DOE and DOD Celebrate more than 7,000 Fuel Cell Forklift Fuelings at Nation's Largest DOD Distribution Depot
August 21, 2009
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will celebrate over 7,000 fuel cell forklift fuelings at the Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Distribution Depot (DDSP) in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, on August 21, 2009. The 40 fuel cell forklifts at DDSP are the first installment of a total of 100 forklifts that DLA will deploy in four of its high-volume distribution centers across the country. DDSP is the largest and most active DOD depot in the United States, providing round the clock service to the armed forces including direct support to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These fuel cell deployments are part of DOE's efforts to support the early market adoption of clean, efficient, reliable fuel cell technology in the federal government. Successful demonstration of fuel cell technology at DDSP serves as a model of early adoption showcasing energy and cost savings. Early market successes will help pave the way for future growth by strengthening consumer acceptance and expanding infrastructure, accelerating commercialization, and creating additional green jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and support services.
Fuel cells for material handling equipment (i.e., forklifts) have been identified as an application that can be competitive in today's market. Compared to battery-powered forklifts, fuel cells can increase operational efficiency and raise productivity because they can be refueled in about three minutes, whereas changing batteries can take from 15 to 30 minutes. Forklifts powered by fuel cells are able to operate at a constant voltage, unlike those powered by batteries, which are prone to voltage drops as the battery charge wears down which leads to losses in productivity.
In conjunction with the fueling ceremony, DOE will meet with representatives from its 13 competitively-selected Recovery Act fuel cell awards to discuss project initiation and plans. These projects will support the immediate deployment of up to 1,000 fuel cell systems for emergency backup power, material handling applications, and stationary fuel cells for combined heat and power at nationwide locations including at facilities belonging to Anheuser-Busch, FedEx, and Sprint Communications.