HyGear has announced the installation of its Hydrogen Generation System at DB Schenker's facility in Linz, Austria. The system will provide ten forklift trucks with hydrogen for at least one year. 'It is very important to us that we operate in an environmentally friendly manner', says Kurt Leidinger, chairman Schenker & Co.
The installation of the Hydrogen Generation System is part of the so-called E-log biofleet, a partnership between Fronius International, HyCentA Research, Joanneum Research, Linde Material Handling, OMV, HyGear and DB Schenker. The project aims to increase the productivity of battery-powered forklift trucks that until now has been restricted by battery charging and changing, limited battery life and high maintenance costs.
The DB Schenker facility in Linz provided a suitable trial location, where the fuel cell-powered forklift trucks can be tested under normal operating conditions. Fronius and Linde Material Handling delivered the first vehicle in June, the remaining nine will be delivered over the coming months. 'We see the fuel cell as the technology of the future for intralogistics, with short refuelling times and no more changing of batteries', Ewald Wahlmüller, project manager Fronius International. The filling installation, converted for indoor use with a maximum filling pressure of 350 bar, has been developed by OMV and is Europe's first indoor hydrogen filling station.
HyGear's Hydrogen Generation System generates 4 Nm3/h hydrogen from methane derived from biogas. Martin Beermann, head of the hydrogen technology research, Joanneum Research said: “Using hydrogen derived from biogas is very sustainable: a wide variety of renewable, locally available and decentrally processed raw materials and biogenic waste materials can be used.” Gerhard Roiss, CEO of OMV AG, also commented: "The deployment of this new technology in logistics vehicles shows how broad the application area for hydrogen is.”
The start signal of the field trials was given by the Austrian Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology Doris Bures and will last one year, during which the technological maturity of the system and its advantages in terms of productivity and ecology will be verified.