ProMat 2019: Battery technology

Avatar photo
by Emily Atkins
Chad Uplinger from Enersys explains the company’s new technology. (Emily Atkins Photo)

Thanks in part to the rise of the electric car and the innovative technological developments that are improving range, numerous battery suppliers are now making lighter, more energy-dense lithium-ion (and other chemistries) products for forklifts and other equipment. The technology for charging batteries is also benefitting from new ideas.

At Enersys Chad Uplinger and Harold Vanasse explained the benefits of their new NMC (nickel, manganese cobalt) battery chemistry. The company’s NexSys iON batteries are engineered with large format prismatic cells and Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) cell chemistry.

Enersys is also offering interchangeable batteries and smart chargers that know whether they are feeding a lead acid cell or an ion cell and behave accordingly. In the lab the company is working on wireless charging that will see embedded wireless charging in select aisles in the warehouse. When a forktruck is low on power, the smart management system would work with the WMS to direct the worker or the autonomous truck to pick in that aisle for an opportunity charge, without having to stop working.

Vancouver-based Delta-Q Technologies was showing its ICL lithium battery chargers. The high-frequency ICL 1200 and 1500 chargers are the latest additions to Delta-Q’s first lithium specific charging line and are available in 85V and 120V models. The 85V models are designed to charge lithium battery systems of any lithium ion chemistry from 14 to 24 cells in a series, while the 120V models can charge lithium ion chemistries within 21 to 34 cells.

“We designed the ICL Series to provide customers with unparalleled performance capabilities for their lithium-technology needs,” said Trent Punnett, executive vice president and head of sales, product management and marketing at Delta-Q. “A higher voltage charger allows our material handling customers to access customizable solutions that best suit their electric portfolio.”

The ICL Series is suitable for use on any electric machine including light electric vehicles, lift trucks, unmanned aerial vehicles, scooters, and aerial work platforms.

East Penn Manufacturing Co. has recently released its new Deka Ready Power Li-ion forklift battery. And Storage Battery Systems LLC was demonstrating the Sunlight LiON Force battery.

Lighter batteries are going to mean change in forklift design. German manufacturer Jungheinrich AG has won an award for its ETV 216i reach truck, the world’s first with a fully integrated lithium-ion battery. Because the heavy, conventional lead-acid battery was replaced by a smaller lithium-ion battery, the truck had completely new design parameters.

Yale’s research and development initiatives have resulted in the company’s first counterbalanced lift truck with a factory-integrated lithium-ion battery pack along with a concept vehicle featuring its next-generation power chassis. The lighter truck uses less power and delivers better acceleration.

The Raymond Corporation has also introduced its first Raymond’s single-and double-capacity lithium-ion batteries that deliver steady performance throughout the duty cycle.