Challenges for batteries and their chargers in cold applications

Blog

11/4/2019
Extreme temperatures cause us problems in all sorts of everyday situations. If it’s too cold, the car won’t start; if it’s too hot, mobile phone batteries and air conditioners go on strike. The same is for battery charging technology: extreme ambient temperatures in particular are a challenge for batteries and electric forklift truck operators alike. 

Cold conditions not only impair the performance of the battery, they also have a significant influence on the charging process. If the temperature inside the battery is too low, the quality of the charge, and therefore the availability of the forklift truck system, declines.

The ambient conditions are particularly tough in cold chain logistics as the goods need to be transported through various temperature zones. Temperatures down to -24 degrees Celsius present considerable challenges for the forklift fleet. Fronius has the perfect solutions for charging traction batteries safely, reliably and efficiently under these extreme conditions. 

The ‘delayed charging start’ feature enables users to set their preferred time for charging to start on almost all Selectiva battery chargers. This gives the battery enough time to warm up to near its ‘comfortable temperature’ before charging begins. 
Upon request, Fronius can fit its battery chargers with ‘temperature-controlled charging’, which involves fitting a temperature sensor between the cells in the cell case. The innovative Ri-charging process records the battery’s temperature at the start of charging and adapts the charging characteristic accordingly. This extends the battery's service life and makes the entire forklift truck system significantly more cost-effective in the process.
With the aid of the I-SPoT viewer software tool, a user can analyse every charging process and optimise the process, for example by extending the charging time. This leads to a gentler charge, which extends the service life of the battery. 

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