The material handling and warehousing-transportation industry is being revolutionized by the lithium-ion batteries being used in forklifts these days. Lithium-Ion (LI) batteries are better than acid batteries for quite a few reasons such as cost savings, safety, battery lifespan, and better operating procedures. Let us discuss these points in some detail.
With a higher purchase price, it is important to know Lithium-Ion batteries last longer than traditional lead-acid batteries which ensure enormous cost savings in the long-haul. This is because battery charging and maintenance require less time and an even fewer number of people tending to it. Moreover, LI batteries lose only 10-15% of their energy to the heat generated during usage, as compared to 45-50% for lead-acid batteries.
Workers working with lead-acid batteries are exposed to potential hazards of acid splash and hydrogen fumes. Their skin and eyes can get corroded and damaged by the sulphuric acid of the lead-acid batteries. These risks are entirely mitigated by using LI batteries.
No Requirement for Battery Rooms
Most companies using forklifts running on lead-acid batteries have to dedicate a sizeable portion of their warehouse area to battery rooms for charging and maintaining these lead-acid batteries. This is also a time-consuming task which makes the much needed operational hours an unproductive session from a revenue perspective. Using LI batteries removes the need for having dedicated battery rooms and installing expensive ventilation systems.
Efficient and Faster Charging
With LI batteries, whenever a forklift is down for repairs and maintenance, the batteries can be charged in-between as they require less charging time and this does not affect their lives negatively. However, if this is done with lead-acid batteries, the frequent charging will significantly shorten their battery life.
As per most manufacturer specifications, lead-acid batteries have to be maintained very meticulously so as to keep them compliant with the warranty protection terms and guidelines. This is not the case with LI batteries as they require almost zero maintenance and have a longer warranty duration offered by manufacturers.
Longer Life Span
Since the LI batteries do not have liquid chemicals present in lead-acid batteries, there is less corrosion and damage to the batteries. This ensures a longer lifespan for lithium-ion batteries in comparison to the more traditional lead-acid batteries.
Almost Zero Down Time
The safety and reliability offered by LI batteries ensure that the down-time for systems employing these batteries is very low and hence, a higher load capacity per hour can be achieved by the forklift systems. Also, LI batteries are much lighter as compared to lead-acid batteries which cause less wear and tear on your forklift systems.
Very Low Ownership Cost
As discussed above, the benefits of LI batteries make them highly cost-effective and drive down the ownership costs in the long run in terms of operations and maintenance. This ensures that businesses employing forklift systems can increase their profit margins. In most cases, the savings on using LI batteries can be achieved in as early as 10-14 months.
If you have an existing fleet of forklifts powered by lead-acid batteries, you can easily shift their power source to lithium-ion batteries. It is as simple as plug and play because there is no need for implementing extensive wirings and power transmission systems. Lithium-ion batteries are already powering personal electronic devices such as tablets and mobile phones and are poised to become the future of battery power globally. With global research focussed on the improvement and expansion of LI battery systems, it is a good time to convert your existing forklift fleet to LI battery operability standards or purchase new machines that come with LI batteries instead of the lead-acid ones.