Considering the battery options for your forklifts? Do you know about the advantages of lithium-ion batteries and why the new Lithium batteries for your lift truck are the best choice?
Lead-acid batteries are the standard when it comes to vehicular power. From golf carts to your personal car, these battery styles dominate the industry. The forklift that carries every good around your workplace also relies on these power sources. However, that’s not the case anymore. Lithium-ion batteries are making their way to a forklift near you. These batteries have numerous benefits that make them better than lead-acid types any day.
Businesses that want to improve efficiency and create a more productive warehouse need to consider making the switch to lithium-ion power for their lift trucks.
If you’re trying to learn more about the advantages of lithium-ion batteries, look no further. Below we’ll tell you why you should consider using lithium-ion systems for your forklift.
Lithium-ion batteries are smaller than lead-acid designs, which leads to less space taken up on your forklift, reports Warehouse IQ. You’ll technically have more storage space for other items as you move about the warehouse.
If you purchase a new forklift with lithium-ion batteries already installed, that machine will actually be a lot smaller than the designs with lead-acid batteries. Tight, warehouse aisles may not have been accessible with the forklift in the past, but lithium-ion batteries make those areas easy to maneuver into now.
Energy and Capital reports that almost everything you and your customers deal with on a daily basis is touched in some way by a forklift. These machines are the workhorses of almost every industry. As a result, forklift owners and operators need batteries that can last a long time.
Lithium-ion batteries can last around three times longer than their lead-acid counterparts. This is an average value, however, so lifespans can vary. If you use the forklift each day and charge it overnight, the battery will always be ready to go.
Lead-acid batteries are known for their long, charging times. It’s the nature of the design and chemicals involved. Lithium-ion batteries are unique because they have starkly different chemical exchanges that occur between the internal metals. As a result, lithium-ion technology charges faster than others.
After about 40 minutes, 50 percent of the battery’s cells are ready to go. With only 80 minutes necessary for a full charge, these batteries contribute to productivity on every level. Businesses can technically swap out the batteries to keep the forklifts running 24 hours a day if necessary.
The procedure for charging a Lithium-Ion battery can also save a company substantially in labor expenses. When changing batteries at the end of a shift (roughly 5-6 hours of use), battery handling equipment is used to remove the battery, place it on charge and install a fresh battery from the cooling rack. This takes time, usually 15-20 minutes at the end of each shift.
The spent battery is then charged for approximately 8 hours. The battery will remain in place near the charger or employees may transfer it to a designated cooling area. In other words, managers must purchase and constantly move around up to three lead acid batteries for each piece of equipment that must operate for a 24-hour period.
Lithium-ion batteries offer significant benefits that make them a lasting investment for most businesses that have multi-shift operations. If a warehouse operates 24 hours a day, equipment that is powered by Lithium-Ion batteries can be opportunity charged many times throughout the day. That means one lithium-ion battery can be used for the whole duration of this 24-hour period, provided that it has been regularly charged.
Lead-acid batteries are known for their special needs, such as ventilating them during charging. They produce quite a bit of gas and heat as the chemical processes continue. Lithium-ion batteries don’t have this issue. They remain relatively cool throughout the charging time.
From a business’s perspective, cool batteries lead to safer conditions within the workplace. Fewer accidents occur as well. When employees feel comfortable in their workplace, they’re typically more productive than before.
The heat and weight contributed by lead-acid batteries creates significant wear on the forklift. Lithium-ion batteries reduce wear by producing less heat and offering a reduced weight. There’s also a steady current emanating from lithium-ion technology.
The forklift’s wiring and electrical parts don’t decline over time from fluctuating power. Excessive current moving through any electrical parts is wearing over time. As a result, the forklift has a longer lifespan than with the lead-acid designs.
Using lithium-ion batteries instead of lead-acid batteries can also help a business to save money. While they will cost more upfront, the advantages are well worth the cost and will save your business money over time. Once you do the calculations, you’ll see that the total cost of ownership is much lower (usually in the order of 20%-40%) than with lead-acid packs. This is especially true for companies with multi-shift operations, where the ROI is often positive within the first year.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there is no daily maintenance of Li-ion batteries. This means you’ll also be spending considerably less money on labor. Daily watering, cleanup of the battery & lift compartment in addition to swapping out the lead-acid battery each shift, all take time and manpower. These tasks are required per lift, per shift, every day, whether you execute these tasks in-house or contract out this work to a third-party company.
By switching to a lithium-ion power source, workers will be able to focus on more important tasks and will be much more productive each day.
No pollution, energy saving, environmental protection, stronger efficiency
Many warehouses and distribution centers are required to maintain the most stringent hygiene standards to meet the requirements of food and beverage, wine, pharma, and medical supply manufacturers. Li-ion technology provides a safe, non-toxic power source for warehouses of all types, as these batteries produce no pollutants. Conventional lead-acid batteries, while widely used throughout the material handling industry in electric lift trucks, pose toxic risks and real issues due to possible acid spills and fumes. These common safety issues are often the result of overheating while charging or simple human error in the course of daily maintenance.
While lead-acid batteries are often the traditional choice, the truth is that choosing to use lithium-ion batteries for your lift truck fleet may just be the best option overall. Be sure that you consider the advantages of using lithium-ion for your own lift trucks. Doing so will ensure your business is operating at maximum effectiveness.
Dozens of companies have already successfully switched their truck fleets to Li-ion and are enjoying the benefits. BSLBATT Battery offers over 950 models with a proprietary state-of-the-art battery management system to fit nearly any truck make and model. Moreover, BSLBATT Battery will customize a battery based on the lift truck application, be it a regular warehouse, food processing, freezer environment, or outdoor conditions.
The savings come from drastically reducing the maintenance cost per lift. There is no battery changing at the end of each shift because one lithium battery will easily last through three shifts when opportunity charged during breaks and lunchtime. Also, there is no need to water a lithium battery, so you’ll save on labor internally or by eliminating a contract with a battery company.
Since there is no longer a need for spare batteries, the need for a battery room is eliminated. Additionally, the chargers for lithium-ion batteries are small and can be conveniently located almost anywhere in the facility, making it easier for the drivers to opportunity charge.
Electric power is 10-15 times cheaper than propane, diesel, or gas depending on where you live and work.
In conclusion, the average business stands to reap many benefits by switching from lead-acid to lithium-ion batteries, including increased productivity, reduced downtime and lowering their total cost of ownership. While the acquisition cost of a lithium battery may be two to three times the purchase price of a lead-acid battery, when you factor in the long-term savings, a lithium ion battery is far more affordable than a lead acid battery.
Still, have questions? Contact one of our regional reps here.