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.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
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