Fuel Cells to Power Material Handling Fleet in New Sysco DC

June 21, 2010
Lift and pallet trucks in Sysco’s new 585,000-square-foot foodservice distribution center (DC) in Houston will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Sysco’s 72 pallet trucks and 26 lift trucks will use Plug Power GenDrive fuel-cell units. The DC will be Sysco’s first greenfield site to operate without a battery infrastructure.

Sysco says the fuel cells will extend equipment runtimes and eliminate the need to dispose of lead-acid batteries. Liquid hydrogen fuel will be delivered to the facility, converted into gas and then dispensed with two hydrogen fuel pumps located in the DC.

The hydrogen fuel cell project was made possible in part by a grant provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.