Plug Power receives NYSERDA funding to evaluate use of fuel cells for delivery of perishables

Clean, hydrogen-based energy to replace diesel generator to power freight truck refrigeration unit over one-year testing period.

By ·

Plug Power has received funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to demonstrate the viability of replacing diesel generators with hydrogen fuel cells for powering transport refrigeration units (TRUs) on trailers hauled by trucks that deliver perishable goods.

Plug Power was selected by NYSERDA to develop a fuel cell and interconnect hardware, which provides connection to refrigeration unit equipment, based on its GenDrive fuel cell architecture. The Plug Power TRU fuel cell will power a Carrier Transicold refrigeration unit for the Sysco Corp. distribution center in Long Island, N.Y., for 12 months. Hydrogen will be supplied by Air Products.

Successful completion of this trial is expected to open the door to hydrogen fuel cell expansion into the refrigerated transport market – employing clean energy to regulate cold temperatures for fresh and frozen foods, such as produce, dairy products, meats, ice cream and other items while en route to grocery warehouses, distribution centers and retail destinations.

Most of the 300,000 TRUs in operation across the U.S. today are powered by diesel, which is expensive and environmentally hazardous due to the emission of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx). In the course of one day, a typical TRU can consume about 10 gallons of diesel and emit 101 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2). This is in stark contrast to Plug Power hydrogen fuel cells, which have zero CO2 emissions, and release only a small amount of heat and water.

Plug Power received $500,000 from NYSERDA to pursue this demonstration project.

“The NYSERDA opportunity is crucial to Plug Power, as we move forward with development of fuel cell solutions for TRU deployments,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “Along with a similar, recently announced TRU project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, this contract enables us to execute on our strategy to implement hydrogen fuel cells in markets adjacent to the material transport industry.”

Transportation in the United States is responsible for 75% of the country’s oil use, resulting in 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced.

Plug Power recently announced it had also won a $650,000 contract from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories via the Dept. of Energy to develop fuel cells for the TRU market.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Fuel Cells · Logistics · Plug Power · Retail · Transportation · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Hydrogen, the Future of Materials Handling
Large, successful organizations are integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into their lift truck fleets and benefiting from lower operational costs, reduced emissions and improved reliability.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order fulfillment process and increased throughput with near 100% accuracy.
System Report: Brownells new DC is flexible and responsive
Pallet Usage Report: Pallets Remain Critical in the Modern-Day Warehouse
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Pallets: Supporting Product, Processes and the Enterprise
The smallest leak in performance or cost can bring a lean, nimble and speedy supply chain to a halt. During this 30-minute webcast we'll examine how Modern's readers use pallets to keep the wheels turning as they maneuver a road filled with sharp edges and potholes.
Register Today!
Brownells: Designing for Efficiency and Growth
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order...
Industry celebrates National Manufacturing Day
Fourth annual Manufacturing Day is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve the public...

American Eagle Outfitters’ omni-channel journey
The fashion retailer has used warehouse execution software and automation to create a true...
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...