Sustainable Hydrogen Evaluation in Logistics
Materials handling vehicles are currently powered by either electric motors based on lead-acid batteries or combustion engines employing diesel or liquefied petroleum gas. A number of disadvantages have been encountered with these current power systems and many efforts have been undertaken to find new ways to power the vehicles.
Here, fuel cells offer advantages over the competing electrochemical technology, including sustained high performance over the operating period and faster time to return the system to a full state.
The overall purpose of the SHEL project is to demonstrate the market readiness of the technology and to develop a template for future commercialization of hydrogen powered fuel cell based materials handling vehicles for demanding, high intensity logistics operations.
This project will demonstrate 10 FC forklift trucks and associated hydrogen refuelling infrastructure across 4 sites in Europe. Real time information will be gathered to demonstrate the advantages of using fuel cells to current technologies and fast procedures will be developed to reduce the time required for product certification and infrastructural build approval. Moreover, to ensure the widest dissemination of the results, the project will build a comprehensive Stake Holder Group of partners to pave the way for wider acceptance of the technology.
Final Report Summary - SHEL (Sustainable Hydrogen Evaluation in Logistics)
The SHEL project addressed the topic “SP1-JTI-FCH.2009.4.1: Demonstration of fuel cell-powered materials handling vehicles including infrastructure” in the 2nd call of the European Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking Implementation Plan (AIP 2009).
SHEL project, “Sustainable Hydrogen Evaluation in Logistics” was a collaborative demonstration project funded by the FCH JU. The overall purpose of the project was to demonstrate the market readiness of the technology and to develop a template for future commercialization of hydrogen powered material handling vehicles for demanding high logistic operations.
The project had the target to demonstrate 10 fuel cell forklift trucks (FLT) and associated hydrogen refuelling infrastructure across four sites in Europe. Real time information was to be gathered to demonstrate the advantage of using fuel cells to current technologies and fast procedures were to be developed to reduce the time required for product certification and infrastructural build approval. Moreover, to ensure the widest dissemination of the results, the project was to build a comprehensive State Holder Group of partners to pave the way for wider acceptance of the technology.
Since the beginning of the project, Consortium was facing diverse challenges. While in period 1, the main challenges were solved successfully, the new events arised in the period 2 made the project suffered a significant setback mainly due to the enforced withdrawal of UNIDO-ICHET, and triggered the Consortium decide to terminate the project.
Main conclusions of the project could be summarised as follows:
1. The FCs system purchase was seriously affected by two main factors: a) The price of the systems and b) Their market availability.
The first point influenced UNIDO-ICHET bid in particular. The target price (4,000€/kW) indicated in the FCH JU call was misleading the budget preparation as the responses from the market were instead around 6,500 plus €/kW. Therefore a further tender publication and an extra budget effort was necessary to acquire the foreseen number of systems. A combination of the two factors penalized the bid published by CRES as the tender did not receive any formal offer during the first two rounds of publication. This delayed all the FLT assembly scheduling.
2. PMLDs needed to negotiate their agreements with the sites in terms of liabilities and insurance issues. This section resulted to be a very delicate aspect for all the demos, as end users wanted to assure that all possible options regarding safety, operation and maintenance issues were taken into account. The objective was to achieve agreements in place before the start of each demo.