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Hydrogen Fuel Cells to Cool Refrigerated Trucks

If you enjoy being able to find fresh produce from far-flung corners of the country at your grocery store, thanks are due, in part, to those big refrigerated trucks that haul them from coast to coast. Those trucks, however, rely on transport refrigeration units (TRUs) powered by diesel generators that use 10 gallons of fuel a day, and generate CO2 emissions.

Carrier’s Transicold refrigerated trucks will be outfitted with hydrogen fuel cells as part of a pilot in Long Island. Image courtesy of Carrier.

Plug Power, a New York-based fuel cell company, is hoping to clean up refrigerated transportation by replacing those generators with hydrogen fuel cells. The company has received $500,000 in funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to demonstrate the viability of the technology.

The company will develop fuel cell and interconnect hardware based on its own GenDrive architecture. The fuel cells will power a Carrier Transicold refrigeration unit for Long Island’s Sysco distribution center for 12 months. Air Products will supply the hydrogen.

Plug Power also received a $650,000 contract from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and the Department of Energy to develop fuel cells for TRUs. The company offers a line of hydrogen fuel cell products for pallet jacks, reach trucks, and other industrial vehicles.

Source: Environmental Leader

About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Desktop Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@deskeng.com.