Innovation Spotlight: Hyster’s first hydrogen powered forklifts
Hyster Asia-Pacific has begun demonstrating the latest in clean fuel technology, hydrogen powered forklifts.
Units are currently available in North America, however demonstrations have begun taking place with Australian businesses.
Hyster’s Asia-Pacific Managing Director Tony Fagg believes that:
‘the new hydrogen powered vehicles…showcase the future for a whole new generation of future focused work vehicles…’
The new hydrogen range are production tested units that fully complement the existing Hyster offering of units with capacities of 1-52 tonnes.
Fagg further highlights:
‘The new hydrogen powered forklift trucks are aimed particularly at companies seeking the ultimate combination of environmentally harmonious indoor and outdoor performance, without having to interrupt production cycles or have vehicles out of service for lengthy charging or battery changing.’
The new units utilise Hyster’s durable high performance Nuvera fuel cell systems, to replace current lead acid batteries in class I, II and III electric lift trucks.
Units can be fully re-fuelled in as little as three minutes, saving on significant downtime when compared to current battery-operated units that can take up to 8 hours to charge. This ease of refuelling allows fleets to realise their full potential – maximising product and operator utilisation, as well as gains in uptime and productivity.
The Nuvera fuel cell system is designed and built to provide customer ROI over the lifecycle of the unit.
How does hydrogen power the forklift?
Like the way we fuel our cars, the hydrogen units are refuelled via a hose from a bowser similar to those at a petrol station. Hydrogen is pumped into the unit’s storage tank.
As long as the fuel cell is supplied with hydrogen and oxygen electricity will be generated to power the unit’s electric engine.
The conversion process of the hydrogen fuel to electricity is through a chemical reaction in the cell, electricity is produced.
This process is very clean because, unlike a conventional fossil fuel engine, a fuel cell doesn’t burn the hydrogen.
Instead, it’s fused chemically with oxygen producing electricity and water, this being the primary emission from the vehicle giving the vehicle outstanding clean, green credentials.
Who will utilise hydrogen powered forklifts?
The environmental benefits of Hyster’s hydrogen powered technology can be utilised by a broad range of corporate socially and environmentally responsible industries including:
- Materials handling
- Distribution and processing
They are also relevant to Australia’s large resource sectors including mining, gas and oil.
Resource companies operating in remote or environmentally sensitive areas, where fuel spills and any subsequent fire could have catastrophic consequences for the environment can adopt hydrogen powered units to reduce their environmental risks and impact footprint.
Environmentally aware utilities including local authorities, energy, water and waste water engineering facilities and transport and automotive service facilities where workers may be exposed to environmental and workplace OB&S hazards, will also benefit from the enhanced safety provided by hydrogen powered units.
Hyster’s innovative hydrogen powered forklifts will extend to a wide range of materials handling operations, where productivity is a vital element in maintaining a competitive edge.’
- Pauka, C. (2018). Hyster goes with hydrogen. [online] Tranpost & Logistics News. Available at: https://www.tandlnews.com.au/2018/04/24/article/hyster-goes-with-hydrogen/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2018].
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