The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) has been awarded a US$6 million contract for the development of a Department of Defense hydrogen fuel cell pilot programme at the Defense Depot San Joaquin (DDJC), in Tracy, California.
The project scope includes development of a hydrogen pilot at DDJC utilising 20 hydrogen-powered forklifts for warehousing activities, and an electrolysis-based hydrogen generation system using renewable energy. The project consists of approximately 12 months of infrastructure and vehicle development and deployment followed by two years of pilot program operations and data collection.
The project team, led by CTE, consists Plug Power, Air Products and Chemicals, and Proton Energy Systems.
Plug Power will source and lease a fleet of 20 sit-down counterbalanced forklift trucks and integrate each with their class-1 GenDrive fuel cell power unit. The fleet will be serviced and supported by Plug Power for 24 months under real-world conditions and will provide Plug Power the opportunity to collect data, improve readiness levels and reduce costs.
Air Products and Chemicals will provide the hydrogen back up, compression, storage, and dispensing equipment needed to fuel the lift trucks. The system will operate by compressing purified hydrogen from the Proton FUELGEN system with the Air Products Series 150 compression system. The compressed hydrogen will be stored in three gaseous hydrogen storage vessels. The stored high-pressure hydrogen will be dispensed through an automated gaseous hydrogen outdoor dispenser at the DDJC site.
Proton Energy Systems will provide hydrogen generation via electrolysis using green energy. Proton’s FUELGEN electrolysers, based on the commercial HOGEN H6M hydrogen generator, have enhanced system controls. It includes an energy conservation mode for both the generator and chiller that is well suited to the intermittent hydrogen demand of the proposed fueling scenario.
This is the fourth in a series of Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) pilot projects to research the economic, operational and environmental benefits of powering material handling equipment with fuel cells.