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Alternative Energy: Why Does A Lithium-ion Battery Work Best For Forklifts?

2,438 Published by BSLBATT May 29,2019

forklift LFP batteries

As technology advances and the need for increased uptime rises, forklift operators are looking towards lithium ion batteries as a solution. As lithium-ion batteries gain attention as an alternative to lead-acid batteries, it is important to consider the potential trade-offs involved for different applications.

WHAT IS AN LFP BATTERY?

The more traditional and well-known form of lithium-ion battery, the lithium-ion phosphate battery is on the market since the late 90s and well-integrated with many electric-powered tools, machinery and vehicles. As such, the battery is proven to be effective as a power source for forklifts and other machinery – as well as being a viable alternative to petrol or diesel-powered machines in terms of simple and quick charging, long lifetime and high power output.

Known for its consistency, reliability and longer lifespan, LFP batteries changed the way we use electricity in many workplaces and continues to be effective to this day. This is in part thanks to their universal design, lower cost and practical development that makes them usable for countless different situations and machines.

Benefits of Using A Lithium-Ion Battery Over Lead-Acid

As we mentioned in the opening, lithium-ion batteries are fast replacing lead acid for forklifts, but are lithium batteries better and why?

Here’s a short breakdown by category of why lithium-ion batteries are superior to lead acid:

Faster Charge: All LFP batteries are capable of what is called a fast charge. A fast charge allows high amounts of energy into the battery until it reaches about 70%. The battery charge state monitor then slows the input, safely charging the remaining 30% at a slightly slower rate. Lithium-ion batteries are capable of this because they are more sophisticated than your average lead-acid battery. Lead-acid batteries actually go the other way. It takes them longer to charge the last 30% than the initial 70%, leaving you waiting around as opposed to getting things done.

Longer Lifespan: On average, LFP batteries have twice the lifespan than lead-acid batteries! That also doesn’t take into account what is called discharge level. Discharge level relates to how the battery is treated over its lifespan. Batteries that are run until they are near dead will struggle to hold their charge over time and will have fewer cycles. Batteries that are charged often and not allowed to fall below 20% of their capacity will last longer. That is called discharge level. Lithium-ion batteries are less susceptible to losing cycles off their lifespan than lead acid batteries. Bottom line… lithium-ion batteries outlast lead acid batteries.

Higher Sustained Voltage: Forklifts require a lot of energy or voltage. Not all batteries are capable of supplying the same voltage, especially aging batteries. Lead-acid batteries are notorious for losing voltage or power throughout the day, even when they have plenty of charge left. That means your forklift will be sluggish and less responsive, which can be incredibly frustrating. LFP batteries maintain their power throughout the charge, giving you the long-lasting power you need to get things done.

Safer: LFP batteries don’t require supervision while charging or a dedicated room, unlike lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries are prone to overheating and also give off dangerous fumes while charging. That is why they not only need a dedicated charging room, but also need to be monitored in case of an accident.
Maintenance Free: Lead acid batteries require regular “watering” to ensure a long life of use. That means every few cycles lead-acid batteries must be cared for in a way lithium-ion never do. The watering process can be dangerous and ineffective, if not done exactly right.

Cost Efficiency Long Term: Since LFP batteries last longer, work more effectively, don’t require maintenance and charge faster, it isn’t rocket science why they are more cost-efficient than the lead acid variety.

forklift LFP batteries factory

THE DISADVANTAGES OF LFP BATTERIES
The main disadvantage of LFP batteries is the lower amount of power that can be stored within a cell. for this reason, LFP batteries cannot be used in equipment that needs a maximum of power stored in limited space and at minimum weight. One example of this application would be the automotive industry, where a high amount of power must be stored in a very limited space and weight plays a key role. Another example would be very small electric warehouse trucks, like the EPT 12EZ, the lightest and smallest electric pallet truck in the world and our new entry-level pallet truck, the EPL 151. Those types of machines need a high density of power in limited space and LFP would not be a perfect choice.

STILL SOME QUESTIONS?

See the full range of BSLBATT products, including for energy storage 12v 100ah lithium battery, Portable power supply and 48V lithium battery online today, or contact us to find out more about what we can do to help you find the forklift battery that’s right for you. Got questions about the LFP batteries we use? We’d be happy to help. Just get in contact with BSLBATT Lithium battery factory today to find out more about why we think Li-Ion is the right choice for you.

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