With the incorporation of solar and wind energy as the initiation of a project by of Fukuoka Prefecture, Toyota Motor Kyushu Inc, Kyuden Technosystems Corp and Toyota Tsusho Corp, it is expected that carbon dioxide emissions will decline.
Unlike with the use of standard electric forklifts, it is expected that carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by almost 50 percent with fuel-cell forklifts and solar power generation facilities.
The project was first announced on June 28, 2016 and seems promising.
The plan includes allowing solar electricity to electrolyze water and therefore produce hydrogen, which can be used by fuel-cell forklifts. In other words, the energy harvested will be used to split water molecules so that hydrogen can be obtained.
The fuel-cell forklifts are set to be used by March 2017, representing a major achievement for Japan that has not previously used solar power for fuel-cell forklifts. A stationary fuel cell system should be installed in 2017 as well.
Carbon dioxide emissions should decline with reduced electricity received from the power grid. The project is also expected to make use of excess solar electricity by funneling it into the manufacturing plant by Toyota Motor Kyushu’s methods.
The project effort will be split between the companies. Toyota Motor Kyushu will focus on using hydrogen, while Kyuden Technosystems plans to use an energy management system to make electricity in addition to operation and maintenance support. Toyota Tsusho will serve as the leader in that the company will monitor all of the operations.
One of the greatest anticipated improvements will be to the production process; heating equipment and air-conditioning take up 60 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. Hydrogen power offers a much greener alternative.