Home  > NEWS  >  Essential Advice for Purchasing Forklift Batteries

Essential Advice for Purchasing Forklift Batteries


Essential Advice for Purchasing Forklift Batteries

Forklifts are a core product in material handling equipment, and the biggest trend in electric forklifts is the rapid growth of those powered by lithium-ion batteries. As lithium-ion battery costs continue to decrease, the cost advantages of lithium-powered forklifts over their lifecycle will become more evident. Demand for forklift lithium batteries in China is projected to reach 19.2GWh by 2025.

Current Market Status of Forklift Lithium Batteries

Data shows that due to the replacement of labor by machinery in industries such as logistics and the upgrading of manufacturing, global forklift sales reached 1.596 million units in 2020, an increase of 6.9% year-on-year, with a compound annual growth rate of about 8.5% over the past five years. China accounted for approximately 50.1% of these sales, a growth of 18.0% compared to 2016. From January to March 2021, forklift sales in China exceeded 240,000 units.

Thanks to mature lithium technology, reduced costs, and strong policy support, the penetration rate of lithium-powered forklifts in China's electric forklift market reached 39.3% in 2020, an increase of 14.5 percentage points from 2019. This rate is expected to reach about 60% by 2025. Additionally, fuel cell forklifts are expected to gain significant market share, while lead-acid battery use will gradually decline.

Statistics indicate that the installed capacity of lithium-ion batteries for electric forklifts in China reached 5.8GWh in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 144.9%. Experts predict that as lithium costs continue to drop, the cost advantages of lithium-powered forklifts will become more prominent. The demand for lithium batteries to replace lead-acid in Chinese electric forklifts is expected to reach 19.2GWh by 2025.

Charging Safety Tips for Forklift Batteries

For today's new energy lithium electric forklifts, extending battery life and performance is crucial. Overcharging or undercharging the battery can shorten its lifespan and negatively impact performance. Here, we provide detailed safety precautions for charging forklift batteries to help you in the usage of lithium forklifts.

Types of Forklift Battery Charging

When charging forklift lithium batteries, numerous safety precautions must be observed to ensure the safety of workers and prevent damage to batteries and charging equipment. Failure to follow these precautions could result in severe injury due to electrical currents or hazardous chemicals within the batteries.

Due to the presence of combustible and toxic chemicals, any damage or malfunction of batteries or charging equipment poses a safety risk to individuals and the entire operation site. To significantly enhance the safety of forklift battery charging, lithium-ion battery manufacturers recommend the following safety precautions:

  1. Ensure Forklifts Are Securely Parked: Before charging, forklifts should be securely parked in a safe location.

  2. Keep Battery Box Covers Open: All battery box covers must remain open to eliminate any gas buildup during charging.

  3. Provide Adequate Safety Equipment: Ensure all battery charging areas are equipped with necessary cleaning and safety equipment, including eyewash stations, chemical spill kits, and fire extinguishers for any fires caused during charging.

  4. Proper Ventilation: The charging area must be adequately ventilated to safely dissipate gases generated during charging. All battery charging rooms should be designed and built according to safety standards.

  5. Ensure Good Condition of Charging Components: All charging components must be in good working condition with no damaged or broken connections. Only properly trained and authorized personnel should charge and replace batteries, capable of quickly identifying potential issues and trained in appropriate response measures.

  6. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): During battery charging, workers must always wear appropriate PPE, including masks, aprons, and rubber gloves, to minimize the risk of injury from battery acid. Workers must also follow additional precautions: no smoking, no open flames, no sparks, no use of mobile phones or similar devices, and avoidance of flammable objects and sparking metals.

Forklift Battery Charging Safety Measures

Conventional Charging: Traditional forklift battery charging involves standard overnight charging, typically lasting eight to ten hours to fully charge the battery. During conventional charging, batteries heat up, and adequate cooling time is needed before operating the forklift. Conventional charging is suitable for single-shift operations or applications where multiple batteries are available.

Fast Charging: Fast charging is suitable for multi-shift operations where time constraints prevent long charging periods. It uses higher currents, charging the battery in two to four hours, which is half the time of traditional charging. Due to the higher heat load, fast-charging batteries require weekly balancing to reduce sulfate content.

Opportunity Charging: Opportunity charging involves charging the forklift battery whenever convenient, such as during lunch breaks. This method reduces forklift downtime and avoids the need for multiple batteries per shift. Modern technology allows for balancing and cooling within eight hours, though careful monitoring is essential to ensure efficient charging.

Advantages of Lithium Forklift Batteries Compared to Lead-Acid

Quick Charging: Traditional lead-acid batteries require 8-12 hours to fully charge, whereas lithium batteries can be charged in 2-3 hours, significantly improving work efficiency. Lithium batteries eliminate the need for spare batteries, allowing for quick top-ups during breaks to support multi-shift operations.

High Charging Efficiency: Lead-acid batteries have a charging efficiency of about 60%, leading to energy waste and increased costs. Lithium batteries, with an energy conversion rate of over 97.9%, save resources and provide greater value.

Maintenance-Free: Lead-acid batteries require regular maintenance, such as adding distilled water and balancing charges. Lithium batteries require no daily maintenance, needing only to keep the casing and charging port clean and dry.

Long Lifespan: Lead-acid batteries have a charge-discharge cycle of around 1200 times and typically need replacement every 2-3 years. Lithium batteries have a cycle life of over 4000 times, with slower discharge degradation, aligning with the vehicle's overall lifespan without requiring battery replacements.

Extended Warranty: Lead-acid batteries typically come with a 1-year or 2000-hour warranty. In contrast, lithium forklift batteries often come with a 5-year or 10000-hour warranty (assuming normal use and no human-caused damage).

Safety and Environmental Benefits: Lead-acid batteries release acid fumes during charging and require an open, ventilated area. Lithium batteries, with their sealed box structure, do not emit pollutants during charging, making them safer and more environmentally friendly.

When to Replace Forklift Batteries?

After prolonged use, electric forklifts may not perform as well as when new, often indicating battery issues. How often should electric forklift batteries be replaced, and under what conditions?

Excessive Heating During Charging: At the end of its lifespan, a battery's positive electrode softens, active materials detach, internal resistance increases, and impurities dissolve, leading to higher gas emissions and heat during charging.

Significant Performance Decline: Reduced power, shorter travel distances, and slower speeds indicate potential battery failure, risking short circuits or fire hazards.

Reduced Discharge Capacity: If battery capacity drops significantly and maintenance fails to improve it, the battery is likely degraded beyond use. Once capacity falls to around 60%, all components are generally in a deteriorated state, and further degradation accelerates, leading to complete failure.

Replacing electric forklift batteries when performance drops ensures safety and prevents operational disruptions.

Chat Online 编辑模式下无法使用
Leave Your Message inputting...