Viessmann to use Still fuel cell forklift at German headquarters

Viessmann to use Still fuel cell forklift at German headquarters

NEWS Currently, electric delivery trucks are limited to traveling about 80 miles (130 km) per charge. By doubling the vehicle range, Plug Power’s rang...

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NEWS Currently, electric delivery trucks are limited to traveling about 80 miles (130 km) per charge. By doubling the vehicle range, Plug Power’s range extender will make battery-based electric vehicles a viable solution for a wide range of applications, including parcel delivery trucks, taxis, post office trucks, and port vehicles. Through successful trials and execution with FedEx Express, Plug Power will display how its range extender solution increases delivery fleet efficiency to over 50%, coupled with a 35–40% decrease in fuel expenses, when compared to diesel trucks. ‘Only 1% of [delivery] vehicles are electric today; we think that this range extender provides the added distance and quick refueling capabilities needed to really grow this market,’ says Plug Power’s CEO, Andy Marsh. ‘Plug Power’s expertise in the materials handling market – where we have more than 90% market share – is an ideal base on which to build this technology’ [see the Plug Power feature in FCB, December 2011]. Plug Power and FedEx Express are already collaborating in a DOE project to deploy 15 electric tow tractors at FedEx Express airport hub locations in Memphis, Tennessee and Oakland, California [FCB, November 2012, p1]. Currently Plug Power’s primary market is materials handling vehicles for the likes of Mercedes-Benz in Alabama [FCB, September 2013, p3] and BMW in South Carolina [FCB, July 2013, p2], and at IKEA in France [FCB, June 2013, p8]. Plug Power is also looking to demonstrate the viability of fuel cells to power transport refrigeration units on trailers hauled by trucks that deliver perishable goods [FCB, September 2013, p4 and December 2013, p3]. Plug Power, Latham, New York, USA. Tel: +1 518 782 7700, www.plugpower.com Smith Electric Vehicles: www.smithelectric.com

Viessmann to use Still fuel cell forklift at German headquarters

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he German heating manufacturer Viessmann is trialing the use of a fuel cell powered forklift truck in everyday production operations at its base in Allendorf, the first such deployment in the German state of Hesse. Hesse is home to many logistics companies, and is therefore particularly interested in promoting the development of a climate-friendly and energy-efficient logistic application. This demonstration project is supported by the Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellen-Initiative 4

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Hessen (H2BZ-Hessen, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Initiative Hesse), which aims to give local companies the opportunity to trial the specially equipped forklift, provided by Still GmbH, which is powered by a Hydrogenics PEM fuel cell module. Later this year an electrolyser will be installed next to the company’s biogas plants, to produce hydrogen utilising excess wind or solar power. The biogas will be converted into methane using a microbiological process; the resulting hydrogen will be tested to check if it is pure enough to be used for refueling of fuel cell forklifts. Viessmann recently announced the first PEM fuel cell cogeneration system for single-family homes in Europe, developed with Japanese partner Panasonic, which is expected to go on sale in Germany in April [FCB, September 2013, p1]. Viessmann Group: www.viessmann.com H2BZ Initiative Hessen: www.h2bz-hessen.de [in German] Still GmbH, Fuel Cell Technology: www.still.de/brennstoffzelle.0.30.html Linde Industrial Gases, Hydrogen Energy: http://tinyurl.com/linde-h2-energy

US Navy launches fuel cell powered UAV from underwater sub

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he US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has successfully launched a fuel cell powered, all-electric, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from a submerged submarine. The submerged launch of a remotely deployed UAV offers a way to provide missioncritical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the US Navy’s submarine fleet. The UAV is powered by a hydrogen PEM fuel cell system developed by Massachusettsbased Protonex Technology [FCB, October 2009, p6]. The XFC is a fully autonomous, all-electric, fuel cell powered folding-wing UAS with a flight endurance of greater than 6 h. The nonhybridised power plant supports the propulsion system and payload for a flight endurance that enables relatively low-cost, low-altitude, ISR missions [see the feature on military UAVs in FCB, December 2007]. The XFC UAS uses an electrically assisted take-off system which lifts the plane vertically out of its container, enabling a very small footprint launch such as from a pickup truck or small surface vessel. Operating with the support of the submarine USS Providence and the Naval Undersea Warfare

Center-Newport Division, the XFC UAS – short for eXperimental Fuel Cell Unmanned Aerial System – was fired from the submerged submarine’s torpedo tube using a Sea Robin launch vehicle system. This system was designed to fit within an empty Tomahawk launch canister (TLC). Once deployed from the TLC, the Sea Robin launch vehicle with integrated XFC rose to the ocean surface, where it appeared as a spar buoy. On a signal from the USS Providence, the XFC then vertically launched from the Sea Robin and autonomously deployed its X-wing airfoil, and after achieving a marginal altitude, assumed a horizontal flight configuration. The XFC UAS then flew a successful several-hour mission demonstrating live video capabilities streamed back to the USS Providence, surface support vessels, and Norfolk, Virginia. It then landed at the Naval Sea Systems Command Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center at Andros, Bahamas. The NRL project – conducted by its Chemistry and Tactical Electronic Warfare Divisions – also received funding from the Office of Naval Research through its SwampWorks programme – which explores innovative, highrisk and disruptive technologies and concepts – and the Department of Defense’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office. US Naval Research Laboratory: www.nrl.navy.mil Protonex Technology Corporation, Southborough, Massachusetts, USA. Tel: +1 508 490 9960, www.protonex.com

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Whitbread trials Baxi fuel cell at UK hotel under ene.field project

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hitbread, the UK’s largest hotels and restaurants business, is partnering with Baxi Commercial on a two-year trial of fuel cell technology to reduce water and energy consumption at one of its hotels. The 1 kW Gamma Premio PEM fuel cell system was supplied by German-based Baxi Innotech, under the European Union’s ene.field programme. The fuel cell was installed last summer at the Glastonbury Premier Inn, which opened at the start of 2013, with four engineers travelling from Baxi Innotech in Germany to help with system commissioning. This busy hotel offers ideal trial conditions to test the new technology in a hotel with high hot water demand – the fuel cell provides approximately 700 litres

January 2014