Nuvera Installs New Hydrogen Generation System in Pennsylvania

March 11, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc., in a joint operation with East Penn Manufacturing Company, Inc., has installed its first PowerTap™ hydrogen generation system. This system is in successful operation at East Penn’s Distribution Center in Topton, Pennsylvania.

Hydrogen generated by the PowerTap system at Topton is powering a fleet of fuel cell-powered forklift trucks. This system has been implemented as part of a field test of the new ReadyPower™ unit, which combines Nuvera’s fuel cell technology with East Penn’s advanced lead-acid battery design.

PowerTap, developed as part of the Nuvera Total Power Solution (TPS), is claimed to be a complete hydrogen generation system consisting of two modules – PTG-50, a hydrogen generation unit; and PTH, a cascade storage system, compressor, and indoor dispenser. These features of the PowerTap’s modular design allow for customized solutions while simplifying the installation process.

"PowerTap was designed on a life cycle cost basis with the objective of producing on-site hydrogen in the most cost effective way for delivery to the fleet of forklift trucks in operation" stated Charles Myers, Global Market Leader for the PowerTap Product Line. "This hydrogen source makes the Total Power Solution economically attractive and a viable source of alternative energy for warehouses and distribution centers today."

PowerTap’s PTG-50 generation module produces hydrogen from natural gas at a rate of 2.4 kg/hr (1,000 SFCH). Nuvera’s proprietary technology in compact steam reforming systems is the core of the PTG-50, which, utilizing pressure swing adsorbtion (PSA) technology, provides hydrogen at a minimum purity of 99.995%. The module contains a remote monitoring system for operation, maintenance, diagnostics, and reliability tests.

The PTH cascade storage, compression, and dispensing module can be used independently from the generation module. The compressor is a hydraulic intensifier that feeds the three-bank cascade storage/dispensing system at a peak operating pressure of 455 Bar (6500 psig). The cascade storage and dispense system allows for a higher and more consistent fill pressure, up to 350 Bar (5000 psi), with the average fill time for an industrial forklift taking under five minutes.