What is fast charging of a forklift battery?

  • Batteries are charged at rates of 40+ A / 100 Ahrs
  • Batteries are charged at every possible opportunity (i.e. breaks, lunch, shift changes)
  • Batteries take an average of 2 -3 hours daily total to fully recharge the battery
  • Batteries are charged to 80%-85% SOC on a daily basis thus eliminating any unnecessary gassing
  • Fast charging is good for three-shift / heavy use operations
  • Fast chargers charge a battery up to 80%-85% SOC throughout the day and back to 100% once a week

If you are running a high production facility where the machines have extreme energy consumption environments or if you are a 24/7 operation a fast charging system may be best for you. Fast charging has a higher charging rate and more frequent charging throughout the day, means that you only require a single battery per truck. The battery can partially charge up during breaks or in-between shifts. This eliminates the need for extra batteries and for battery change-outs between shifts. Operations with limited space will also benefit from fast-charging as you no longer need battery change-out rooms.

Fast charge batteries are designed to minimize temperature rise while maximizing and charge acceptance, meaning they are able accept a higher charge rate while also reducing the operating temperatures of the battery. Fast charge batteries are commonly equipped with dual Intercel connectors, and dual cables with dual connectors for applications requiring charging amps in excess of 300A.

With fast charging, the batteries are only charged to 80%-85% SOC on a daily basis thus eliminating any unnecessary gassing. This eliminates the need for additional batteries and greatly improves truck driver productivity because the time spent changing batteries in two and three shift applications are eliminated. The battery utilization factor jumps to a full 100% (full utilization of the asset) with fast charging.

Battery manufacturers along with PDS also require that all fast charge batteries must be equipped with temperature feedback. Some other accessories should be considered, including a single-point watering system with water level indicator and an optional battery monitor.

No matter the charge rate and system, the lead acid battery will need to perform what is known as an equalization charge once per week. Weekly equalizations to keep batteries healthy balances the specific gravity or acid consistency of the battery and prevents the acid from concentrating at the bottom of the battery, reducing the possibility of battery damage, while also ensuring maximum output efficiency.

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