February 06, 2012 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE: APD) today announced that its industry leading hydrogen fueling technology and infrastructure is now on stream and providing hydrogen to fuel material handling fuel cell units at WinCo Foods LLC’s 800,000 square foot grocery distribution center in Modesto, Calif. Air Products is currently fueling 33 material handling units, with 49 more pieces of equipment to be added in April, and increasing to 184 overall when the facility conversion to hydrogen-powered fuel cell lifts is complete in 2013.
“We continue to grow our leadership position in the material handling equipment market at a time when recognition of the productivity and sustainability benefits of hydrogen fueling for this application continues to increase. We worked closely with WinCo as the timing for getting hydrogen supply installed was critical to a seamless conversion of their material handling equipment to hydrogen fuel cells. We began using our mobile fueling technology, and then brought the permanent fueling station online this month which includes two fueling dispensers,” said Sarah Hammond, business development manager – Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products. Details on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technologies and projects are provided at www.airproducts.com/h2energy.
The WinCo material handling units being fueled by Air Products include Plug Power’s (NASDAQ: PLUG) GenDrive® hydrogen fuel cell power units. The GenDrive systems can be quickly refueled in just minutes, completely eliminating the need to change, store, charge and maintain multiple lead acid batteries for each lift.
“Plug Power’s GenDrive fuel cell systems have provided WinCo with a power solution for its lift truck fleet that increases productivity and reduces operational costs over traditional lead-acid batteries. At the same time, the fuel cells offer a much more sustainable alternative for power,” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “Our GenDrive units run on hydrogen, and Air Products understands the importance of getting the hydrogen infrastructure in place so the fuel cells can be deployed and the customer can start realizing the benefits of the project.”
There are many advantages to using hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts and material handling equipment. Hydrogen-powered equipment only needs refueling once or twice daily, depending on use, and does not require change-out downtime while traditional battery-powered equipment is taken out of operation for battery replacement or recharging approximately every four to six hours. Hydrogen-powered equipment provides consistent power strength during use and does not experience decreased performance or wear down as battery units do when nearing change-out or recharge time. Additionally, unlike battery-powered forklifts, hydrogen-powered fuel cells are not adversely impacted by temperature when operating in coolers and freezers. Further, hydrogen-powered equipment is more environmentally friendly and does not involve lead-acid battery storage or disposal issues.
Air Products, the leading global supplier of hydrogen to refineries to assist in the production of cleaner burning transportation fuels, has unique experience in the hydrogen fueling industry. These varied fueling applications provide an opportunity to assess consumer experiences, evaluate product performance and advance product improvements. In fact, in certain market applications, fueling rates at several individual sites of over 15,000 refills per year are occurring. The company has placed over 130 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 19 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fueled with trend-setting technologies that involve Air Products’ know-how, equipment and hydrogen. Use of the company’s technology is increasing and is currently over 350,000 hydrogen fills per year.
Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and is on the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. Air Products has an extensive patent portfolio with over 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen, and HCNG (hydrogen/compressed natural gas) fueling, and has developed a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations can be delivered to a site via truck, produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis that is solar and wind driven.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. More than 18,000 employees in over 40 countries supply innovative solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2011, Air Products had sales of $10.1 billion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
For more information about WinCo visit www.wincofoods.com/.
About Plug Power
The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power revolutionized the industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints. Long-standing relationships with industry leaders forged the path for our key accounts, including Wegmans, Whole Foods, and FedEx Freight. With more than 2,000 GenDrive units shipped to material handling customers, accumulating over 5 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow’s incumbent power solutions today. Visit us at www.plugpower.com.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.