Forklift lithium batteries are becoming more and more popular. Some believe this may be due to changes in consumer preferences, such as warehouse managers who are conscious of reducing warehouse operating costs and a growing desire by forklift dealer companies to reduce fossil fuels. But what is the lifespan of a forklift lithium battery? does it worth?
With the development of technology, it is understandable that more and more people will have questions about forklift lithium batteries and their components. Below, BSL Battery – Industrial breaks down some details so you can start getting excited about these amazing lithium battery-equipped forklifts.
Why lithium batteries are the choice of top industrial battery manufacturers
Top industrial battery manufacturers are increasingly leaning toward lithium batteries. There’s a good reason for this. Lithium batteries are more efficient, more reliable, and last longer allowing warehouse managers to recharge quickly. They also require less maintenance and are safer to use. In short, they offer excellent performance across the board.
Recommendations from the Top Forklift Lithium Battery Companies
So, how can we extend the service life of forklift lithium batteries? Let’s explore some expert tips.
1. Proper maintenance and operation
Forklift lithium batteries should be handled with care to maximize their service life. This includes avoiding physical stress, such as dropping or knocking the battery, and protecting the battery from harsh environments, such as extreme temperatures or moisture. Particularly in industries such as aviation ground support, refrigeration and manufacturing operations, where equipment may be used in harsh conditions, special care in properly handling and storing batteries can greatly extend their service life.
2. Best Charging Practices
Forklift lithium batteries have unique charging characteristics that can significantly extend their service life if used properly. For example, unlike other battery types, they do not need to be fully discharged before charging. This means they can be “opportunistically charged” during breaks or downtime without compromising battery life. This is particularly valuable for industries such as logistics and warehousing, where equipment often needs to be available around the clock.
3. Temperature management
Extreme temperatures can be harmful to forklift lithium batteries. They should be kept at room temperature whenever possible for best performance. However, in industries such as the refrigeration industry or certain manufacturing operations, where equipment may be exposed to extreme temperatures, choosing a lithium battery specifically designed to withstand such conditions can greatly improve its performance and longevity.
4. Monitor self-discharge rate
If you don’t plan to use your forklift lithium batteries for a while, be sure to store them properly to prevent damage. This means storing them in a cool, dry place and, ideally, partially charged. , the good news is that lithium-ion batteries have a low and stable self-discharge rate. The battery will first undergo an initial 5% discharge over 24 hours and then discharge at a rate of 1% to 2% per month. If the lithium-ion battery has a safety protection circuit, the monthly self-discharge rate will increase by up to 3%.However, a forklift lithium-ion battery should never be completely drained to 0% or below 20%, roughly below its 2.50 volt/cell state. Using a battery management system (BMS) can help you monitor your battery’s state of charge as well as temperature and other factors. If the battery is low, you should charge it before placing it back in storage.
5. Charge/discharge correctly during use
Extreme overcharge and deep discharge cycles can put a lot of stress on lithium-ion batteries. When overcharged, dendritic lithium dendrites (whiskers) form on the negative electrode. These whiskers can cause serious problems because they are highly explosive to lithium-ion batteries.
Depending on the lift truck equipment, operation, and available ventilation, the application should operate within a temperature range of 32° Fahrenheit to 95° Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures can cause batteries to discharge quickly. If your device is hot and the lithium-ion battery is discharging faster than normal, you may need to adjust the operation of your device.
6. The importance of a strong BMS
The battery management system (BMS) plays a vital role in the efficient operation and service life of industrial forklift lithium batteries. At its core, BMS controls power output and acts as a guardian of battery health, overseeing critical functions that directly impact performance and safety. One of its basic tasks is to regulate and optimize the charging and discharging process, balance the performance of each battery, and prevent overcharging or deep discharge, which can lead to capacity reduction or even safety hazards. In addition, BMS continuously monitors and maintains a suitable temperature range inside the battery pack to reduce the risk of thermal runaway and ensure optimal battery operation.
7. Unleashing the Potential: Battery Chemistry and Engineering
The chemical composition of a lithium battery is the basic component of the battery and determines the upper limit of the battery’s cycle life. The two main contenders in the material handling space, lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC), as well as their traditional lead-acid counterparts, exemplify this chemistry-dependent variability in battery cycle life.
A conventional flooded lead-acid battery can last approximately 1,500 cycles before reaching the end-of-life stage, where it loses capacity and can no longer hold a charge. LFP and NMC batteries have a lifespan of 3000 to 7000 cycles or more. NMC cells have higher energy density and slightly higher voltage, while LFP cells excel in terms of longevity.
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