Understanding the Benefits of Industrial Battery Fast Charging Systems

Understanding the Benefits of Industrial Battery Fast Charging Systems

Sep 10, 2014
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Blog, Associated University, Thought Leader, Supply Chain

Since fast chargers were introduced in the late 1990’s many manufacturing and distribution operations have performed trials, confirming the operational and economic benefits of this technology. They have dispelled the old adage that a forklift battery needs 8 hours of work, 8 hours of charging, and 8 hours of cooling to get though a workday. Most modern fast charging systems will use only one slightly modified standard industrial lead/acid battery per vehicle to accommodate a 24 hour / 3 shift operation. By “opportunity charging” the battery for 2 to 3 hours a day; during employee breaks, lunches, and shift changes, and keeping the battery within the 20% to 80% state of charge, it has enough power for the entire shift. Then a single 100% “equalize charge” over the weekend keeps the battery ready for the new work week. The systems use higher power levels than standard battery chargers, which require not only the battery modifications, but, sometimes uncommon building power requirements as well.

Since fast chargers were introduced in the late 1990’s many manufacturing and distribution operations have performed trials, confirming the operational and economic benefits of this technology.  They have dispelled the old adage that a forklift battery needs 8 hours of work, 8 hours of charging, and 8 hours of cooling to get though a workday.  Most modern fast charging systems will use only one slightly modified standard industrial lead/acid battery per vehicle to accommodate a 24 hour / 3 shift operation.  By “opportunity charging” the battery for 2 to 3 hours a day; during employee breaks, lunches, and shift changes, and keeping the battery within the 20% to 80% state of charge, it has enough power for the entire shift.  Then a single 100% “equalize charge” over the weekend keeps the battery ready for the new work week.  The systems use higher power levels than standard battery chargers, which require not only the battery modifications, but, sometimes uncommon building power requirements as well.

The end result are benefits including, the elimination of battery change-outs, increased labor productivity, greater safety, and a consistent high battery state of charge that reduces motor wear and maintenance.   Other financial benefits include reduced operating costs with the elimination of a facilities battery room or changing area and reducing the need for spare batteries.  Typical ROI’s average less than one year, with annual saving equaling approximately $10,000 per vehicle, in larger systems.