ITM Power to be Exclusive European Distributor of Infintium Fuel Cells for Materials Handling
22 Jun 2012
UK-based ITM Power, a supplier of electrolyser-based hydrogen generation and refuelling solutions, has signed an agreement with Infintium Fuel Cell Systems Inc. of Texas (IFCS) to become its exclusive European distributor of fuel cell systems for materials handling equipment. The agreement will facilitate the development of a European customer base for fuel cell forklifts and other materials handling equipment.
Fuel cells in materials handling are already seeing traction in the US market, as a replacement for traditional battery and engine technology. This announcement now introduces a second supplier of a complete hydrogen and fuel cell materials handling solution to the incipient European market, after the announcement late last year of a joint venture based in France, between Plug Power and Axane, a subsidiary of Air Liquide.
IFCS fuel cell systems can be fitted to all classes of pallet and forklift trucks as well as airport baggage handling and utility vehicles. The systems, including the fuel cell, associated electronics and the hydrogen storage tank, can be fitted as a direct replacement for the battery and IFCS offers a three-year, bumper-to-bumper warranty.
The agreement between IFCS and ITM Power follows recent successful trials, including a high-profile demonstration at a Marks and Spencer distribution centre in Bradford in the UK (see video below). During trials of the IFCS fuel cell system in power pallet trucks, runtimes of up to 18 hours per fill were achieved – sufficient to cover two shifts.
To accelerate commercial availability, ITM Power will contribute its experience of gaining CE conformity for hydrogen systems to assist in gaining CE marking for the IFCS fuel cell system. IFCS is currently working with several major US retailers and distributors to gain supply chain qualification. The agreement will also allow ITM Power access to the IFCS portfolio of customers and introduce them to ITM Power’s green hydrogen generation and refuelling solutions.
The company’s containerised HFuel product can generate up to 400 kg hydrogen per day from renewable power. The company says it can conduct a full trial at a customer site within a few weeks, supplying all equipment and expertise in a ‘ready to go’ package.
Reference: ITM Power