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Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Defense Department Deployment of Fuel Cell Forklifts at Large Distribution Centers Michael E. Canes July 29, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Defense Department Deployment of Fuel Cell Forklifts at Large Distribution Centers Michael E. Canes July 29, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Defense Department Deployment of Fuel Cell Forklifts at Large Distribution Centers Michael E. Canes July 29, 2013

2 Topics Background Approach Results Conclusions 2

3 Background Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) sponsored a Congressional initiative for DoD to test fuel cells in material handling equipment (largely forklifts). The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) carried out the experiments on behalf of DoD. Program purpose: assess the use of fuel cells in such equipment at 4 large defense distribution centers, with 4 different methods of acquiring hydrogen fuel Pilot project Sites New Cumberland, PA (DDSP) Warner Robins, GA (DDWG) Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA (JBLM) Tracy, CA (DDJC) Hydrogen fuel acquisition –DDSP – from an outside source –DDWG – produced via reformation of natural gas –JBLM – produced via reformation from waste gas –DDJC – produced via electrolysis from water 3

4 Project sites 4 Hydrogen tank at DDSP Refueling station at DDJC Fuel dispensers at DDSP Mobile refueler at DDWG

5 Fuel Cell Vehicles Included in the 4 experiments DDSP – 40 forklifts, 20 each supported by 2 different manufacturers DDWG – 20 forklifts JBLM – 19 forklifts, 1 fuel cell bus DDJC – 20 forklifts Total: 99 forklifts, 1 bus 5

6 Approach Gather detailed cost data at each site from participating manufacturers, onsite staff, open source literature Compare costs of fuel cells going forward with pertinent alternatives Include capital and operating costs Analysis to cover about 10 years, real costs, no discounting 6

7 Cost Categories – Hydrogen Production Infrastructure depreciation Infrastructure O&M Infrastructure space Fuel source –DDWG – natural gas –DDJC – water Power In each case, comparison made to cost of delivered H2 7

8 Cost Categories - Fuel Cells Forklift depreciation Forklift O&M Fuel cell O&M (including spares) Fuel cell refueling labor time Hydrogen infrastructure O&M Infrastructure space cost Hydrogen (either produced or delivered) 8

9 Cost categories – Batteries & Propane Batteries –Forklift depreciation –Forklift O&M –Battery depreciation –Battery O&M –Charger depreciation –Charger O&M –Power to recharge batteries –Battery change labor –Infrastructure O&M –Infrastructure space Propane –Forklift depreciation –Forklift O&M –Fuel –Infrastructure depreciation –Infrastructure O&M –Infrastructure space –Refueling labor 9

10 Non-economic Factors Business Case Analysis mainly involved a comparison of costs, but cited other factors: –Reduction in hydrocarbon emissions –Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions –Enhanced work productivity with fuel cells –DoD leadership in national energy effort by creating a market opportunity for fuel cell technology –Development of a transport option that might have value to DoD & others in the future 10

11 Results - Comparative Costs of Hydrogen 11 Cost of Produced H2Cost of delivered H2* DDSPN/A$6/kg (liquid) DDWG (steam methane reformer) $22.41/kg$22.50/kg (gaseous) JBLM (waste gas digester) **$8/kg (liquid) DDJC (electrolyzer) $22.20/kg$35/kg (gaseous) ** Insufficient information with which to estimate H2 production cost * Not counting system losses.

12 Conclusions from Hydrogen Production Analysis Going in, production of H2 from natural gas thought to be the least expensive option, but ongoing technical problems with reformer reduced the attractiveness of this option Producing hydrogen from waste gas is a great concept but proved difficult to implement in practice Production via electrolysis turned out to be economic vis a vis the cost of importing gaseous H2 –The electrolyzer ran a high percentage of the time –Expensive to import gaseous H2 because of the high cost of transport –Experiment associated with solar voltaic production of electricity, but that was treated as a separate investment 12

13 Results – Comparative Cost of Fuel Cell & Battery Forklift at DDSP Fuel Cell ForkliftFuel Cell Forklift with Cost Reduction Program Battery forklift 40 forklifts$155,104$119,825$68, Conclusions: Cost of hydrogen infrastructure plus fuel cell upkeep too high for fuel cells to be economically competitive Cost reductions feasible but still leave fuel cells higher cost than battery option Expansion of the fuel cell powered fleet would render this option more competitive with batteries

14 Results – Comparative Cost of Fuel Cell and Battery Forklift at DDWG Fuel Cell ForkliftFuel Cell Forklift with Cost Reduction Battery Forklift 20 forklifts$255,338$158,278$122, Conclusions: Though cost reduction is possible at DDWG, fuel cells still more expensive than batteries Expansion of the fuel cell fleet would make this option more competitive with batteries More intense use of forklifts at DDWG would make fuel cells more competitive there

15 Results – Comparative Cost of Fuel Cell and Propane Forklift at JBLM Fuel Cell ForkliftPropane Forklift 19 Forklifts$129,470$76, Conclusions: Fuel cells are not competitive with propane at JBLM Propane is relatively inexpensive because it requires little onsite infrastructure Forklifts used too little at JBLM to justify investment in hydrogen infrastructure Adding the bus improves forklift economics but does not make the overall project cost effective

16 Results – Comparative Cost of Fuel Cell and Propane Forklift at DDJC Fuel Cell ForkliftFuel Cell Forklift with Cost Reduction Propane Forklift 20 forklifts in base case $173,530$150,530*$79, * Per forklift cost with 40 forklifts Conclusions: On strictly economic grounds, fuel cells not competitive against propane Expansion of forklift fleet from 20 to 40 reduces costs of fuel cell forklifts more than propane Ongoing fuel cell operations would require subsidization

17 Overall Conclusions Fuel cells were not economically competitive in any of DoD’s 4 experimental projects However, their relative attractiveness could be increased by: –Raising the intensity of their use –Increasing the number of forklifts utilizing fuel cells at each given site –Downsizing H2 infrastructures to more closely accord with demand –Accepting more of the risk of infrastructure failure –Longer term contracts –Taking advantage of tax breaks accorded fuel cells via appropriate leasing arrangements 17

18 Epilogue Congressional support for the program initially obtained by Senator Levin has not been renewed. DLA chose not to continue any of the 4 experiments past the R&D stage. Fuel cells and other equipment from the projects given to other government agencies. Program will wind up in early A great deal was learned about fuel cell operations and economics, and the technology given a boost. Therefore, from an R&D perspective, the program was successful. However, fuel cell and hydrogen infrastructure costs must come down if the technology is to become economically viable in material handling vehicles without subsidy. 18

19 Thank you! 19


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