Maximum uptime and flexibility
Increasing cost pressure, tight timelines and unpredictable order peaks: the dynamics of the logistics business are changing the requirements placed on warehouse equipment and forklifts. Above all, they must be constantly available and flexible in their use. At the same time, safety and cost-effectiveness are important factors. This means that energy systems are also put to the test.
At present, it is not only in the automotive world that there are signs of a change to electromobility. The material handling equipment industry has long been a pioneer in this field. For some time now, there has been increasing demand for electric forklifts instead of IC engine-powered trucks. The challenge: to ensure the same high vehicle availability as with trucks powered by internal combustion engines. This is where Li-ION technology comes into play. It has proven its worth in everyday use – in smartphones, for example – and offers a whole series of advantages over lead-acid batteries in forklifts:
The ideal solution for every application
The use of Li-ION batteries is suitable for all applications. However, their advantages are particularly useful in intensive applications such as multi-shift operation and refrigerated storage.
Due to the elimination of emissions and possible impurities in lead-acid batteries, the technology is also particularly suitable for use in areas where a high degree of sensitivity is required, for instance the pharmaceutical or food industry.
For companies looking for an alternative to their internal combustion forklift fleet, Li-ION batteries are an environmentally friendly option.
Advantages of Linde's Li-ION solution
Linde Li-ION batteries for forklift trucks and warehouse equipment improve operation and handling. They increase vehicle availability and make operation more economical, safer and more sustainable. Many users appreciate the practical advantages in their day-to-day work.
Li-ION batteries increase the efficiency of the fleet in operation. This results from the technological advantages of this energy system, which offers numerous time and cost advantages in day-to-day logistics and for the associated infrastructure.
High system efficiency
The Li-ION solution from Linde has a particularly high degree of system efficiency. The combination of Linde Li-ION battery and Linde charger increases the energy yield by 30 percent compared to lead-acid batteries. This leads to lower energy costs.
Intelligent battery management
In addition, vehicle control and battery management are perfectly aligned – using CAN bus interface, for example – which enables systems to communicate with each other. The battery system is therefore able to balance peak loads while at the same time providing sufficient energy. This protects the battery and prolongs its operating life.
Reduced maintenance and handling costs
The use of conventional lead-acid batteries comes with a whole series of maintenance and handling costs, which are completely eliminated with Li-ION batteries. These include, for example, the cost of a second battery, staff costs for replenishing the batteries with water and battery replacement.
Lean charging infrastructure
In addition, the complex charging infrastructure with separate battery room and suction device for the gases is a thing of the past. Instead, the charger for the Li-ION batteries can be set up as required at sensible waypoints, such as near break areas for quick recharging or in the application area to save on driving time.
To ensure smooth and efficient logistics operations, warehouse equipment and forklifts must have the highest possible availability. This is one of the main strengths of Linde's Li-ION batteries. Unlike lead-acid batteries, the technology is highly efficient and flexible in terms of charging cycles and frequencies.
Linde batteries can achieve a full charge cycle within one hour. Depending on the intensity of the operation, all that's needed is a quick recharge during the lunch break and the vehicles are ready to go for several more hours.
Short interim charging preferred
With conventional batteries, it is recommended to only ever start full charging cycles in order to protect the batteries. It's completely different with Li-ION batteries: even extremely short interim charging of just a few minutes is not only allowed, but actually preferable. Their ideal state of charge is about 20 to 80 percent of the total capacity. The flexibility of the charging process significantly increases the overall vehicle availability.
Customised protection against deep discharge
Linde's CAN bus technology allows settings to be customised in order to protect against deep discharge. When approaching the minimum residual capacity, the battery management for Li-ION batteries reduces the performance of drive and lift functions. This value can be set according to the customer's individual needs in order to strike the right balance between truck availability and battery protection.
Different capacities for different applications
Linde offers two different capacities for each type of battery. This enables companies to define their vehicles' energy supply according to the individual operating intensity. For example, it is possible to use a forklift truck with the large battery in three-shift operation without charging during shift operation.
Linde's Li-ION technology also offers the highest level of operator and vehicle safety. Linde engineers have developed a comprehensive safety concept for the entire battery and vehicle system. During the development phase, the batteries undergo a program of special stress and crash tests.
No hazardous gases
While the hydrogen produced by lead-acid batteries can turn into dangerous oxyhydrogen gas, Li-ION batteries eliminate this risk. In addition, since battery replacement is not required for lead-acid batteries means, operators are no longer exposed to any risk of injury. Since the Li-ION cells are virtually maintenance-free, the operators cannot come into contact with dangerous acids.
In accidents involving forklift trucks, enormous forces are exerted due to the weight. To ensure that the Li-ION batteries in the vehicles are protected even in extreme situations, they have been subjected to a crash test of the maximum load. In the video: thanks to its 25 mm-thick steel housing, the battery prevents the penetration of a fork even at high speed. The mechanical design of the battery therefore also meets Linde's high quality standards.
Multi-level safety system
The multi-level safety system in place with Linde Li-ION batteries applies at cell, module and battery level. In addition, battery management ensures optimum battery usage by constantly monitoring and coordinating vehicle functions, charging processes and the battery system. This prevents damage caused by overpressure, overheating, over-charging or deep discharge.
Furthermore, not only are the vehicle and battery CE-compliant, but also the entire system – consisting of vehicle, battery and charger – carries the CE seal of approval for tested safety. As a rule, this is not guaranteed when purchasing the battery as a stand-alone component.
These state-of-the-art energy systems are not only highly efficient, but they also protect people and the environment. Linde's Li-ION batteries meet all sustainability requirements. For example, their operation is completely emission-free.
In addition, the operation of forklifts and warehouse equipment with this technology is significantly more energy efficient, which means that the same overall output is achieved using less energy.
Extended life cycle
The production of Li-ION batteries also produces fewer pollutants than that of conventional lead-acid batteries. Another advantage of this technology is the longer life cycle of the batteries, which also helps to conserve environmental resources.
Comprehensive recycling process
At Linde, sustainability begins with the production of batteries and continues beyond the end of their life cycle. Despite their long service life, even Li-ION batteries reach the end of their performance at some point. When this happens, the batteries can be returned to all Linde network service partners. From there they are sent to a certified recycling company, with which Linde has set up a comprehensive recycling process for its Li-ION batteries.
Here the batteries are first disassembled and their components sorted. The electronic components and cables go into regular recycling. The battery cells, on the other hand, are melted and metallurgically processed and the valuable elements such as lithium, cobalt and nickel are reused. With this integrated process, Linde is one of the pioneers when it comes to recycling Li-ION batteries in intralogistics.