Perfect Charging

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Perfect Charging

Easy mastering of heavy-duty applications

Company

10/18/2021 / Wels
More and more electric forklifts are used in heavy-duty applications. The reasons are an increased awareness of sustainability, new requirements for combustions engines as well as higher performance and efficiency of electric drives. We asked Patrick Gojer and Andreas Prielinger (directors of the Business Unit Perfect Charging at Fronius International) what challenges can arise and how Fronius can support.
Patrick Gojer and Andreas Prielinger, Head of the Perfect Charging Business Unit at Fronius International
Patrick Gojer and Andreas Prielinger, directors of the Business Unit Perfect Charging at Fronius International

Electrification is advancing more and more in the heavy-duty sector. What developments do you observe on the market?

Gojer:

Heavy-duty forklifts, reach stackers and container handlers are indispensable for handling goods in the timber industry, in the recycling sector or in ports and on cargo ships. In these industries, heavy loads and bulky goods have to be transported and lifted indoors and outdoors.

We are currently seeing a trend in these applications away from combustion engines towards electric drives. The reason for this is, on the one hand, an increased awareness of sustainability and, on the other hand, a cost-saving potential.

Electric forklift trucks are continuously becoming more powerful. Even application areas with large lifting capacities - previously reserved for forklifts with combustion engines - are being electrified step-by-step.

What challenges do users have in these areas?

Gojer:

As the electrification of heavy-duty forklift trucks increases, so does the energy demand. Both batteries and chargers need to be designed on a larger scale. To be able to move high tonnages, traction batteries with 96 volt to 120 volts are used.

The purchase of these batteries can be very costly. Unsuitable battery charging technology may cause high maintenance efforts and unnecessary costs for frequent replacements. Demanding conditions such as fluctuating power quality or extreme outdoor temperature fluctuations also pose a challenge for our customers. In addition, two batteries are often used in parallel in heavy-duty trucks. For the reasons mentioned, it is very important to rely on a powerful and reliable charging technology.

What solutions does Fronius offer to support its customers?

Prielinger:

We have developed a new charging portfolio especially for these applications. The Fronius Selectiva 4.0 96V and 120V chargers offer safe and efficient charging for all common lead-acid batteries in high performance classes.

A particular advantage is the high flexibility. The devices have characteristic curves for lead battery types (e.g. PzS, EPzS, PzQ, CSM) with different voltages. This simplifies the charging processes and helps industrial truck operators to save costs.

Since applications often take place outdoors, we offer a comprehensive outdoor portfolio specifically designed to meet the particular challenges of outdoor charging.

Batteries are often used in parallel in heavy-duty trucks. What needs to be considered when charging these batteries? 

Prielinger:

Incorrect handling (e.g. removing batteries too early, defective chargers) can cause deviations of the state of charge of the batteries. This can lead to high equalizing currents between the batteries when they are connected to the vehicle. This can result in a damage to the batteries and the vehicle.

To prevent this situation, the Selectiva 4.0 96V and 120V chargers can be equipped with the Fronius Charger InterLock. This ensures that both batteries are fully charged upon disconnection and therefore have the same state of charge. Users benefit from a longer battery life, which is interesting from an economic point of view for these battery types.

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