Battery charging technology for savers and planners
With its "Selectiva" product family, Austrian company Fronius offers state-of-the-art battery charging systems for traction batteries. Thanks to the ultra-efficient HF inverter technology for traction batteries, which Fronius has dubbed "Active Inverter Technology", savings in energy costs of up to 30% compared with conventional 50 Hz transformer devices are achieved. Battery costs are reduced too, as the constant charging current and charging voltage provide ideal battery charging conditions that help extend battery life significantly. This technology also saves on space and weight. The compact battery charging systems are up to 70% smaller and far lighter than the 50 Hz devices with their large transformers and huge switch cabinets, so can simply be attached to walls or shelves. All "Selectiva" devices charge traction batteries – and that includes both wet and gel batteries – fully automatically and as quickly as possible, with efficiency levels ranging from 94% to maximum capacity. Different characteristics allow charging to be optimised to suit the requirements of the application. "Selectiva" chargers are available in three categories: "Selectiva", "Selectiva Plus E" (E = single-phase) and "Selective Plus D" (D = three-phase).
Ideal for warehouse technology
The various models in the proven "Selectiva-E" range are designed for medium-sized to large 24, 36 and 48 V traction batteries with capacities of up to 1,400 Ah. These are typically installed in electric stand-on high-lift trucks, electric rider-seated trucks, small electric forklifts and small ground conveyors.
The charging voltage can be reduced down to 2 volts on the integrated display. The Selectiva Plus E 4050 model (48 V, 50 A), for example, can thus also charge 36, 24 and 12 V traction batteries. An existing Selectiva Plus E can be adapted to charge different sizes of battery and whenever new warehouse technology that uses a smaller battery is purchased. It is also possible to charge individual battery cells, a feature that is particularly important for servicing.
Selectiva Plus devices are particularly attractive for professional use, not just because they are very compact, light and easy to handle - only 312 x 110 x 200 mm (L x W x H) in size and weighing just 5 kg - but also because they employ Active Inverter Technology. This development from technology leader Fronius is especially effective in this performance class. They are extremely reliable and safe to operate. All "Selectiva" chargers have short-circuit and thermal overload protection, together with a safety cut-out to minimise the risk of oxyhydrogen explosions.
Device configuration and options
The basic "Selectiva E" model is very easy to use. It has an LCD state of charge indicator display, a variable delayed start time to prevent several battery charging systems switching on simultaneously and causing expensive peak currents, as often happens at the end of shifts. Time-controlled re-charging is also possible, allowing the battery to be charged again at the weekend, for example, to ensure trouble-free operation from a fully charged battery on the next working day.
Numerous options make charging even easier and safer. For example, "I-Puls" uses a special patented charging characteristic to provide current pulses tailored exactly to the battery so that it is supplied with more energy in less time. This electronic method of electrolyte circulation reduces charging times by about one hour, which ultimately means saving energy. Another option is "Air-Puls", a pneumatic method of electrolyte circulation that reduces charging time by an impressive two hours, saving energy and also extending the operating time of your ground conveyor or warehouse technology.
Selectiva Plus E battery charging systems just need a 230 V connection socket. With Fronius battery charging technology and the two "I-Puls" and "Air-Puls" options, it is often not necessary to install 400 V three-phase AC equipment. For many applications, this means it is possible to avoid expensive installation costs in existing premises and newbuilds.
If the user does not stop the charger manually after charging, the external start/stop option prevents sparks when the charging plug is disconnected. The charger interrupts charging before the main contacts are disconnected from the charging plug. There is therefore no wear on the main contacts. The risk of the battery charging system causing an oxyhydrogen explosion is also avoided.
The optional remote control system for Selectiva Plus E battery charging systems allows display and operation from a distance of 10 metres, 20 metres and 50 metres. The charger can be programmed and configured directly via the control panel, or by using the remote control system.
Other useful options include collective fault messages, an immobiliser and actuation of a solenoid valve to automatically fill the batteries with distilled water (Aquamatic function).
Cheap to run and environmentally friendly
Summary: Although Fronius battery charging systems with "Active Inverter Technology" are a little more expensive than conventional chargers, the additional cost pays for itself very quickly. Energy costs fall, maintenance costs are greatly reduced and batteries last longer – an important factor in view of rising lead and hence battery prices. And there is another important aspect to consider: chargers in the "Selectiva" series are not just cheap to run, they are environmentally friendly. After all, the difference in CO2 emissions between the new "Active Inverter Technology" and the old 50 Hz transformer technology translates to the old charger needing the equivalent of between 20 and 80 more trees.
Fronius International GmbH
Froniusplatz 1, A-4600 Wels
Tel. +43 / (0)7242 / 241 6436
Fax +43 / (0)7242 / 241 95 2560