Electric forklifts have recently become popular due to rising fuel costs and increased awareness of environmental issues. An electric forklift has many advantages over a conventional one, but if you don’t mind, your savings can go away quickly. For example, did you know that with the right care, you can extend battery life by over 40%? It will also cut costs, improve battery safety and maintain forklift performance. The electric forklift lithium-ion batteries can cover up to 30% of the vehicle costs. On average, it can serve you 6000 hours. To achieve this advantage, however, you have to handle it accordingly. Here are some steps you can take to extend the battery life of your electric forklift:
1) Do not drop the battery below 20%
It is recommended to charge the battery when it is 80% discharged (for most batteries the discharge meter reaches the red zone). Don’t let it go underneath. Deep discharge is not good for the battery. At this point, the forklift’s electrical components are hot. This causes significant damage to the truck over time, including burned parts and engine damage. At this level (80% exhaust gas) the performance of the truck also decreases. Hydraulics and traction are slowing down. If possible, charge the battery fully and continuously.
2) Do not charge during lunch
Many forklift drivers have gotten used to quickly charge the battery during lunch or other breaks. In the industry, this is known as opportunity charging. The electric forklift lithium-ion battery life is determined by the number of charging cycles. If you charge it for a short time, you will have to do it more often. Over time, this habit will decrease battery efficiency and there will come a time when the battery will not charge at all.
3) Check the water level in the battery
Water plays a very important role in maintaining battery health. During a cycle, the water is heated and its components hydrogen and oxygen are divided. Hydrogen is released into the negative plate and oxygen into the positive plate. Over time, the water level drops. In this case, the plates are exposed to the air. The active material in the panels becomes dry and brittle and causes permanent damage. Therefore, check the water level regularly and continue to add distilled water if you find the water level has dropped, but do not overcharge the battery.
4) Fast charging at your own risk
Fast charging of the lithium-ion forklift battery reduces downtime but has its price. Excessive heat build-up can shorten battery life. We don’t say that you should never charge quickly, just that you reserve it for emergencies.
5) Preserve the battery
One of the main reasons why forklift batteries fail early is sulphonation. This is a natural process: the white sulfuric acid crystals adhere to the lead plates and reduce their ability to accept and maintain a charge. If you see white crystals on lead plates, call a battery technician immediately. If you want to know the efficiency of the battery, you can use a tool called an electronic battery tester. The tester brings the battery up to a full cycle. It will then tell you how the drums played on the cycle. It may not be possible to buy a tester, but people in the battery industry often have one. You can ask them to test the battery for a small fee.
If the efficiency of the battery of the electric forklift decreases, it can be restored. However, if you have been using it for a few years now, it may be better to replace it. Visit https://www.lithiumforkliftbattery.com to improve battery life, reduce costs, and maintain healthy performance in the workplace.
Dos and Don’ts of forklift battery
Charge the battery when it reaches 20-30%
When the forklift battery reaches the red zone (only 20% charge), stop using the battery immediately. If you continue to use a battery over 20%, this will have a negative impact on its lifespan. In addition, deep discharge can cause electrical components to overheat and damage the forklift.
Always have the battery fully charged
A lithium-ion forklift battery has a limited number of charges, approximately 1,500, and does not distinguish between half or full charge. Partially charging a battery still consumes a charge from its “bank”.
Avoid extreme temperatures
Battery life can be reduced by up to 50 percent when the ambient temperature reaches 92 degrees. At the other end of the spectrum, battery power drops 30 percent when the temperature reaches 30 degrees. If the forklift is operating in extreme temperatures, use a battery that is designed for these conditions.
Do not replace batteries during the shift
As described above, the ideal time to charge the lithium-ion forklift battery is 20-30%. Charging a battery with a 50-60% remaining charge is like throwing a half-eaten sandwich. You have already “spent” a charge cycle, so use everything.
Do not charge a battery during lunch breaks
Charge the device once a day and the battery should last for five years. Charge twice a day and you can cut this life in half.
How to get the most out of the forklift battery: Always fully charge the forklift battery and never interrupt a charging cycle.