Air Products hydrogen
fuel technology powers
WinCo warehouse units
Feb 14, 2012 10:10 AM
Air Products (NYSE: APD) announced that its hydrogen fueling technology and infrastructure is now onstream and providing hydrogen to fuel material handling fuel cell units at WinCo Foods LLC’s 800,000-square-foot grocery distribution center in Modesto CA. Air Products is currently fueling 33 material handling units, with 49 more pieces of equipment to be added in April, and increasing to 184 overall when the facility conversion to hydrogen-powered fuel cell lifts is complete in 2013.
“We worked closely with WinCo as the timing for getting hydrogen supply installed was critical to a seamless conversion of their material handling equipment to hydrogen fuel cells,” said Sarah Hammond, business development manager–hydrogen energy systems at Air Products. “We began using our mobile fueling technology, and then brought the permanent fueling station online this month, which includes two fueling dispensers.”
WinCo material handling units being fueled by Air Products include Plug Power’s (NASDAQ: PLUG) GenDrive hydrogen fuel cell power units. These systems can be quickly refueled in minutes, eliminating the need to change, store, charge, and maintain multiple lead acid batteries for each lift.
Hydrogen-powered equipment only needs refueling once or twice daily, depending on use, and does not require change-out downtime. It provides consistent power strength during use and does not experience decreased performance or weardown. Unlike battery-powered forklifts, hydrogen-powered fuel cells are not adversely impacted by temperature when operating in coolers and freezers. Hydrogen-powered equipment is more environmentally friendly and does not involve lead-acid battery storage or disposal issues.
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