Forklift battery management for warehouses and distribution centres

Supplier: Battery Technologies By: John Flint
09 May, 2014

The phrase "out of sight, out of mind" could well have been coined to describe battery rooms.

For many warehouses, the battery room is located well away from the mainstream of operations and sometimes even in a remote part of the site. They are often not staffed on a full time basis and only get a visit when the gauge on a forktruck advises the operator that he needs a battery change.

It's then up to the operators to manage the flow of batteries into and out of the battery room, usually with no system or information on how to do it effectively. Given that the biggest factors in shortening battery life are over charging, over discharging and incorrect watering, this is not a great situation to be in.

One way to address the problem is to use fully automated watering and queuing systems. When the operator removes the battery from the forktruck and plugs in the charger and watering connection, the system takes control.

The automated watering system monitors the charger to ensure that the battery is topped up with the right amount of water at the right point of the charge cycle. The red indicator light quickly tells the operator that everything is properly connected and that the automated watering system is in control.

The biggest problem in relation to battery management comes now however when the operator has to choose which replacement to take. That's where the queuing system comes in. It's as simple as looking at the number on the display. The queuing system monitors the order in which the batteries have been put on charge. It shows which one has been in the battery room longest and is therefore fully charged and cooled.

As soon as that battery is disconnected, the queuing system will show the next one that is ready to go. Managing the changeover of batteries is no longer down to guesswork. With a fully automated system you can be sure that they are fully cycled and topped up to the correct level. All of which greatly minimises the risk of overcharging, over discharging or overheating, which in turn maximises the life of your batteries.

The automated battery manager will also provide reports on how well your battery room is running. You can see whether batteries are in fact being taken out of sequence; whether overcharging has occurred or if a charger has not been switched on.

You can also see the number of batteries that are in the queue and what the minimum queue length has been over any given period - all of which will help you to decide whether or not you have the right number of batteries for your operation.

Automated battery watering and queuing - the simplest, most effective and most economical way to get the maximum life from your batteries.

Battery Technologies Qmaster - Automated Battery Management System