UNFI and Raymond Develop Fuel Cell Orderpicker Truck

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  • united natural foods, raymond success story

    CHALLENGE: REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION

    United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) is the largest wholesale distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods and related products in the United States.

    UNFI researches and identifies sustainable technologies for use in its facilities. The company has examined ways to reduce its energy consumption, which led it to investigate a new power source for its lift trucks — hydrogen fuel cells.

  • united natural foods, raymond success story

    SOLUTION: INDUSTRY LEADING TECHNOLOGY

    By working together, the companies identified UNFI’s Sarasota, Fla., facility as an ideal site to begin using hydrogen fuel cell-powered lift trucks, and all of UNFI’s Raymond trucks in Sarasota were converted to hydrogen fuel cell technology in June 2010.

    Significant changes needed to be made to the orderpickers to create a larger battery compartment to accommodate the fuel cell. As a result, Raymond engineered the industry’s first hydrogen fuel cell-compatible order picker.

  • RESULT: FULLY CHARGED

    With hydrogen fuel cells, voltage delivered by the fuel cell remains constant until the fuel is depleted. Productivity also has increased because of the short time it takes to refuel the lift trucks, compared with changing a battery.

    UNFI estimated carbon emissions to be reduced by approximately 132 metric tons annually, an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of 35 automobiles.

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