There are three types of forklift battery charging methods used today: Conventional Charging, Opportunity Charging and Fast Charging. Choosing the right method for your application can be complicated, especially when it seems that one charge per battery per day or shift isn’t quite enough.
Your local Crown dealer can help by conducting a power study. This exercise can help you learn important information about forklift utilization, energy consumption and charging opportunities to help determine if one charging method, or perhaps a combination of methods, is right for you.
Opportunity charging involves charging a battery at available opportunities throughout the shift. These opportunities can include work breaks, scheduled lunches and shift changes. Virtually any downtime that provides a chance for the battery to be plugged in for at least ten minutes can be used for opportunity charging.
An application may use opportunity charging whenever its single shifts extends to no more than 10-12 truck hours or its two shifts require light to medium duty workload. This assumes that the application runs a maximum of five to six days a week. If your application is similar and you have the opportunity to charge batteries here and there throughout the day, opportunity charging may be your best bet.Compared to conventional charging, opportunity charging employs a higher start rate by delivering 25 to 30 amps/100 amps hour. There are other rules that apply as well. Your battery power requirement for a 24 hour period should not exceed 125 percent of the battery’s 80 percent rated capacity. You must also ensure that a minimum 12 hour cumulative charge time is achieved in any single 24 hour period. Maintenance requirements must also be observed. You should still perform a weekly equalization charge and battery watering requirements will increase.
Download a free copy of the Battery Charging Methods Chart and keep it close by for easy reference. You can also find more information about chargers that can be configured for these different battery charging methods, as well as info on watering kits to help support increased watering requirements in the Batteries and Chargers section of crown.com.