|Batteries are charging our planet, but what’s the cost?
LiFePO4 Batteries play an important role in warehouse functioning. They offer an abundance of benefits that can modernize operations and make sites more efficient. In order to do this, companies around the world are transitioning to alternative energy solutions such as lithium-ion batteries for forklifts. The advancement of battery technology has allowed for a viable power solution for a forklift using something other than traditional lead-acid batteries. Lead-acid batteries are used in the majority of electric forklifts and they are still a great option for facilities that are not running multiple shifts and require a lower initial investment.
LiFePO4 Batteries will cost more than lead-acid batteries; however, many owners and operators agree, that the advantages gained outweigh the costs. The initial investment of these batteries will offer a higher return on investment when properly managed than a lead-acid battery. Below, we outline the various ways that lithium batteries can reduce labor costs and benefit warehouse operations, especially material handling and floor care. Lithium batteries are easily compatible with the high-efficiency automated guided vehicles commonly found in warehouses, they are safer, last longer, and reduce the space required for storage.
● LiFePO4 Batteries are compatible with automated guided vehicles (AGVs) & can reduce labor costs
● Minimize costs by providing the safest option for AGVs and users
● LiFePO4 Batteries are the more cost-efficient option
● LiFePO4 Batteries take up less space and can be stored/used in colder temperatures
What can we do to make them more sustainable?
LiFePO4 Batteries are Compatible with Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
As companies now often focus their operations in regional hubs, rather than centralized warehouses, it can be a challenge to fully staff these sites. A lot of handling is required for a warehouse to be fully operational, so companies have begun reducing labor costs by increasingly relying on AGVs. Lithium batteries are well suited to be used in AGVs because of their long battery life, quick charging capabilities, and minimal maintenance required.
By investing in long-lasting LiFePO4 Batteries to power AGVs, labor costs can be drastically reduced. Given that much of the handling done in a warehouse can be done by AGVs, utilizing these machines for mundane tasks eliminates the need to spend time and resources, training workers. To make the most out of the switch to AGVs, warehouse operators should outfit them with the most durable, reliable LiFePO4 Batteries to prevent frequent replacement costs and minimize charge and recharge times.
As operations have expanded more rapidly than the staff at many warehouses across the country, most warehouses are also experiencing employee turnover and are understaffed as a result. To overcome the difficulties of not having enough workers, warehouses can rely on AGVs to do much of the same work at a lower cost. A one-time investment in LiFePO4 Batteries with a 10-year warranty and quick charge times can maximize warehouse capabilities and minimize inefficiencies caused by maintenance, frequent recharging, or underemployment of the site.
Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries Minimize Costs
Employees are physically safer when handling lithium batteries compared to lead acid batteries. Less maintenance is needed, which minimizes exposure to hazardous situations for workers. When handling these batteries, employees are much more protected, experience fewer work-related injuries, and file-less potentially costly worker’s compensation claims. When flooded lead acid (FLA) batteries are charging, they release a noxious gas and must be kept in a battery box that is vented to the outside. There is also liquid in FLA batteries, so they must be stored upright. These conditions make it more likely that users will encounter fumes, spills, and in the most severe cases, fire, the repairs for which can add up.
Energy storage systems like BSLBATT’s lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) batteries offer the safest lithium chemistry on the market. LFP batteries are not cobalt-based and therefore have superior chemistry due to strong covalent bonding. As a result, LFP batteries are not prone to thermal runaway or fire and do not require additional cooling systems, as most lithium cobalt-based batteries do. On top of having more stable chemistry, lithium batteries like BSLBATT’s also come with a well-designed battery management system (BMS) that protects against over-charging, over-discharging, unregulated temperature, and short circuit conditions. Reduced chances of worker injuries provide peace of mind to workers and minimize labor costs for operators in the long run.
LiFePO4 Batteries are the More Cost-efficient Option
LiFePO4 Batteries offer up to 10 times the battery life of lead-acid batteries, which results in significantly reduced replacement costs over time. In addition to that, their performance does not diminish with use. The power lithium batteries produce when fully charged is the same as when 20 percent charged. Lead acid batteries, in comparison, do experience diminishing power with use. Lead acid batteries also can only be discharged down to about 50 percent, meaning users don’t get the full use out of the battery’s nameplate, or rated, capacity. Lithium batteries can be discharged far beyond that, allowing warehouses to maximize the battery’s full capacity for every single charge/discharge cycle. Many warehouses and distribution centers operate 24 hours a day and rely on batteries constantly, so battery replacements end up being a significant cost. Larger capacity and shorter charge times can significantly affect how high that cost is.
LiFePO4 Batteries require much less maintenance and replacement costs because of their durability. BSLBATT, as a leading lithium battery manufacturer, provides a ten-year warranty on all their lithium line products, as opposed to most lead acid battery brands, which typically last between three and five years. Users of lithium batteries will be able to utilize greater productivity with sustained power during use and quick charges for lower cost overall, compared to lead acid batteries.
LiFePO4 Batteries Take Up Less Space and Can Be Stored and Used in Colder Temperatures
Battery storage is a major part of any warehouse. Lead acid batteries run out of power quickly, especially after multiple years of use. Replacement batteries must be readily available to workers during their shifts so they can immediately install them. As a result, these replacement batteries often take up an entire room of storage in a warehouse. Online shopping is only growing, and major retailers in the space, like Amazon, are continuing to expand their operations. Storage for products is becoming invaluable and warehouses are looking for ways to maximize their space. The extended lifespan of LiFePO4 Batteries means fewer replacement batteries must be kept in the warehouse, so less storage space is needed. Additionally, lithium batteries are much more energy-dense and so take up less floor space per kilowatt-hour compared to lead acid batteries. This benefits warehouses because that space can instead be used for product storage, increasing warehouse productivity and driving profits. Maximizing designated storage for products rather than batteries is the most effective use of space in warehouses.
B-LFP12-100LT Low-Temperature Lithium Battery
Additionally, BSLBATT’s Low-Temperature line (LT) of batteries is able to operate and be stored in colder climates. In the LT series batteries, they have onboard heaters to prevent performance issues in cooler temperatures and, as a result, can perform with 2.5 times the efficiency of lead acid batteries in cold climates. This allows warehouses to store them where they can’t store products, opening up more space for products. These batteries can also be used in a wider variety of warehouse locations across the country while still providing efficient and durable power.
BSLBATT 24V Lithium Pallet Jack Battery
Lithium batteries enable operators to increase uptime and reduce the total cost of ownership for customers. BSLBATT has proven that lithium batteries are an important decision in warehouse operations, most recently through partnerships with Clark, Raymond, Hyster, Crown, Mitsubishi, and Still. Dealers from different forklift brands work with BSLBATT to install lithium batteries in their trucks because lithium batteries last longer, charge faster, and require minimal maintenance. Additionally, the plug-and-play installation process for BSLBATT batteries makes it easier for the end user.
Precautions when using industry lithium-ion batteries
You and your operators will experience several differences after the transition to industry lithium-ion batteries. Operators will notice more consistent power through their shift and faster-charging speeds. You will see a longer-lasting battery that requires practically no maintenance and a more efficient operation. You will pay a higher initial cost for a lithium battery, but this will be offset by a reduction in labor costs, equipment costs, and downtime.
BSLBATT’s 24V UL-certified lithium batteries are designed to meet the needs of electrically motorized hand trucks, scissor lifts, and aerial work platforms, making them uniquely qualified for warehouse operations. If you want to learn more about how you can integrate lithium batteries into your warehouse’s operations, make sure to contact a member of our team today.
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