Choosing an material handling battery is a complicated affair. There are many factors to consider: battery type, battery size, charging speed, cycle life, brand, price, etc.
Choosing the right battery can save costs and improve overall operational efficiency.
This guide will walk you through the different types of material handling batteries. Their key differences, lifespan comparison, material handling battery price range, and how these battery options will affect the overall efficiency of your business’ day-to-day operations.
Types of material handling battery
The most common material handling batteries, wet batteries are those that contain a charging plate suspended in a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. The battery works by suspending an electrolyte between 2 oppositely charged plates in a mixture of water and acid. Evaporation occurs during operation and charging. Therefore, wet batteries require more regular maintenance than other types of batteries to maintain optimum performance.
This comes in the form of regular watering to the battery and regular cleaning. Which means your business will need a dedicated watering system and trained personnel as well as additional safety equipment to ensure the correct water level in the battery and provide maintenance for it .
By the way, Wet batteries have some negative effects. One of the biggest downsides is the long charging and cooling time required before use. Typically, we recommend charging the battery for 8 hours followed by an 8 hour cooldown, giving you 8 hours of use out of a 24 hour period. Wet batteries also require a special charging station. Where your team will remove the battery from the material handling machine and plug it into the charger. That means you’ll need a charger for each battery that’s charging at the same time. If you have multiple material handling machine in operation, you will need more space to charge the batteries and cool them.
The main benefit of a wet battery is its price. The batteries themselves cost less than other types of batteries, allowing businesses to have multiple batteries per forklift. If your operation requires the machine to work 24/7. Multiple batteries will allow the forklift to be charged or serviced while it is still in use.
With proper maintenance and charging procedures, most wet batteries can last up to five years or 1,500 charge cycles.
Lithium Ion Batteries
There are several types of lithium batteries are available in the market. Some of the lithium battery options include lithium cobalt oxide, lithium manganese oxide and, lithium iron phosphate (LFP). The LFP battery is the most popular chemistries in the modern material handling industry. LFP battery offers higher safety, and current, super long lifespan. And has a lower environmental impact as compared to some other types of lithium batteries.
The advantages of the lithium battery are that it is relatively maintenance free. Because it is seal and requires no watering or cleaning. It has a fast-charging time, requiring only 2-3 hours to fully charge with no cooldown period.
In addtion, the lithium battery can reach more than 4000times lifespan. The typical life are 3time than normal lead acid battery.
So the lithium battery are more expensive than lead acid batteries upfront. But they are more cost-effective to maintain and use. Even though the initial investment is higher. Some businesses could save money using lithium-ion batteries as a result of the lower operational and maintenance costs.
Size of material handling battery
Choosing the best battery size is important to ensure that your forklift can perform at its peak and lift the load it is rated to lift. An over-voltage battery may cause irreversible damage to the truck. So be sure to know what kind of voltages your truck can handle. Generally, the voltage is marked on the spec plate of most forklifts.
Generally speaking, material handling batteries are typically available in four voltage options.
24V Forklift Battery
The 24V forklift battery would be appropriate for some of the smallest types of electric lift equipment, such as:
- End riders
- Center riders
- Walkie stackers
- Walkie pallet jacks
There is a typical 24V 750Ah forklift battery spec that we designed.
36V Forklift Battery
The 36V forklift batteries are designed for mid-sized electric equipment, such as:
- Narrow aisle forklifts
- 3 wheel sit-downs
There is a typical 36V 800Ah forklift battery spec that we designed.
48V Forklift Battery
The 48V forklift batteries are designed for large electric equipment, such as:
- Counterbalanced forklifts
- 3 wheel sit-downs
There is a typical 48V 540Ah forklift battery spec that we designed.
80V Forklift Battery
The 80V forklift batteries are designed for heavy electric equipment, such as:
- Large counterbalanced forklifts
There is a typical 80V 410Ah forklift battery spec that we designed.
Price Of Forklife Battery
Here is a typical comparison between same capacity and voltage (Lithium Vs Lead Acid).
(These calculation are used as an estimate. And the actual prices may difference. They are only for demonstration purposes.)
The following return on investment calculation is based on 5-year period:
So if operations only look at the initial forklift battery price purchase. You will see cost savings when purchasing a lead acid battery. When operating and energy costs are factored in the total. Overall savings are quite significant for the lithium battery.
How Long Does A Forklift Battery Last?
Lithium forklift batteries usually last for 4,000 times cycles, while lead acid batteries for 1,000 to 1,500 times cycles.
Also the lithium batteries are lower maintenance than lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries need to be kept topped up with water to protect the lead plates inside them. And they will become damaged if they are allowed to get too hot or too cold. However, the lithium battery are sealed and maintenance free.
What Kind Of Forklift Battery Is The Most Safest Battery? Lead Acid Or Lithium?
As we all know, the lead-acid batteries are made up of two high-risk chemicals- sulphuric acid and lead. They could cause a safety hazard for operation people. There is a risk of sulphuric acid contacting skin, and eyes of those performing the maintenance procedure. So you need to ensure wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) like splash-proof goggles, acid resistant apron, face-shield, and rubber gloves.
When you charge the lead acid batteries, may also produce an explosive mix of hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) gases. So making temperature control very important to safety.
Also if the charging room is not ventilated appropriately, there is a risk of explosion. Among other measures, you need to install hydrogen sensors at the ceiling of the rooms where lead-acid batteries are charged.
However, the lithium forklift batteries are sealed. So there is no potential for acid spills, corrosion, sulfation, or any sort of contamination in the workplace.
IIn fact, so far, there have been no cases of safety hazards in forklift lithium batteries.
Where I Can Find The Lithium Forklift Battery Manufacturer?
ELB technical team succeed to developed 24V 36V 48V 80V lithium forklift battery already. Also if you wannt to do the customized forklift battery, please connect with ELB technical team to provide the scheme and quotation.