The Raymond Corporation will test hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts in its factory in Greene, N.Y. Raymond has developed the necessary infrastructure for indoor fast-fill hydrogen refueling systems.
The goal of the program is to study the performance of hydrogen fuel in electric forklifts and to demonstrate the safety of a hydrogen-fueled forklift environment. Expected outcomes include a working indoor refueling system that meets all required code and standard requirements, and documented best practices for the design and application of indoor refueling systems.
"The Raymond Corporation is committed to researching the application of hydrogen as an alternate method for storing energy on its forklift equipment," says Michael Field, Raymond vice president, research and development. By using our own facility as a test lab, we can streamline the development process and learn firsthand the requirements for using fuel cell powered forklifts in a manufacturing environment."
Hydrogen fuel cells can offer higher productivity in lift truck applications because they can be rapidly refueled-in several minutes versus several hours-eliminating the need to change a battery. A battery recharging cycle is long, typically taking one shift to charge and another shift to cool down the battery. For a three-shift operation, three batteries plus a charger may be needed per lift truck, as well as room to store and maintain them. Cost savings come from eliminating the need to buy batteries and chargers, and from labor savings. Another advantage is that the voltage delivered by a fuel cell remains constant, which means that the vehicle experiences no performance degradation until the fuel runs out.
Source: Raymond Corp.