Friday , 17 January 2020
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Linde Material Handling has unveiled its latest alternative drive initiatives at the CeMAT logistics trade fair, which is taking place May 27–31 in Hanover. They include a hydrogen-fuelled forklift truck and a zero emissions fuel-cell tow tractor.

Linde unveils hybrid hydrogen vehicles

The forklift truck, a concept vehicle ready for use, has a direct-injection hydrogen combustion engine, and a load capacity of 3 tonnes. Based on the Linde 39x series, it is capable of reaching its maximum power rating while being operated with hydrogen. It does not give off any emissions; instead, the fuel is turned into water vapour. Hydrogen is currently considered to be the cleanest source of energy, and is available in almost unlimited quantities.

In addition to a Volkswagen internal combustion engine, the truck has an electric motor that can operate as a starter and generator. By combining combustion and electrical technologies, fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 25%, according to Linde. Additional energy capacity is gained from the synchronous motor, a 400v lithium ion battery and an energy recovery system, which stores braking energy in the battery for re-use. To save fuel, the engine automatically switches itself off and on when the truck stops or starts.

“The requirements for a hybrid drive in a truck are very favourable,” said Udo Herrmann, head of pre-development at Linde. “This is because trucks operate in a very dynamic way, often braking and then continuing to drive, which makes an energy recovery system worthwhile. In addition, high power levels are only required briefly, when the truck initially accelerates and when lifting a nominal load.”

The same type of hybrid drive features in Linde’s zero emissions fuel-cell tow tractor. According to the company, this vehicle is on the brink of prototype maturity for small series development. Over the next seven years, it plans to send some 50 trucks with hydrogen technology to customers for a broad range of field tests.

The P250 unit demonstrated at the show has a continuous output of 10 kW and a maximum output of 30 kW, a voltage of 80v and a traction force of 5000 N. The vehicle was developed in collaboration with experienced partners, and in line with Linde’s PureMotion strategy of Ergonomics – Environment – Efficiency.