The centre is currently under construction in Joliet, Illinois, and is expected to be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2009.
Central Grocers chose the hydrogen fuel cell power units, rather than traditional lead-acid batteries, for a fleet of Yale lift trucks.
Powering the entire lift truck fleet with Gendrive fuel cells will eliminate the need to invest in a battery charging and changing infrastructure, reducing operational costs and opening up floor space for the distribution business.
The use of fuel cells also removes the storage and handling of toxic materials associated with the use of lead-acid batteries from the workplace.
The Gendrive units will be fuelled by compressed hydrogen gas, which is converted from liquid hydrogen.
The units are fuelled by the lift truck operator at a conveniently located dispenser, much like fuelling a car.
Air Products will supply the liquid hydrogen storage compression system, as well as multiple indoor fuelling dispensers.
Gendrive can be quickly refuelled by the lift truck operator in less than two minutes.
This completely eliminates the need to change, store, charge and maintain multiple lead-acid batteries per lift truck.
Yale Equipment Services, located in Rosemont, Illinois, will service both the lift trucks and Gendrive fuel cell units.
The Yale lift trucks provide features such as regenerative lift and lower on stand-up units, to improve energy efficiency and power steering on pallet trucks.