Avoiding capacity loss in forklift batteries

18th May 2021

Logistics BusinessAvoiding capacity loss in forklift batteries

The right battery charger plays an important role in preserving the capacity of traction batteries in the intralogistics sector. Austrian battery charger expert Fronius International GmbH looks at how its technology can be harnessed to ensure maximum forklift fleet availability and uptime.

Challenging times demand one thing above all from businesses: that they adapt quickly to new conditions and changes. The intralogistics sector is particularly feeling the effects of these expectations in the form of additional shifts, peaks in demand, and so on. For operators of electrically-powered forklift trucks, capacity and reliability are key factors because the availability of the forklift truck fleet is essential to smooth and efficient operation.

Lead-acid batteries have a standardised service life of around 1,500 charging cycles. However, particularly harsh conditions, high levels of utilisation and multi-shift operation can all have a negative impact on this. Permanent above-average usage and frequent opportunity charging in particular shorten the standardised service life of a traction battery.

Operators need to compensate for capacity losses through more frequent opportunity charging or by using back-up batteries. However, this results in longer downtime, higher running costs and reduced availability of forklift trucks. All of this has a negative impact on the total cost of ownership.

Extend battery life and reduce capital expenditure

The right battery charger makes an important contribution to ensuring maximum battery capacity for as long as possible as well as reliable operation of the fleet 24 hours a day. Thanks to the innovative Ri charging process of the Fronius Selectiva 4.0 devices, batteries receive ultra-cool and gentle charging. This extends usage and service life by as much as one year in moderate operation, without any impact on performance.

Fronius Selectiva 4.0 battery chargers are genuine all-rounders when it comes to day-to-day intralogistics activities. Conservation charging, preventing deep discharge as well as rapid and opportunity charging of lead-acid batteries are just some of the options offered by these devices. Special characteristics designed especially for charging lead-acid batteries ensure reliable, gentle and cost-effective charging to suit the condition of the battery. This enables maximum usability, even in the case of unexpected events.

For example, if a battery is not in use for an extended period of time, the Refresh characteristic ensures that its charging ability is preserved and prevents deep discharge. This guarantees that the charging level will not fall to zero and that the battery is ready for use at all times. If deep discharge nevertheless occurs, the battery can be returned to a normal state using a special characteristic. As a result, it will be usable again in no time.

If operators need extra capacity due to additional peaks in demand, for instance, this is where the Power Charging option comes in. With its help, short breaks can be used productively for rapid or opportunity charging. A lunch break of around 30 minutes can provide two additional hours of travel time.

Fronius technology thereby ensures high availability of the forklift truck fleet and also optimises operating costs. Forklift truck operators can also significantly reduce the risk of unplanned downtime in their forklift truck fleet.