|The PM MH 30 system for fork lifts. Click to enlarge.|
Proton Power Systems plc has introduced a triple-hybrid forklift system. Designed as a “plug-and-drive” technology by Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH (Proton Motor, PM), a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton Power, the PM Package MH 30 system combines a fuel cell, battery and supercapacitors.
The system is designed to replace the standard 80 V, 700Ah battery in Class 1 forklifts. All PM MH 30 components are used in their optimal operation range, and the system offers more than 50% energy savings compared with diesel engine forklifts and fuel-cell-only systems, according to the company.
The 10 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is fueled by a 350 bar tank with a capacity of two kilograms of hydrogen. This corresponds to around 70 kWh of energy, and is sufficient to allow the forklift to work for an eight-hour shift. A short recharge time allows users to refuel hydrogen for a full working shift in just one minute.
Including the supercapacitors, the system can provide more than 30 kW of peak power. Unlike batteries, which have long recharge and discharge times, supercapacitors can quickly be charged and discharged for sudden spurts of peak demand. They also allow the recovery of energy from highly dynamic actions such as braking. Complementing the supercapacitors, the battery provides energy buffering over longer peak demand times.
An intelligent energy management system controls the power distribution between the fuel cell, supercapacitors, and battery. The energy recovered during braking is stored in the supercapacitors and batteries, which provide peak power during operations such as acceleration and lifting heavy loads.