Intelligent Energy and German Integrator FES Fahrzeug Entwicklung Sachsen GmbH launching fuel cell products for the European Class 3 MHE market
Published on Thu 26 September, 2019
- Reduced servicing and maintenance costs
- Reduced warehouse footprint
- No spare batteries required
Loughborough 26th Sept 2019 – Intelligent Energy, the UK fuel cell engineering company, has announced it is launching a power product for the European Electric Hand Truck (fleet order picker) market with partner German based FES Fahrzeug Entwicklung Sachsen GmbH, who already have fuel cell integration experience. Intelligent Energy’s class leading fuel cell technologies, together with the OEM development expertise of FES, now combine to provide compelling fuel cell power products for European Class 3 trucks used in the warehouse, logistics and distribution markets.
Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell modules (FCMs) are zero emission, operate near-silently and refuel in minutes with no need for the lengthy re-charging times that are required for battery operated MHE. European Class 3 MHE has a small footprint of 210mm battery width according to DIN 43535 which has been a barrier, up until now, for the integration of fuel cells. With recent changes from slow charge lead acid batteries to faster charge lithium-ion batteries, comes an increased need for electrical power and substation capacity to sites, a cost which is usually charged to the site owner. In addition, battery powered MHE experience a reduction in their voltage during operation which impacts on performance and extends operational downtime due to re-charge.
In contrast fuel cells provide the benefit of steady voltage output, require little downtime with a three minute cylinder refill of hydrogen and are easy to switch to from a battery box. Intelligent Energy fuel cell products will fit into the existing space and use the same connections. The advantages continue with no spare batteries needed, minimal maintenance/servicing and warehouse space freed up due to no requirement for recharging stations and the associated infrastructure that comes with it.
Currently, fuel cell powered MHEs are successfully integrated into larger applications (approximately 330mm battery tanks) operating in US warehouses. In Europe, grocery warehouses rely on fleets of order pickers that use a smaller battery space of 210mm (width). Intelligent Energy’s FCMs are compact and will easily be accommodated. Providing 1.2kW of power and operating in a temperature range of -10°C to 40°C they fit perfectly into European warehouse requirements. The operating temperature can widen to -30°C with the use of an additional cold pack, a perfect solution for cold storage locations.
Lee Juby, Chief Sales Officer at Intelligent Energy, said: “FES are a world-class integrator and we are looking forward to delivering products with them in 2020.”
Ben Wendrock, Team Leader at FES Fahrzeug Entwicklung Sachsen, states: “Intelligent Energy is a manufacturer with many years of experience in the development of high-quality fuel cell systems. The FCM fuel cell system is the perfect solution for compact, powerful plug & play drive modules powered by hydrogen to replace standard battery boxes for logistic vehicles.”
Intelligent Energy’s Fuel Cell Modules are CE and FCC certified and come with a warranty period. For more information or to speak to us visit www.intelligent-energy.com/our-products or call +44(0)1509 271271. For more information about Intelligent Energy's products for MHE visit https://www.intelligent-energy.com/uploads/accompanying_files/MHE_Case_Study_web_version.pdf
About Intelligent Energy
Intelligent Energy is focused on the development and manufacture of its Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell products for customers in the automotive, aerospace, generator, telecoms, materials handling and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sectors. Intelligent Energy is built on 30 years of PEM fuel cell development. Following acquisition by Meditor Energy, part of the Meditor Group, in October 2017 it is now undergoing a period of increased investment and expansion. The company is headquartered and manufactures in Loughborough in the UK, with additional offices and representation in the US, Japan, China and South Korea.
FES is a development service provider with process and complete vehicle competence that has been working for large OEM customers since 1992. As part of the Volke Group, FES offers support in the areas of body development, chassis, powertrain, electronics / software as well as testing, prototype vehicle construction and driving test in the overall development process. In addition to its headquarters in Zwickau, FES also has offices/workshops on site at its customers in Ingolstadt, Gaimersheim, Munich and Wolfsburg.
About Fuel Cells
Fuel cell technology is similar to battery’s in that individual cells are built up to give the desired power output. However, fuel cells do not run out of charge as batteries do and will produce power for as long as hydrogen fuel is provided to the cell. Hydrogen is readily available around the world, often generated using green energy
Fuel cells are deployed in multiple applications where clean, lightweight, efficient and cost-effective power is required. Fast re-fuelling and lack of emissions makes fuel cell technology the immediate choice for forklift trucks and warehousing. Fuel cells are common place in clean construction and backup power for critical telecoms. Powering UAVs with fuel cells allows three times the flying time which gives significant advantages in applications such as surveying and filming.
Zero emission hydrogen fuel cell technology will be preferred to battery technology in vehicles where rapid re-fuelling, high power and long range are important. Typical fuel cell applications include SUVs, buses and trucks, along with smaller cars where a high availability is critical, e.g. taxis and shared vehicles. Over 13,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are on the road today. FCEVs are expected to be an integral part of the connected and autonomous vehicle (“CAV”) revolution over the coming years.