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Wal-Mart Tests Hydrogen-Powered Electric Pallet Trucks
Wal-Mart has successfully complete beta trials of hydrogen-powered electric lift trucks at two of its Ohio-based distribution centers. The zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell-powered pallet trucks met and exceeded uptime, fueling, environmental and safety targets.
Cellex Power Products Inc. supplied the hydrogen fuel cells. Other companies associated with the trials included: BOC, a member of The Linde Group for hydrogen fuel; Ballard Power Systems Inc. for Mark9 SSL fuel cell stacks; OKI Systems for service and support; and Crown Equipment Corp. and Nissan Barrett for pallet trucks.
"This beta trial success is a significant milestone for Cellex from Wal-Mart's perspective," says Johnnie Dobbs, Wal-Mart's executive vice president of logistics and supply chain.
"We really put these Cellex-powered vehicles to the test in our pallet truck applications and they did the job. Our pallet truck operators were most pleased with their performance and the ease of use. We now understand that operationally this new technology can be utilized in this application," says Dobbs.
The beta completion is the culmination of a four-month long field trial of Cellex's CX-P150 fuel cell product. Twelve rider pallet trucks worked in continuous operation, logging more than 18,500 hours of active work with over 2,100 indoor fueling occurrences by pallet truck operators.
Highlights from the beta trials:
Increased productivity: Cellex fuel cells showed improved productivity via longer run times and shorter fueling times when compared to lead acid batteries.
Reduced fueling time: Pallet truck operators fueled their trucks in less
than two minutes.
Validation of indoor fueling by operators: The indoor fuel dispensing area of 200 square feet (compared to 4,000 square feet for a lead acid battery room) allowed operators to easily fuel their trucks quickly and safely.
Increased operator satisfaction: Operators preferred Cellex's CX-P150 power unit over lead acid batteries due to its consistent power, ease of fueling and flexibility to opportunity fuel.
Quick training and orientation: Operators were fully trained within half an hour. In all, more than 100 operators and service technicians received training during the beta program.