Another pilot program tries fuel cells on forklifts
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Robins Air Force Base, GA, United States
Non-profit technology developer Concurrent Technologies Corp (CTC) has begun a two-year demonstration program to retrofit 20 military forklifts with hydrogen fuel cells.
The intention is to transition a viable technology from the laboratory to the warehouse floor as part of an effort to find alternative energy sources.
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) began the fuel cell forklift pilot project on July 24 at Warner Robins defense depot on Robins Air Force Base in Georgia as the second in a series of research and development demonstrations.
Now, those forklifts operate on traditional rechargeable batteries. On site, operators will reform natural gas to obtain the hydrogen for the project.
CTC of Johnstown, Pennsylvania is teaming with hydrogen supplier Air Products and Chemicals Inc of Allentown, Pennsylvania and fuel cell power product creator Hydrogenics Corp of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada to complete the retrofit process.
An immediate operational benefit is eliminating the extensive process to recharge batteries. Under the program, a mobile refueler can complete the process much quicker with hydrogen.
The natural gas reformer, hydrogen fueling station system and dispensing module will occupy 15 feet by 18 feet (1.4 metres by 1.6 metres) and produce up to 2,000 standard cubic feet per hour of 99.999% pure hydrogen at 125 pounds (56kg) per square inch gauge (psig). The storage capacity will be 330 pounds (150kg) of hydrogen at 7,000 psig.
The US Defense Department's DLA serves as a logistics combat support organization supplying the military services and several civilian agencies with critical resources they need to accomplish worldwide missions.