Spotlight on ... batteries and chargers
Here are some recent product announcements that have crossed our editors' desks.
Lithium forklift batteries: Navitas Systems' Starlifter lithium forklift batteries (above) are designed with an advanced proprietary battery management system (BMS) that was created in-house and is also manufactured in-house on the company's own printed circuit board production line. They're built to automotive/industrial standards and are completely encased in an aluminum heatsink housing, the manufacturer says.
The Starlifter lithium ion batteries are also unique in that the company separates the lithium battery from the counterweight needed to bring the battery up to the size/weight of a lead acid battery, so vibration of the cells is minimized (compared with putting the weight and the battery cells in one box). Navitas says this results in the most physically protected lithium battery on the market due to the surrounding thickness of the steel counterweight. (Navitas Systems, www.lithiumforkliftpower.com)
High-speed charger: Douglas Battery, a manufacturer of batteries and chargers for material handling applications, has reintroduced its Raptor Rapid charger, a high-frequency, high-speed fully automatic modular fast charger that the company says could eliminate the need for battery chargers.
Engineered with digital power control technology, Raptor Rapid chargers enable batteries designed for fast charging to be safely charged anytime during the shift-day, according to the manufacturer. With high charge rates, most two-shift and some two- to three-shift operations can avoid changing batteries during the shift, the company adds.
The modular construction of the Raptor Rapid charger adapts to a wide range of battery capacities, allowing potential reduction of the number of chargers in a fleet. In order to achieve optimum charging performance and maintain peak efficiency at all times, charger modules are automatically switched off and on based on charge cycle requirements. Should a module develop a minor fault, the charger bypasses the module for continued operation. (Douglas Battery, www.douglasbattery.com)
Lithium battery chargers: Delta-Q Technologies, a maker of battery charging solutions for electric drive vehicles and machines, has released four high-frequency lithium battery chargers in its ICL Series: the ICL1200 and ICL1500 in 85-volt and 120-volt models.
The ICL1200 and ICL1500 provide 1,200 watts and 1,500 watts of power, respectively. The 85-volt models are designed to charge lithium battery systems of any lithium-ion chemistry from 14 to 24 cells in series, while the 120-volt models charge from 21 to 34 cells in series. Delta-Q's new lithium charger is suitable for use on any electric machine, including scooters, light electric vehicles, aerial work platforms, and sports and utility vehicles.
The ICL1200 and ICL1500 in 85 volts and 120 volts are part of the ICL Series of chargers, which share a set of standard features. They include a wide AC (alternating current) input range, where any ICL Series charger can operate on any single-phase electrical grid around the world. With a fully customizable field-replaceable cable design and the ability to act as both an on- and off-board charger, the ICL Series units provide OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) with flexibility in design and deployment, the company says.
The ICL Series chargers, like the rest of Delta-Q's products, are IP66-rated to protect against dirt and fluids. (Delta-Q, www.delta-q.com)
Wireless battery solution: Poor management and charging habits for lift truck batteries can lead to diminished performance, premature replacement, and unplanned extra costs. To head off these problems, Yale Battery Vision has developed a wireless battery management solution that provides real-time insights to maximize lift truck battery performance and longevity.
The connected solution monitors usage and alerts users of potential battery issues through a variety of features, including 24/7 monitoring, where data is transmitted to the cloud-based Yale Vision portal using existing wireless networks. In addition, water-level indicators monitor electrolytes and report when levels are low or high to ensure proper watering, while smart charging capabilities provide data such as state of charge, voltage current, and battery temperature. The data are stored for the life of the battery to provide a complete documented history for warranty compliance, and users receive easy online access and e-mail alerts that provide info on battery status, charge and discharge characteristics, necessary maintenance actions, and more.
Yale Battery Vision is available as a standalone solution or in conjunction with the full Yale Vision telemetry system for lift truck fleets. The standalone option provides customers with the benefit of a battery management system without requiring investment in a full telemetry system. (Yale Materials Handling Corp., www.yale.com)
Battery training program: Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Storage Battery Systems LLC has opened its Battery Academy, a new training facility and program that offers the utility and telecom industries a wide range of training solutions.
The courses, which began in November 2018, include stationary battery system sizing and design considerations, and stationary installation, maintenance, and testing. Webinars are also being offered on battery test equipment, understanding battery data, and battery management.
Courses are available for beginners as well as experienced technicians looking for continuing education. All courses are tailored to cover the industry-accepted standards and best practices recommended by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Trainees learn both theory and application on actual installed equipment, not simulators.
The Battery Academy features two instructors, Wayne Eaton and Mike Poetzel. Both instructors bring real-life hands-on experience into the classroom for the sharing of knowledge and industry best practices. Trainees learn from their years of experience in the power generation, power distribution, and data center environments.
Class sizes are limited to 12 trainees in order to optimize the learning experience. Class enrollment is on a first registered/first served basis. The academy is mobile—the company can design a course tailored to your company's specific training needs and can bring the custom training to your site. (Battery Academy, www.battery-academy.com)
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