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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.