Battery maintenance for electric forklifts during downtimes

16th August 2021

Logistics BusinessBattery maintenance for electric forklifts during downtimes

Extended downtimes – during long weekends or holidays, for example – present a particular challenge for the traction batteries of electrically powered forklift trucks. They can discharge independently during this idle time and, in the worst-case scenario, even lose their capacity. Professional battery maintenance is the best way to ensure that the forklift truck fleet is ready for use again as soon as the time comes to restart.

Lead-acid batteries are most commonly used to power electric forklift trucks. During extended downtimes, these should be stored in a charged state – otherwise there is a risk of damage, which can drastically reduce the battery life. Fronius battery chargers have a dedicated conservation charge feature, which continuously supplies the battery with power. The batteries are therefore ready to use immediately, even if they have been out of action for a long time. This avoids high costs for maintenance or new purchases.

Lead-acid batteries feature a liquid electrolyte that must be filled with water regularly during both operation and extended downtimes. Battery-quality water must always be used here and the specified fill level observed. This type of battery is also prone to the development of highly explosive oxyhydrogen – and downtimes are no exception. Proper ventilation of the battery charging rooms is therefore essential and smoke, sparks and any sort of open flames in the vicinity of the batteries must be avoided. In addition, users should never remove the vent plugs from the battery cells during charging.

On top of this, the Selectiva 4.0 battery chargers offer a special deep discharge characteristic that can be easily set on the charger itself. Harmful sulphation caused by extended downtimes or older lead-acid batteries is thus reliably reduced. This significantly improves the capacity and performance of the battery. A clear advantage over other battery chargers, which often fail when batteries are in a deep discharge state, as the battery voltage is too low and can no longer be detected.

It is also important that a compatible battery charger and battery are selected. Thanks to their automatic voltage detection, the devices from the Fronius Selectiva series are suitable for different types of batteries, with various voltages and capacities – this makes allocation significantly easier. As a result, forklift truck operators can fully depend on the readiness of their traction batteries, even after extended downtimes.