Linde Material Handling Delivers Fuel-Cell Trucks

As a large industrial truck manufacturer in Europe, Linde Material Handling now incorporates fuel-cell trucks into its product range. Linde Material Handling has recently delivered two fuel-cell trucks to the Linde Gas Division. Both fuel-cell trucks are based on the Linde E 30, three-tonne electric counterbalanced truck. Instead of an 80V battery, the trucks have a fuel cell and a tank that stores 1.6kg of hydrogen gas at 350 bar.

The electricity generated from the hydrogen powers the electric motors that drive the truck. Large condensers called supercaps act as a buffer to cover peaks in current draw, such as accelerating from rest or lifting a load, for example. The trucks bear the CE mark and are registered for use on public roads. When it comes to performance, the trucks are said to be no different to the equivalent battery-powered models and the specification has been tailored to Linde Gas requirements. These fuel-cell trucks have been developed over the last two years with Linde's long-term partner, Hydrogenics, a Canadian fuel-cell manufacturer.

Linde's distributor, Gruma Nutzfahrzeuge, based in Garching, near Munich, has been involved with the project from the start and is responsible for servicing and maintaining the trucks. One of the trucks is used by Linde Gas to transport gas bottles between production and despatch, which involves crossing a public road. The second works in the bottle filling area. Refilling the fuel-cell trucks is quick and safe using the Linde hydrogen filling centre and is comparable to refilling a conventional diesel truck. The main benefit of the fuel-cell trucks for Linde Gas is the 'zero emissions' aspect.

The only waste product from the conversion of hydrogen into electricity is pure water. A further advantage of fuel cells compared to conventional traction batteries is that there is no longer a need to change the battery for a second shift, or charge a battery, which can take several hours. Operators with a licence for a conventional counterbalance truck only require an hour and a half of conversion training to operate these fuel-cell machines.


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