Storage

Hydrogen Power Source for Warehouse Traffic

Industrial vehicles may not drive on the hydrogen highway, per se, but that doesn’t preclude them from joining the fuel cell frenzy.

Murray Hill, New Jersey/Vancouver, Canada – September 21, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Industrial gases company BOC and fuel cell power-solutions company Cellex Power Products are starting a new round of customer trials for the fuel cell powered forklift trucks that the companies produce. Target customers for the companies are large distribution warehouses in North America. This round of trials for the hydrogen powered forklift trucks is expected to last three months. “These trials will show customers how hydrogen fuel cells can improve truck productivity significantly by removing the downtime and performance loss seen in battery-powered trucks, and reducing the health and safety risks associated with handling lead acid batteries. Also, hydrogen refueling systems are considerably smaller than a typical battery recharging facility, which frees up additional floor space within the distribution center,” said John Carolin, who is the global director of hydrogen energy at BOC. BOC also is participating in the Compressed Hydrogen Infrastructure Program (CH2IP), a hydrogen fuelling demonstration in Surrey, British Columbia. CH2IP is aimed at developing the infrastructure necessary to support the use of hydrogen fuel in vehicles. Once vehicle trials are complete, the companies plan to develop on-site hydrogen fueling stations for the forklift trucks they sell. “Cellex’s power units have logged hundreds of truck days to date from its field trials program which began in February 2002,” said Tom Hoying, who is the vice president of Sales and Marketing at Cellex Power. “The next step in the field trials will demonstrate the safe and efficient fueling of hydrogen at customer locations.”