Search Terms
Date Range
-

BMW Manufacturing Expands Use of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Moves closer to successful reformation of methane gas into hydrogen.

Spartanburg, S.C. - March 13, 2013...BMW Manufacturing announced today the successful expansion of the company’s hydrogen fuel-cell material handling equipment across its 4.0 million square foot production facility. In 2010, BMW completed the installation of a hydrogen storage and distribution area near the plant’s Energy Center to power about 100 pieces of fuel cell material handling equipment. Since that time, the company has more than doubled its hydrogen-fuel cell fleet to approximately 230 units to service the entire plant’s production and logistics functions.

“BMW continues to complement its sustainable production model by adding alternative, efficient technology, said Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing. “Successful implementation, and ultimately expansion, of our hydrogen fuel cell material handling fleet has provided a sustainable energy source that exceeds our expectations.”

The additional usage of the hydrogen fuel cell system was executed by adding two new higher-capacity compressors, new storage tubes and distribution piping, and eight new hydrogen dispensers. The expanded system will deliver at least 400kg of Hydrogen per day. BMW estimates that the expanded system will avoid 4.1 million kw/hours per year, up from 1.8 million kw hours/year for the initial hydrogen fuel cell system.

BMW also released a project update to the Landfill Gas-to-Hydrogen Pilot Project. The first phase of the study, that validated the economic and technical feasibility, began in July 2011. The project has now successfully moved to the second phase of methane-to-hydrogen conversion. The project team, led by South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), is implementing and testing equipment that will monitor the hydrogen purity. To do this, BMW has installed a clean-up system that takes a stream of landfill gas (post-siloxane removal), removes the sulfur and trace contaminants and, ultimately, produces hydrogen via a Steam Methane Reformer (SMR).

“BMW is very pleased with the progress we have been able to achieve in the last 18 months, said Cleve Beaufort, BMW Group’s Energy Manager for the U.S. and Canada. “The objective of generating renewable hydrogen from methane is proving to be a possible option for BMW and will be transformational for the fuel cell industry.”

Throughout this project, SCRA has been a leading funding and implementation partner. The U.S. Department of Energy has also provided both technical and funding support for the project.

The final phase of this project is scheduled to begin in late 2013. At that time, BMW will conduct side-by-side trials of material handling equipment fueled by landfill gas derived hydrogen versus commercially sourced hydrogen.

For their efforts in on-site energy production, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently named BMW Manufacturing the second largest Green Power Partner. Green Power rankings recognize U.S. businesses and communities that are making investments in on-site power generation. BMW’s U.S. plant currently produces 38% of its electrical requirements on-site, mostly from its landfill gas-to-energy program.

For more information on this announcement, including high resolution photos and broadcast quality video, visit, www.newscastus.com/mediablast/BMW_Manufacturing/10886/10886.html

BMW Manufacturing Co.

BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California. For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.


BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 116 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.


Journalist note: Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.