American Recovery & Reinvestment Act: Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Packs and Hydrogen Refueling for Lift Trucks

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HEB Grocery Company, Inc. (H-E-B) is a privately-held supermarket chain with 310 stores throughout Texas and northern Mexico. H-E-B converted 14 of its lift reach trucks to fuel cell power using Nuvera Fuel Cells’ PowerEdge™ units to verify the value proposition and environmental benefits associated with the technology. Issues associated with the increasing power requirements of the distribution center operation, along with high ambient temperature in the summer and other operating conditions (such as air quality and floor surface condition), surfaced opportunities for improving Nuvera’s PowerEdge fuel cell system design in high-throughput forklift environments. The project included on-site generation of ... continued below

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Block, Gus July 31, 2011.

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Description

HEB Grocery Company, Inc. (H-E-B) is a privately-held supermarket chain with 310 stores throughout Texas and northern Mexico. H-E-B converted 14 of its lift reach trucks to fuel cell power using Nuvera Fuel Cells’ PowerEdge™ units to verify the value proposition and environmental benefits associated with the technology. Issues associated with the increasing power requirements of the distribution center operation, along with high ambient temperature in the summer and other operating conditions (such as air quality and floor surface condition), surfaced opportunities for improving Nuvera’s PowerEdge fuel cell system design in high-throughput forklift environments. The project included on-site generation of hydrogen from a steam methane reformer, called PowerTap™ manufactured by Nuvera. The hydrogen was generated, compressed and stored in equipment located outside H-E-B’s facility, and provided to the forklifts by hydrogen dispensers located in high forklift traffic areas. The PowerEdge fuel cell units logged over 25,300 operating hours over the course of the two-year project period. The PowerTap hydrogen generator produced more than 11,100 kg of hydrogen over the same period. Hydrogen availability at the pump was 99.9%. H-E-B management has determined that fuel cell forklifts help alleviate several issues in its distribution centers, including truck operator downtime associated with battery changing, truck and battery maintenance costs, and reduction of grid electricity usage. Data collected from this initial installation demonstrated a 10% productivity improvement, which enabled H-E-B to make economic decisions on expanding the fleet of PowerEdge and PowerTap units in the fleet, which it plans to undertake upon successful demonstration of the new PowerEdge reach truck product. H-E-B has also expressed interst in other uses of hydrogen produced on site in the future, such as for APUs used in tractor trailers and refrigerated transport trucks in its fleet.

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  • Report No.: Final Technical Report (FTR)
  • Grant Number: EE0000489
  • DOI: 10.2172/1083219 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1083219
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc840935

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • July 31, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 9:53 p.m.

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Block, Gus. American Recovery & Reinvestment Act: Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Packs and Hydrogen Refueling for Lift Trucks, report, July 31, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc840935/: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.