Air Products’ hydrogen fuelling technology is powering forklifts at a defense distribution depot in Pennsylvania.

The global leader in hydrogen fuelling and infrastructure has installed its technology in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, at the Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna Pennsylvania.

It is powering an overall fleet of 40 hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts, which are being used in daily warehouse operations.

Air Products is the lead contractor for the two year Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) research and development demonstration pilot project.

In the pilot project, DDSP personnel will operate 20 fuel cell-powered forklifts alongside lead-acid battery forklifts, outside the scope pilot project, in daily operations.

In addition, the fuelling station will be used to support an additional 20 fuel cell-powered forklifts provided by DLA.

Data to compare costs and operational characteristics will be collected and analysed to support the development and commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for Department of Defense operations.

Advantages
There are many advantages to using hydrogen powered forklifts and other materials handling equipment.

Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment needs refuelling, which can be completed in minutes, only once or twice daily depending on use.

In contrast, traditional battery-powered equipment must be placed temporarily out of operation for battery replacement, and required battery recharging approximately every four to six hours.

Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment provides consistent power during use and does not experience decreased performance or wear down as traditional lead-acid battery units do as they near a required battery change out or recharge time.