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Plug Power announces industry’s highest capacity fuel cell for material handling applications

New GenDrive 1900 fuel cell brings the technology's benefits to six-ton lift trucks.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
June 24, 2013

Plug Power, a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, today announced the newest member of the GenDrive Series 1000 product family, the GenDrive 1900. It is Plug Power’s highest-power fuel cell yet and one of the largest developed for material handling applications.

The GenDrive 1900 is designed as a drop-in replacement for lead-acid batteries on six-ton capacity, four-wheel, class-one counterbalanced forklift trucks. Six-ton forklift trucks are among the most popular large-capacity forklift trucks in use.

The new fuel cell is the company’s first to feature an optional second hydrogen tank to double hydrogen capacity. With both tanks installed, the fuel cell can store up to 3.4 kg of hydrogen with an energy
capacity of 50 kilowatt-hours (kWhr). Capable of a constant power output of 14kW, the fuel cell delivers more than eight hours of runtime, which is 50% more than a conventional battery in this application. The GenDrive 1900 has a refill time of two minutes, maximizing the productivity of forklift trucks.

The new fuel cell is part of the GenDrive Series 1000 products targeted at sit-down counterbalanced trucks that are used in high-volume manufacturing and high-throughput warehousing and distribution
operations. Other products in the family include the 1400, 1500, 1600 and 1700 for three-wheel and four-wheel counterbalanced trucks.

With this new offering in its product line, Plug Power now provides a complete solution that spans all class-one forklift trucks, making it possible for its retail and manufacturing material handling customers to standardize on hydrogen fuel cells in place of lead-acid batteries.

“This is a very important extension of the GenDrive Series 1000 product line because it means that our customers can fully commit to a hydrogen-powered forklift fleet that enhances environmental impact, eliminates the need for battery storage and provides a better return on their investment in hydrogen fueling and storage,” said Andy Marsh, Plug Power president and CEO.

The GenDrive 1900 runs at the same operating pressure as other Series 1000 products, which helps to simplify hydrogen infrastructure. It also features a system controller that enables the operator to monitor and communicate fuel cell stack and system performance to optimize output, provide information for planned maintenance and reduce total cost of ownership.

The new GenDrive 1900 will start customer trials in the third quarter of 2013.

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