There are quite a few applications where lithium-ion batteries make sense to power your forklifts – but some are garnering more attention than others.
The cold storage industry is the most obvious because of lithium’s ability to perform in a wide range of temperatures and environments.
In cold storage, lead acid batteries don’t perform as well because of condensation, and also because cold temperatures impede the chemical reaction in lead-acid batteries that releases electricity to power the forklift.
While this can also happen in lithium-ion batteries, the temperature of LiBs can be more easily regulated to combat this outcome. For example, unlike lead-acid batteries, LiBs can be manufactured with heaters installed to endure cold environments, and some LiBs feature active cooling elements to help in extreme heat applications.
Many lithium-ion batteries come with a rating of IP65 or greater, meaning the battery’s internal components are protected from water and condensation, as well as in temperatures as low as minus-31 degrees.
The main reason condensation isn’t an issue in lithium-ion batteries is the fact the cells are completely sealed and free from air. Lead-acid batteries are vented with air space in the cells, which allows condensation to form and impacts the chemical balance of the battery.
Lithium-ion cells operate most effectively in temperatures ranging from -4 degrees up to 140 degrees. But certain lithium chemistry combinations can expand that range – allowing LiBs to function better and last longer in extreme conditions.
A battery with a chemistry of lithium-iron phosphate or nickel cadmium, for example, performs better in cold applications than other types – effective in temperatures as low as -25 degrees. For high-temperature applications, nickel-metal hydride cells perform best – operating in temperatures up to 275 degrees.
If you use electric forklifts for applications where extreme temperatures are present, making the shift to lithium-ion technology may be the right solution for you.
To learn more, schedule an appointment with a Toyota consultant today to discuss what battery solution best suits your unique needs.