Cellex Power Products, Inc. (Vancouver, B.C.) recently completed tests of hydrogen fuel cell-powered pallet trucks at two Ohio distribution centers operated by Wal-Mart (Bentonville, Ark.). The zero-emission vehicles reportedly met and exceeded uptime, fueling, environmental and safety goals. The four-month long field trial included twelve rider pallet trucks that logged more than 18,500 hours of work and 2,100 indoor fueling occurrences by pallet truck operators.
“We really put these Cellex-powered vehicles to the test in our pallet truck applications and they did the job,” said Johnnie Dobbs, Wal-Mart’s executive v.p. of logistics and supply chain. “Our pallet truck operators were most pleased with their performance and the ease of use.”
“Today, what customers are objectively looking for in regards to fuel cells is real-world proof that they are ready to meet performance and uptime requirements,” said Tom Hoying, Cellex’s v.p. of sales. “For Wal-Mart, this trial was about validating the productivity, environmental and safety benefits of Cellex’s fuel cell products in their various pallet truck applications.”
The fuel cells pallet reportedly delivered better productivity because of longer run times and shorter fueling times when compared to lead acid batteries. Operators were fully trained within half an hour. In all, more than 100 operators and service technicians received training during the beta program. Pallet truck operators fueled their trucks in less than two minutes.
Other companies associated with the fuel-cell trials included: BOC, a member of The Linde Group for hydrogen fuel; Ballard Power Systems, Inc. for Mark9 SSL fuel cell stacks; OKI Systems for service and support; Crown Equipment Corp. and Nissan Barrett for pallet trucks.