11:08 PM
The achilles heel of hydrogen is NET ENERGY, it is not a money problem. Energy in versus energy out. Why feed your dog steak and eat his alpo? And let's talk about cost. How much does a fuel cell currently cost, and how long will it last before it has to be replaced?

Good grief, charlie brown...
  • Posted 15 May 2006 12:23 AM
Strange. First you say it is not a money problem. In the next sentence you say let´s talk about the cost...

If you say that using fuel cells today would not be cost effective you might be right although having to charge jundreds of batteries on the worst time of the day from an economical viewpoint might not exactly be for free either. Electrolyzing the hydrogen on site nighttime might actually turn the dog into a brilliant chef that makes something much tastier of the steak.. :)

No, I think the usage of fuel cells lies in a not too distant future. The oil is not getting any cheaper and the demand for CO2-free fuels by governments e t c is pushing also. But the key issue is - if fuel cells are going to be the "green alternative" then the energy for making the H2 has to originate from renewable sources although there might be a transition period when H2 is derived from natural gas. In combination with fuel cells the efficiency of renewable sources increases because the hydrogen can be produced both day and night.
  • Posted 16 May 2006 01:27 AM
  • • Modified 16 May 2006 01:49 AM by poster
Fuel Cells in the near future for Forklifts. Batteries will continue to go up in price 10% or more per year, while Fuel Cells will continue to get cheaper to make. The key to the Fuel Cells sucess is to make Hydrogen Gas easy to get.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are here to stay. Implement and proceed with safety in mind.
  • Posted 7 Aug 2006 08:48 PM
Total replies: 63. Showing items 1 - 20 of 63 results.

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