News items relating to forklift trucks
Yale forklift runs on hydrogen and solar power
The launch of the UK's first hydrogen production and refuelling facility powered by solar energy heralds the dawn of an era of true carbon-free fuel.
The gas will be generated from water using solar hydrolysis at Honda UK's manufacturing plant in Swindon, and will be used initially to power fork lift trucks, a fleet of commercial vehicles, and an education centre situated alongside the filling station.
With the generating and dispensing infrastructure now in place to ensure commercial-scale volumes of liquid Hydrogen on tap, one of the partners in the venture, Briggs Equipment UK, has developed the technology to run a pair of Hydrogen fuel cell-powered 2.5t Yale 80v trucks at the site.
The forklifts are Lithium-Ion/ Hydrogen hybrids, whereby a Hydrogen-powered IC engine sits alongside the electric motor. The trucks operate similar in manner to regular LPG-powered trucks, with no discernible difference in performance. Using tried-and-tested technology similar to Fl's KERS energy-capturing devices, kinetic energy from braking and the lowering of the mast is stored in the Li-Ion battery and deployed to reduce Hydrogen use.
Hydrogen is pumped in subterranean pipes from the generating station in the grounds of the plant to the forklift fuelling point inside the manufacturing facility, and the trucks are refuelled in five minutes, offering up to 5.5 hours of running time per fill. Unlike other volatile fuels, a leak or a spillage of Hydrogen is not going to damage the environment, as it will combine with the air to become inert.
Trevor Clifton, Briggs' technical manager, said: "Hydrogen has a number of advantages; for example, there is no drop-off in performance, even when the tank is running low. There is no difference from a driver's point of view - it feels like driving a forklift with a fully-charged lead-acid battery."