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What are Forklift Batteries?

10/1/2013 11:56:10 AM | by Anonymous

Forklift Batteries

Forklift batteries are devices used to supply power to motorized industrial vehicles. The vehicles feature a small cart equipped with large sets of tines. They are typically used to transport heavy objects through a factory or warehouse. Battery operated forklifts serve as a more effective alternative to the traditional combustion powered forklifts that relies heavily on fuels like gas and propane for energy to power the forklifts. The forklift battery is considered a type of deep cycle battery. It can be run down to as low as twenty percent of full capacity. These types of batteries are also typically used to power golf carts and other machines.

Battery operated units offer a number of advantages as compared to traditional fuel-powered forklifts. Batteries can power forklifts without releasing hazardous fumes unlike gas or propane. This would result in better indoor air ventilation and quality and also reduced health risks for workers. They also allow units to be operated with less noise causing minimal noise pollution. Additionally, it enables manufacturers to build more nimble and smaller forklifts.

Most buyers can choose from the three basic types of forklift battery. They are dependent on how and where the battery will be utilized. Lead-acid units are the type of battery that is most commonly used. They offer a solid combination of affordability and power. Nickel-iron batteries, however, tend to last the longest, yet the least efficient. This would mean that the cost to charge will increase which results in wasted energy consumed. Nickel-cadmium units are by far the most expensive of the three. However, it may be the only viable solution under extreme cold regions where typical batteries tend to perform poorly.

Forklift batteries must be recharged regularly in order to ensure that it can power the heavily loaded lift throughout the day. Just like any battery charging operation, this process can be highly dangerous due to the hazardous fumes released during the charging process. These fumes generated are extremely harmful to the health and pose risks like fire or explosion. In order to minimize the risk, battery charging areas are usually fully ventilated and all workers are to wear protective gears when they enter the charging area. The removal of the battery from the charger as soon as the charging is completed can also help to reduce potential risk.

Forklift batteries are extremely heavy and workers are advised not to attempt any movement of batteries by hand. Instead, investment in a battery cart or life designed to move the battery back and forth between the charger and the forklift should be considered by the company. The batteries must also be maintained regularly to prevent corrosion and to ensure that water is kept at sufficient levels within the unit.

Here are some tips on how to increase the battery performance and life span. It is always important to first select and use batteries of proper capacity. Ensure that all batteries are fully charged at the end of each shift and are clean. Always check the electrolyte level and make sure that all the connectors are tight. This can be done on a monthly basis. Also, keep the automatic filling system or air-lift system in good condition. Provide enough ventilation so that the hydrogen released from the batteries do not accumulate in concentrations that are greater than volume. It is crucial to always read the battery manufacturers’ installation and operation instruction manual carefully. The uses of protective equipment are strongly recommended when working on the batteries. Always keep open flames and sparks away from the batteries. Read and observe all warnings posted in the battery area or published by manufacturer. Take prompt action when a problem has been indicated. Neutralize any spilled electrolyte immediately. Apply an equalizing charge once a week. Last but not least, keep accurate records on a regular basis.

It is not advised to have smoke or create sparks near the battery areas or the batteries. Do not wear fanciful jewelleries when working around with batteries. Do not lay any tools on top of the batteries and do not over charge them. Never add water before charging, add it at the end of the charge. Lastly, do not remove the cells vent plugs.


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