Fast Charge Technology For Electric Lift Trucks

2nd Dec, 2015

If your application requires electric forklifts running on more than one shift, you may be able to greatly reduce your lift truck fleet operating costs with the fast battery charge option. A popular alternative to conventional charging, fast charge technology applies high power, specialized chargers to restore electric lift truck battery charge levels while eliminating the need for battery changes throughout the day.

What Is Fast Charge Technology?
Fast charging allows you to recharge your electric forklift’s batteries at high charge rates at any time for any duration during a work shift. When an operator takes a break or changes shifts, the forklift is idle and the battery is charged. The high charge rates provided by the fast charger during charging periods replace energy used during work operations, creating a balance that allows the forklift to run on a single battery all day in many applications. 

What are the Benefits of Fast Charge Technology for Forklifts?

  1. Faster Charge Time.  With conventional charging, restoring a forklift’s battery from a 20 percent to a 100 percent state of charge on average takes about eight hours. Using fast charge technology, this can be accomplished in approximately one hour to an hour and a half during the operator’s scheduled break times and shift rotations.
  2. Reduced Overall Cost.  With a fast charger, there may be no need for a battery changing room, battery change machine, battery charging personnel or extra batteries for each forklift.
  3. Increased Production Time.  With fast charge technology, operators save time that was previously spent driving the forklift to and from the battery change area and on performing the battery change. This frees up the operator’s time to focus on other productive work that adds to the bottom line.
  4. Temperature-Sensitive Design.  Fast charge batteries have a thermistor placed near the center cell to monitor temperature. When the temperature reaches a pre-determined level, the charge rate is reduced or even stopped to keep the forklift's battery from overheating.
  5. Easier Refills.  Fast charge batteries generally have a single-point watering system, resulting in often easier refills since the battery doesn’t have to be removed from the forklift to water it. This helps simplify the process and time involved.
  6. Improved Working Conditions.  Fast charge technology promotes a more productive work environment with less battery handling, eliminating additional cross-plant traffic for battery recharge and change-outs.
  7. Lowered Carbon Footprint.  Providing a reduction in battery inventory and possibly eliminating battery changing rooms, the fast charge option can save on lead, steel, sulfuric acid and water

Will The Fast Charge Option Work For Your Business?
Fast-paced applications in manufacturing and distribution that operate on two- and three-shifts often see the most benefits from fast charge technology, including:

  • Potential to operate each forklift on one battery.
  • Also, fast charging can often produce a quick return on investment for multi-shift applications—perhaps in less than one year