The hydrogen power company, Air Products, will run a two-year demonstration program for hydrogen-powered forklifts at the Defense Logistics Agency. The program will create an indoor hydrogen fueling station infrastructure to fuel 20 hydrogen-powered forklifts for daily operations at the Defense Distribution Susquehanna Pennsylvania (DDSP) warehouse. Air Products is collaborating with General Hydrogen to retrofit battery-powered forklifts with fuel cell power packs and provide fueling stations.
DDSP personnel will operate the fuel-cell forklifts alongside lead-acid battery forklifts in daily operations. DDSP will gather data to compare costs and operational characteristics. The data will be used to support the development and commercialization of hydrogen fuel-cell technologies for Dept. of Defense operations.
Hydrogen-powered forklifts need refueling once or twice daily. The process typically takes less then five minutes. By contrast, battery-powered forklifts must be taken out of operation for battery replacement or recharging every four to six hours. “We believe the program will demonstrate that hydrogen-powered forklifts will show productivity improvements during active warehouse operations while also showing economic and environmental benefits,” says Tom Joseph, business development manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products.
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