The Pros and Cons of Switching to Hydrogen Fuel Cell Forklift Batteries

Battery wash equipment

In most warehouses today, the go-to technology for powering forklift trucks is the lead-acid forklift battery. However, these batteries, which involve the use of cells that work to convert stored chemical energy into active electric energy, are a subject of great concern due to the number of safety issues they create for warehouse personnel. In addition, these batteries require a great deal of maintenance and additional equipment like the forklift battery charger stand.

In recent years, a different type of forklift battery has emerged as a viable alternative to the lead-acid forklift battery: the hydrogen fuel cell. This emerging energy source is being touted as a safer, more efficient way to keep forklifts running.

But would your enterprise see an increase in warehouse efficiency and warehouse organization by switching over to hydrogen fuel cell batteries for its lift trucks? Find out with this overview of the pros and cons of hydrogen fuel cell technology:

Pro: Hydrogen fuel cells are efficient

Unlike lead-acid batteries, hydrogen fuel cells are highly efficient due to the fact that they can run continuously with a constant fuel supply and don’t need to be charged on a forklift battery charger stand. Replenishing these fuel cells’ supply of hydrogen takes mere minutes, and hydrogen refeuling stations can be installed throughout the warehouse to cut down on time spent driving to the battery handling room.

Con: This technology is costly to implement

Because hydrogen fuel cells are still a new form of technology, it’s quite expensive to invest in an entire fleet of these batteries — and an entire fleet of forklifts that are compatible with them. That makes the return on investment for hydrogen fuel cell technology very low for now. As technology improves and becomes more accessible throughout the years, this may change.

Pro: Hydrogen fuel cells are eco-friendly

Hydrogen fuel cells are a completely clean form of energy. When using hydrogen or oxygen as fuel, these cells produce zero emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, and it runs on renewable, sustainable fuel sources. This is a huge difference from lead-acid batteries or gas-powered forklift batteries, which contain heavy metals and corrosive acids and contribute to carbon emissions.

Con: These batteries can’t withstand high temperatures or contamination

Another factor that makes hydrogen fuel cells difficult to implement is their relative lack of durability. These hydrogen fuel cells are incredibly sensitive to high temperatures and contamination from outside materials, making it easier for them to break down, overheat or malfunction than other forklift battery technology.

Have any other questions for us about battery room equipment like forklift battery charger stands or about maintaining battery room safety? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Read more about this topic at this link.

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