What is opportunity charging of a forklift battery?

  • Batteries are charged at rates of 25 A / 100 Ahrs
  • Batteries are charged at every possible opportunity (i.e. breaks, lunch, shift changes)
  • Batteries take an average of 4 – 6 hours daily total to fully recharge the battery
  • Opportunity charging is a good choice for extended shift operations or two-shift operations where battery changing can be eliminated
  • Opportunity charging is good for multi-shift operations and for companies that have space to install strategic charging stations
  • Due to the frequent charging and in order to limit battery gas generation, opportunity chargers are normally set to charge a battery up to 80%-85% SOC throughout the day and back to 100% only once a day (during night hours).

If you have a high energy consumption single shift application or frequently need to run the forklift for more than 1 shift daily or the shift is extended past 8 hours, an opportunity charging system could be a

good fit for you. Opportunity Charging is completed during breaks, between shifts, and any short period of time when the battery is not being used.

Opportunity chargers are programmed to shut off at up to 80%-85% SOC throughout the day the work shifts limiting the cycles used, while controlling the amount of heat generated; and charged back to 100% once a day, usually during the night hours. There are limitations to opportunity changing systems; opportunity charging will not be able meet the demands required in high energy consumption applications or in most 3 shift applications where the trucks are pushed to their limits.

If your operation is conducive to opportunity charging, there are some additional factors to consider:

  • There is an infrastructure cost to locate chargers near break rooms or work areas so it’s convenient for operators to charge at every opportunity.
  • You will have to enforce the discipline to charge during breaks and lunches so the truck can make it through the shifts.
  • You will need to provide nightly down time to restore the battery to 100% SoC between shifts
  • Trucks must be plugged in for a consistent 12 hours to receive an equalization weekly

Even with these factors, opportunity charging could save your company money over the long term by using fewer batteries, eliminating battery change out equipment, and increasing productivity by removing the lost time required for each battery change.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *