Understanding Opportunity and Fast Charging

Understanding Opportunity and Fast Charging

Lift Truck Battery Charging Options

Material handling is constantly evolving. With new technologies being introduced regularly, batteries and chargers have not been left behind. On top of increasing advances in batteries and chargers themselves, such as Crown’s V-force line, battery charging processes have also improved over the past decade. Gone are the days where an operation must run a battery out, take it to the charging station, switch it out for a new battery, and set it to charge. Instead, operations now have the choice of conventional, opportunity, and fast charging.

  • Conventional charging – batteries are changed out when they are drained of power; when a battery runs out of power it is removed from the lift truck, connected to a charging station, and replaced with a charged battery
  • Opportunity charging – Done throughout the workday, the battery is charged in brief spurts when the lift truck is not in use; the battery does not have to be removed from the lift truck for charging
  • Fast charging – the same as opportunity charging, except that fast charging uses a charger with a quicker start rate therefore charging the battery more rapidly

Pros and Cons of Charging Methods

Of course, as with any advance in technology, there are pros and cons to opportunity and fast charging. Weigh the benefits and potential pitfalls before making a decision on your charging method.

Pros of Opportunity and Fast Charging

  • More equipment use per shift

  • Reduced Maintenance

  • Less time and effort required due to elimination of battery switch-out process

  • Reduced downtime

  • Reduced number of batteries and equipment needed for production

  • Increased operational square footage due to the reduction of needed charging space

Cons of Opportunity and Fast Charging

  • Reduced battery life

  • Increased battery exposure to heat which can lead to accelerated deterioration

Discover Which Charging Method is Right for Your Operation

Every operation runs a little differently than the next. For example, smaller operations are unlikely to see the same benefits of opportunity or fast charging than larger operations running multiple shifts. That’s why we provide a wide range of charger and battery options, including the full Crown V-Force charger line, to help you maximize productivity in the way that best suits your needs.

Lift Power offers free power studies. Power studies monitor battery usage and metrics such as amp-hour usage and idle time. It also takes into consideration environmental and budgetary factors. Power studies are the key to finding the best solution for your operation. Every operation is a little different. Bring in the experts to be sure you are getting the most out of your lift truck batteries for the least amount of cost and hassle. Optimizing battery usage helps you optimize your production cycle.

SOURCE: “Start Me Up: Opportunity Charging or Fast Charging?”: DC Velocity, August 2018 Edition, p 41-44



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