- The hydrogen ReachStacker and the hydrogen 4×4 terminal tractor are the world's first hydrogen-powered ReachStacker and 4×4 tractor unit to be tested in real operation at a port terminal and have been developed by Hyster and Atena respectively
- The MSCTV and VALTE (Grimaldi Group) terminals hosted this public demonstration
- The Port of València is a pioneer in Europe in the use of hydrogen-based technology in the operation of port terminals
- For Francesc Sánchez, director of the PAV, "this project reaffirms Valenciaport's commitment to decarbonisation and the use of alternative energies to fossil fuels. This project that we are presenting today is a pioneer in Europe, a success for the Valenciaport Foundation, the València Port Authority, the European Commission and all the companies and institutions that collaborate in the H2PORTS project"
- For Antonio Torregrosa, general director of Fundación Valenciaport, "one of the elements of competitiveness of this port has been innovation. For this reason, for some time now, we have been trying out all kinds of technologies that have made this port a world reference in sustainability, digitalisation and efficiency”
The Port of València is already the first port in the world to use a ReachStacker or stacker capable of moving containers of more than 30 tonnes using hydrogen as the only fuel. The European H2PORTS project, led by the Fundación Valenciaport, has organised this morning a public demonstration of the three pilots developed within the framework of this project, the ReachStacker (container stacker) and the 4x4 tractor unit propelled by hydrogen and the mobile supply station for this clean fuel.
The demonstration event took place first in the auditorium of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), and then at MSCTV terminal and Valencia Terminal Europa (VALTE), terminal of the Grimaldi Group, where the participants were able to see the machines in operation.
The opening of the conference was attended by Francesc Sánchez, director of the PAV; Antonio Torregrosa, general director of the Fundación Valenciaport; Federico Torres, director of Ecological Transition of the PAV; Mirela Atanasiu, executive director of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership (the project's funding entity); and Josep Sanz, director of Energy Transition and Sustainability of the Fundación Valenciaport and coordinator of the H2PORTS project.
During the event, the public were able to see live the performance of the prototype hydrogen fuel cell ReachStacker developed by Hyster which was demonstrated in real operation at the MSCTV container terminal. The hydrogen ReachStacker on display is an innovative zero emission solution that uses a fuel cell from the manufacturer Nuvera to convert hydrogen into electricity.
The machine arrived at the MSC terminal for testing in September 2023, becoming the first ReachStacker-type machine in Europe to use hydrogen fuel cell technologies for port handling equipment in real operating conditions.Hydrogen is stored on board the ReachStacker in high-pressure tanks that can be refilled in 10-15 minutes. The hydrogen fuel cell supplies power to the electric motors or returns it to the batteries depending on the demand of the task, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution compared to a diesel alternative and with similar performance. In addition, eliminating the diesel engine, transmission and other mechanical drive components from the ReachStacker can help ports reduce operating costs.
The attendees also travelled to the VALTE terminal where they were able to see in detail the world's first hydrogen-powered terminal tractor, which was developed by ATENA with the support of ENEA and the Parthenope University of Naples. The terminal tractor loaded with renewable hydrogen demonstrated its autonomy, reliability and power by hitching up a truck trailer and driving around the terminal. The test was observed by the more than 150 people attending the demonstration, who saw how the only residue of the hydrogen combustion was water droplets.
This Terminal Tractor has a fuel cell/battery hybrid powertrain which allows the vehicle to perform all the intensive tasks that are required during roll-on/roll-off operations. Its hydrogen storage system, made of four Type 3 cylinders (350 bar), has an overall capacity of around 12 kg, which guarantees a continuous operation of at least 6 hours before refuelling, corresponding to the average duration of a working shift. The electric motor is a light and efficient device, particularly suitable for power demanding applications. It is fed by a high-performance LiFePO4 battery, with 25 kWh energy capacity, and a 70 kW Ballard fuel cell module. In particular, the electric motor can receive power for traction from the fuel cell and battery simultaneously or charge the battery during braking or decelerations. At the same time, the fuel cell can provide power both to the electric motor and the battery, if needed. The hybrid powertrain shows high operational efficiency, since it takes advantage of a significant share of kinetic energy recovery, up to 25.
In addition, the participants visited the hydrogen station, developed by the Spanish National Hydrogen Centre (CNH2), and learned about the details of the hydrogen supply and refuelling management carried out by the company Carburos Metálicos. This supply station consists of a fixed part, located on the Xità quay, and a mobile part, which is used for refuelling.
CNH2 and Carburos Metálicos experts explained to the attendees how they carried out the hydrogen refuelling operation of the ReachStacker, during which it was necessary that the mobile part of the hydrogen generator, that stores hydrogen compressed at 300 and 450 bar and includes a dispenser, be moved to the MSCTV terminal. In this first test period, the operation tests of refuelling approximately 30 kg of hydrogen from the ReachStacker were successfully carried out, performing the optimisation tasks in accordance with the refuelling protocols, complying with the limits and procedures established in the applicable regulations.
The pilot tests, which began in mid-September, are scheduled to run until December 2024, subjecting the machines to real operating conditions in a port terminal.
Hydrogen is a clean energy carrier with the benefits of easy storage and when used produces no emissions other than heat and water. The hydrogen fuel cell converts H2 to electricity resulting in a zero-emission equipment that, if combined with the use of renewable hydrogen, is also carbon neutral. The technology shows some advantages compared to other available zero emission technologies like pure electric versions. This hydrogen version also shows a good operating range, short fuelling time and low maintenance costs.
Valencia, the first port in Europe to incorporate hydrogen technologies to reduce the environmental impact of its operations
For Francesc Sánchez, director of the PAV, "this project reaffirms Valenciaport's commitment to decarbonisation and the use of alternative energies to fossil fuels. This project that we are presenting today is a pioneer in Europe, a success for the Valenciaport Foundation, the València Port Authority, the European Commission and all the companies and institutions that collaborate in the H2PORTS project".
"In the future, the most competitive ports will be the most efficient in alternative energies. At Valenciaport we are committed to all the options that lead to decarbonisation; and this project that we are presenting today is probably the first in the world to use hydrogen in port terminal machinery operations", he added.
For his part, Federico Torres, head of Energy Transition at Valenciaport, explained the diversity of projects that the PAV is working on to supply itself 100% with alternative energies: electrical substations so that ships can connect to the electricity grid, photovoltaic, hydrogen, wave and wind power.
For Antonio Torregrosa, general director of Fundación Valenciaport, "one of the elements of competitiveness of this port has been innovation. That is why, for some time now, we have been trying out all kinds of technologies that have made this port a world benchmark in sustainability, digitalisation and efficiency".
Finally, Mirela Atanasiu, Executive Director ad Interim - Clean Hydrogen Partnership, acknowledged "the efforts of all the technicians, companies and consortiums that have collaborated in this pioneering project, which serves as an example for all the ports in the world".