BMW Ecological Factory

Advanced Technology for BMW X3 production: hydrogen filling material handling equipment

BMW Manufacturing Co.. announced implementation of a new alternative platforms to use hydrogen fuel cells to power material handling equipment from its factory in Spartanburg. Fork lifts, hoists and forklifts powered by hydrogen fuel cells will be used to the new BMW assembly hall, where will be produced to the latest generation BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle segment. This development marks the completion of a three-year investment of over one billion dollars in expanding its plant in Spartanburg with over 100,000 square meters and is another important element of sustainable development effort marks the location of Spartanburg.

Hydrogen fuel cells take the form of stored chemical energy and converts hydrogen into electricity through two internal electrochemical reactions. The only side effects of hydrogen fuel cell are heat and water, which makes the choice of this form of energy to be more environmentally friendly than other conventional sources of energy.

“With the project he implements the Spartanburg, BMW has made an important step to reaffirm the global commitment to sustainability,” said Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing. “We have a clear vision and are committed to our goal proposed: use as much as possible within the renewable energy plants.”

The success of this implementation of new technology was possible thanks to collaboration with partners from Linde North America and Plug Power.

Mike Beckman, vice president of Linde alternative energy team, said: “We are partners with BMW for our companies to achieve the common goal of implementing alternative energy solutions, with costs as low as possible, to reduce emissions. The fact that BMW Linde chose to provide hydrogen fuel system and recognizes the top technologies and we have dedicated professionals who have worked closely with BMW to implement power solutions. “

“We are proud that BMW has chosen to work with Plug Power to continue to strengthen its leading position in the auto industry in terms of sustainable development,” said Andy Marsh, Plug Power Inc. Chief Executive. “Increasing productivity in the production proven using GenDrive will provide a competitive advantage that BMW will play in the global automotive market.”

In the Spartanburg plant, distribution center along the “Energy Center” of 11MW, the complex was extended by six BMW local power stations. Hydrogen used for this project was produced at the largest station within the network Linde.

Initially, material handling fleet – powered by hydrogen – will consist of 85 units, so that will be one of the largest fuel cell fleet in the U.S.. Besides many other benefits, fuel cells offer a much higher operating cycle than batteries with sulfuric acid. Fuel cells provide direct current with no loss of power as the tank empties, compared with the equipment powered by batteries, which run more slowly when the batteries are consumed.

These units, when filled, are fed by a reservoir of two pounds and runs 8-10 hours. Fuel cell units can be refilled by the driver in less than three minutes at the station for hydrogen plant. on average it takes approximately 20 minutes to refuel a battery consumption.

How hydrogen is the only energy source for fuel cells to be used in this new facility, BMW Manufacturing is estimated that the project will avoid an annual consumption of 1.8 million kilowatt-hours, equivalent to the requirement to replenish the fleet of equipment with batteries.

Fleet powered by hydrogen fuel cells is the perfect complement to a successful initiative “Landfill Gas to Energy” BMW is run from early 2003. Approximately 50% of the total energy of the BMW plant is ensured by using methane derived from waste depot nearby. Implementation of this program led to a reduction in CO2 emissions by 92,000 tons. Until now, gas field project has generated savings of five million dollars average annual budget allocated for energy BMW.

Also, technologically advanced production systems have made to reduce water consumption in production processes and waste by 30% in 2009 compared with 12.5 in 2008. Only the introduction of Integrated Paint Process (IPP) has reduced energy consumption by 30% and carbon dioxide emissions by 43%. API at the same time reduced the time required for each automoibl manufacturing, bringing increased productivity by 40%.

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