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What are lithium-ion batteries? Should you consider it for your forklift?

Lithium-ion batteries for your forklift

Battery power is crucial for your electric forklift fleet. To maintain high productivity with efficiency, you should make careful decisions about the batteries you are selecting for your forklifts.

Lithium-ion batteries are now an increasingly common alternative to traditional acid batteries. With cheaper, faster, and better power density lithium-ion batteries are a clear winner in this race with acid batteries.

Before going to explore the core advantages of lithium-ion batteries let’s dig a little deeper about this newer battery type in the forklift industry.

What is a lithium-ion battery? - In simple words

In this digital age, we use lithium-ion batteries every day or maybe every hour in our regular life. Modern digital devices including laptops, mobile phones, or any others are now powered by lithium-ion batteries.

This battery technology is an incredibly popular choice for device manufacturers for various reasons. As the name self describes that, Li-ion batteries are created using Lithium in addition to carbon. As Lithium is a very reactive element, it can produce high energy density - resulting in a charge that’s stored for longer and dissipates far slower.

If you compare it with other batteries on the market, Lithium-ion is faster, more reliable, and capable of many more charge cycles than traditional batteries. A simple data could give you a much better idea, where lead-acid batteries can only hold 25-watt hour per kg, a Lithium-ion battery can store 150 watt-hours.

In which cases Lithium-ion batteries are being used?

Li-ion batteries are available in variable size and consistent charging capacity. This is one of the main reasons for using this type of battery in a very wide range of products. Maybe, you are thinking about digital devices, which are relatively smaller in size.

Besides, powering a great number of small devices that need a constant charge, it is also a great choice for larger machinery. In today’s world RVs, motorboats, solar panels, alarm systems are even utilizing the benefits of this technology. Moreover, the reactivity to water, small size these batteries are a major choice for household and workplace devices.

Using Li-ion batteries in forklifts is just one of the many industrial uses for the lithium-ion battery. Some well-known brands even offer batteries that span the full range of their fleet, allowing for better charging schedules to match the requirements of specialized or often-used machinery.

Every day more businesses are choosing electric forklifts for both health and safety purposes, also to improve the green rating of their business. With this tendency on the rise, it’s really easy to assume that li-ion battery technology is here to stay for long.

Why should you consider a lithium-ion battery for your forklift? Some reasons.

If you are still doubting about considering lithium-ion batteries for your business, we are listing some benefits to giving you more insights to make better decisions.

  1. Longer runtimes: One of the major advantages of lithium-ion batteries is that they allow higher cycle life and longer runtimes. Lithium-ion systems offer 4 times longer runtime than traditional lead-acid batteries.

    Lead-acid batteries drop the voltage and generally lose about 20% of their power during the shift. The situation got worse in the cold environment and freezer, where they lose as much as 50%. But in the case of lithium-ion batteries, there is no voltage drop through the whole discharge cycle, this enables the trucks to run and lift as fast at the end of the shift as if they just started.

    The extended life of Li-ion batteries helps a warehouse to keep functioning seamlessly and achieve more productivity overall.

  2. Zero maintenance: The extended life of Li-ion batteries helps a warehouse to keep functioning seamlessly and achieve more productivity overall.

    The case is just the opposite for lithium-ion batteries, as these batteries require almost zero maintenance! This results in saving costs and time at your warehouse. It also reduces labor needs, allowing you to dedicate your workers to more important tasks in your business instead.

  3. Great charging capacities: Li-ion batteries also allow your workers quick and easy charging in comparison with lead-acid alternatives.

    These batteries can be charged fully in just under 2 hours. There is no “memory effect” and you can charge your batteries any time it’s not in use.

    Comparison with traditional batteries

    Lead-acid batteries can face heavy degradation if they are being charged too often. On the other hand, lithium-ion doesn’t face any effect due to the frequency of charge or the depth of discharge.
  4. Battery room is not required: For better maintenance dedicated storage and maintenance room is required for lead-acid batteries. Usually, this room is used to be stored and charged when they are not in use. During the charging process, lead-acid batteries emit dangerous hydrogen/sulfuric gas fumes (gassing), so the room needs to be well ventilated and kept cool, which adds significant operational costs.

    But if you use lithium-ion batteries, you can charge almost anywhere you want & there is no need for an expensive ventilated and air-conditioned storage room.

    As li-ion batteries allow you to charge at your convenient place and time, you can specify a suitable place to put your charger. This also encourages the drivers to put the forklift in charge when not in use. This will help you to lower costs and increase uptime.

    In simple words, with lithium-ion batteries, you can use the space of your battery room for any other productive tasks, which will bring you money in the end
  5. Safer environment for workers: There are many safety hazards in a warehouse and forklifts pose one of the biggest threats. This is especially true for the electric trucks that use lead-acid systems. Every time your operators take the heavy battery out of the truck and replace it with a freshly charged one. Every shift increases the risk of injury and equipment damage. Acid spills are also hazardous for your workplace and can cause harm to employees. However, the case is way different for lithium-ion batteries. There is no need for the battery in the truck, and also no risk of acid spills with lithium-ion batteries. As there is “no gassing” during the charging process, your facility stays safe from dangerous hydrogen/sulfuric gas fumes.

    Moreover, with lithium-ion technology, the disposal will occur much less often and will be extremely easy. In most cases, the battery seller collects the battery from you once it reaches the end of its useful life.
  6. Cost-effective: Maybe you are frowning just by checking the headline of this point. As we all know, lithium-ion batteries are much more costly than traditional lead-acid batteries. But the advantages you enjoy with lithium-ion batteries are well worth the cost and will save you money in the long term. If you calculate properly, you’ll find that the total cost of ownership is lower (usually in the order of 20%-40%) than with lead-acid batteries.

    We have already acknowledged to you that there is no daily maintenance routine for lithium-ion batteries. Whether you are executing the regular maintenance tasks or contract out this work to a third-party company, you can save all of that hassle and money with lithium-ion batteries. You must take into account daily watering, battering, and lift compartment cleanup, swapping out the lead-acid battery each shift, all take time and money. And remember all these happen per truck, per shift, every single day.

    By choosing, lithium-ion power source, you can save your money and effort wasted on these repetitive tasks and let your workforce focus on the works that are more important for your business.
  7. Environment friendly: Li-ion batteries are 30% more energy-efficient than lead-acid batteries. This helps the environment and reduces costs & carbon footprint.

    Switching to lithium-ion batteries is proof that your company is a supporter of the green workplace movement.With lithium-ion batteries don't contain toxic substances or harmful gasses, so they are free from emitting hydrogen/sulfuric gas into the air during charging.

Lithium-ion batteries for your forklift

Lead-acid batteries are often the traditional choice for your forklift fleet, but the truth is that switching to lithium-ion batteries is the best alternative available today.

IESL offers STILL forklift trucks, with long operation times, enormous reliability, and individually adjustable driving characteristics. RX-20, RX-50 and RX-60 - the electric forklift truck series from STILL gives you the flexibility to use modern lithium-ion or conventional lead-acid batteries.

Our experienced consultants are always there to help you make the right decision to achieve optimum performance and productivity. Send us a query today or call @ 01713428018 and have a free consultation.

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