Plug Power Inc., announced last week that they have received $500,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to demonstrate the viability of replacing diesel generators with hydrogen fuel cells for powering transport refrigeration units (TRUs) on trailers hauled by trucks that deliver perishable goods.
Plug Power was selected by NYSERDA to develop a fuel cell and interconnect hardware based on its GenDrive fuel cell architecture. The Plug Power TRU fuel cell will power a Carrier Transicold refrigeration unit for the Sysco Corp. distribution center in Long Island, N.Y., for 12 months with the hydrogen supplied by Air Products.
Successful completion of this trial is expected to open the door to hydrogen fuel cell expansion into the refrigerated transport market -- employing clean energy to regulate cold temperatures for fresh and frozen foods, such as produce, dairy products, meats, ice cream and other items while en route to grocery warehouses, distribution centers and retail destinations. In the course of one day, a typical diesel TRU can consume about 10 gallons of diesel and emit 101 kg of carbon dioxide (CO(2)). This is in stark contrast to Plug Power hydrogen fuel cells, which have zero CO(2) emissions, and release only a small amount of heat and water.
"The NYSERDA opportunity is crucial to Plug Power, as we move forward with development of fuel cell solutions for TRU deployments," said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. "Along with a similar, recently announced TRU project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, this contract enables us to execute on our strategy to implement hydrogen fuel cells in markets adjacent to the material transport industry."
Plug Power recently announced it had also won a $650,000 contract from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories via the Dept. of Energy to develop fuel cells for the TRU market. To read more, click HERE.