How can Fuel Cells be used in Today’s Materials Handling Market?
Today’s materials handling market is highly focused on efficiency while
reducing energy costs and emissions. Many in the materials handling
business are looking for alternatives to combustion powered fork lifts.
Leaving the market ripe for a strong green technology, fuel cells. In
fact, fuel cell forklifts have already been deployed across the country
in materials handling applications, including with such high-profile
companies such as Wal-Mart, Sysco, Wegmans, Coca-Cola, Whole Foods,
Central Grocers, United Grocers, Nissan and BMW.
What Advantages do Fuel Cells have over Battery Powered Fork Lifts?
Battery electric forklifts are becoming a strong force in today’s
materials handling market, but fuel cells outperform compared t
batteries in almost every measure.
Power Degradation
Battery electric forklifts have a serious issue with powered
degradation over time. As batteries near the end of their charge, their
performance decreases exponentially. Fuel cells will never degrade in
power output over time; they run at the same excellent level of
performance as long as they have fuel in their tanks.
Battery Replacement
Another major issue of lead acid forklifts is that they must be
replaced with a new battery once the charge runs out. This requires
further valuable floor space be used for supplementary battery storage
and charging, as well as needing an extra technician to assist in the
battery replacement. Furthermore, this process takes about 20 minutes
to perform, wasting valuable time in an industry devoted to efficiency.
On the other hand, fuel cells only take about 3 minutes to refill their tanks
and require the same level of skill to fill up a car with
gasoline. Without the need for replacement and back upbattery storage
and charging, more space is made available for actual warehouse needs.Battery Life
When using lead acid batteries in forklifts, two batteries are needed
and they last only 4 years before needing to be completely replaced.
However, fuel cell forklifts require only 1 fuel cell unit which will
last for 8 to 10 years, a much sounder investment.