Evaluating new technologies can be confusing at first. As lithium-ion technology advances, there are many factors to consider when determining a customer’s needs.
Understanding your customers’ energy, labor, and maintenance needs will help you better find solutions for their operations. By asking the right questions when customers turn to distributors for solutions, you can be better prepared to determine if lithium-ion batteries are the right fit.
The article will ask customers five questions to ensure they get the best battery pack for their operation.
Do you run multiple shifts per day? Will the batteries last through all shifts?
Is it a hassle to charge the batteries?
Does battery maintenance cause you headaches?
What are your energy costs?
What are your safety concerns?
Replacing batteries in multi-shift operations
With lithium-ion technology, there is no need to replace batteries. Lithium-ion battery packs run 25% longer than lead-acid batteries, giving the forklift a longer service life. Because of the long run time of lithium-ion batteries, managers can purchase one battery instead of the 2-3 lead-acid batteries needed to support multi-shift operations.
An added benefit is that operations can reclaim the lead-acid battery charging area for additional space, such as inventory storage or manufacturing needs.
1 Lead-acid battery charging hassles
Lithium-ion batteries can be fully charged in 1 to 2 hours and have the opportunity to be recharged for 15 or 30 minutes without permanent damage to battery capacity.
Charging the battery between shifts or while the operator is on break helps the operator extend the battery’s life.
Lithium-ion batteries typically stay in the forklift while charging, while lead-acid batteries need to be removed. Not only must the lead-acid batteries be removed from the elevator equipment, but the charging and cooling time usually lasts up to 16 hours.
2 Lead Acid Battery Maintenance Headaches
Transitioning to lithium-ion technology means operators can eliminate these time-consuming tasks.
Checking electrolyte levels
It is critical to maintaining the battery with lead-acid batteries to ensure long life and reduce safety issues. If an operator skips these maintenance tasks, there is a risk of overheating.
Lithium-ion batteries not only save warehouse staff time but also eliminate the associated maintenance costs.
3 Energy Costs
Reducing energy costs is essential for operators to consider when looking for a solution to power their equipment.
Lithium-ion batteries are 30-50% more energy-efficient than lead-acid batteries. The higher level of energy efficiency means that operations use less energy to charge a lithium-ion battery pack than a lead-acid battery.
While lead-acid batteries may seem like a better upfront investment, the total cost of ownership for lithium-ion battery packs is typically lower, given the energy cost.
4 Safety issues
The use of lithium-ion technology in elevator equipment means that operators can eliminate safety hazards, such as
Toxic fumes during charging
One of the most significant safety hazards of using lead-acid batteries is overcharging. During overcharging, the electrolyte in a lead-acid battery can overheat. This leads to the formation of hydrogen and oxygen, which increases the pressure inside the lead-acid battery.
Lithium-ion batteries have an integrated battery management system (BMS) that monitors charging and temperature changes to prevent lithium-ion batteries from overheating. The BMS also prevents them from being overcharged.
5 Best for Material Handling Equipment
Customers looking for a battery pack to power their equipment want to know that they are getting the best option for their specific needs. With the many advantages that lithium-ion battery packs offer, equipment dealers play an essential role in guiding customers to the best option for powering their equipment.
By knowing what questions to ask your customers, you will determine if lithium-ion technology is suitable for your customers’ operations, which will make the transition to lithium-ion a smooth experience.