Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) announced this morning that it has successfully moved into the ground support equipment market. The hydrogen fuel cell system manufacturer installed its first GenFuel site using outdoor hydrogen dispensers. Plug Power installed the ground support equipment at the airport in Memphis.
Plug Power installs equipment at Memphis airport
In a press release this morning, Plug Power said the ground support equipment it installed has a standard storage tank for hydrogen, compression system and fuel pipelines. The company also included its first outdoor GenFuel hydrogen dispensers. The system will be used to power 15 trucks of airport tuggers using fuel cells made by Plug Power.
The company said the outdoor dispenser is different from the indoor dispenser because the enclosure is capable of withstanding all types of weather and protects the equipment from the elements. Plug Power said the enclosure is able to protect against high winds, extreme temperatures, snow, rain and direct sun—all of which equipment on the tarmac is exposed to regularly.
In order to use the GenFuel system, truck drivers at the airport pull their vehicles up to the dispenser, and it takes three or four minutes to refuel them.
Plug Power specializes airport equipment
The fuel cell system manufacturer said it was able to design the system at the airport specifically for airport tuggers. They are different from the GenDrive systems Plug Power sells for material handling purposes in warehouses. The outdoor system requires a bigger 20 kW power output because of how demanding the airport application is. All systems are stored and operated only outdoors.
Plug Power said the fuel cells in the new system offer at least double the efficiency of its warehouse-targeted systems. They generate just water and heat as waste byproducts, which means the airport tuggers become zero emission vehicles and are compliant with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 final emissions standards.
Management added that this new area of use enables it to expand into more applications for its fuel cell systems.
“Plug Power’s ability to offer customers both indoor and outdoor GenFuel solutions allows us to broaden our reach even further into adjacent markets like ground support equipment,” said Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh in a statement. “The all-weather outdoor dispenser is a natural addition to the GenFuel portfolio.”