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Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts with rapid refueling, zero emissions coming soon
Date:4/15/2014

s spearheaded other Sandia efforts to introduce hydrogen systems into the marketplace. He served as technical lead, for instance, for studies on the use of fuel cells to power construction equipment, personal electronic devices, auxiliary equipment and portable generators. Most recently, he led a study and subsequent demonstration project on commercial use of hydrogen fuel cells to provide power at ports.

For its part, HHC is developing technologies for the fuel cell forklift market and expects cost reductions and performance improvements that will help the market grow. The company is developing a low-pressure hydrogen storage system that can be refueled at standard industrial gas pressures. That should reduce fuel system cost and expand the market to facilities that can't accommodate conventional high-pressure fueling systems.

To solidify the forklift collaboration, HHC sent Adrian Narvaez to Sandia's Combustion Research Facility in California for several months. "Joe and I work together every day on the design, so it's a huge advantage to be able to work on site at Sandia," said Narvaez.

Pratt said: "If hydrogen refueling is short enough to occur during normal downtimes, such as during operator breaks, then a single hydrogen forklift can do the work of three battery packs over the course of 24 hours. That translates into a direct cost savings."

Technical, economic barriers to overcome

Today's hydrogen storage units require high pressure (5,000 pounds per square inch, or psi) to achieve a short refueling time and high pressure refueling requires an on-site compression system. "That can be a big expense, especially for a small company," Narvaez explained. "If we can provide a storage system that meets the target refueling time at, say, 500 psi, companies can get a break in the up-front costs. Plus, they no longer have to purchase battery rechargers or dedicate space for recharging. Instead, companies can simply pu
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Contact: Mike Janes
mejanes@sandia.gov
925-294-2447
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
Source:Eurekalert  

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Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts with  rapid refueling, zero emissions coming soon
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