Nestlé Waters converts lift truck fleet to Plug Power fuel cells

Nestlé Waters North America has installed 32 GenDrive™ hydrogen fuel cells, purchased in 2008 from Latham, NY-based Plug Power, to use at its Dallas, Texas bottling facility. This means that Nestlé Waters has converted its entire fleet of sit-down counterbalanced lift trucks from internal combustion engines powered by liquid petroleum gas to Yale Class I electric lift trucks powered by GenDrive power units.

Nestlé Waters evaluated both hydrogen fuel cells and lead-acid batteries as potential replacements for its current fuel source. But Plug Power’s GenDrive technology allowed it to make the full site conversion without incurring the heavy labor and equipment costs associated with buying, storing, maintaining and changing batteries. Fuel cell systems have lower operational costs than the incumbent technologies, and allow for increased worker productivity.

‘Nestlé Waters assessed all their IC engine replacement options, and found that the GenDrive fuel cell solution was less expensive than investing in lead-acid batteries and costly battery equipment,’ says Tony Troutt, director of sales at Plug Power. ‘Fuel cells were also found to be more efficient. Most importantly, converting their fleet to hydrogen fuel cells allows Nestlé Waters to eliminate exhaust emission issues, ultimately creating an improved working environment for their employees as well as a reduced carbon footprint.’

Pennsylvania-based Air Products has signed a long-term agreement with Nestlé Waters North America to supply hydrogen and hydrogen fueling station technology for the Dallas facility. The fueling infrastructure consists of an outdoor liquid hydrogen storage and compression system, as well as multiple indoor fueling dispensers for operator refueling. The GenDrive power units can be quickly refueled by the lift truck operator in less than 5 min, completely eliminating lead-acid batteries and the related charging and storing infrastructure.

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