Unleashing Your Fleet’s Power: How Wireless Charging Maximizes Lead-Acid and Lithium-Ion Battery Performance
For modern material handling equipment (MHE), the shift towards lithium-ion batteries has become synonymous with enhanced performance. Lithium-ion batteries have longer life cycles and increased energy density and can better handle the power needs of high volume, high production facilities, from fast charging and opportunity charging to more data and better equipment management. As more businesses transition to next-generation battery technologies like lithium-ion and thin plate pure lead (TPPL), technologies that optimize battery performance are more essential than ever. One such technology that stands out for its ability to unlock the full capabilities of motive power batteries is wireless charging.
The Rise of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized the world of portable electronics, powering everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. Their high energy density, lightweight design, and long cycle life make them a preferred choice for consumers and businesses alike. However, to truly harness the power of lithium-ion batteries, the equipment used with lithium-ion batteries needs to be just as advanced, from the trucks they power to the chargers that power them.
The Limitations of Traditional Charging
Conventional charging methods, such as plug-in charging, have limitations that prevent fleets from getting the most from their motive power batteries. Operators have to remember to charge and charge properly, which causes issues when charge compliance is low. Repeatedly plugging and unplugging can lead to equipment wear and tear, compromising the longevity of chargers and batteries. Additionally, the hassle of preparing batteries to charge, managing cords, finding compatible charging cables, and maintaining batteries after they charge is a common source of frustration for operators and fleet managers, one which takes time away from critical work and is fraught with human error.
Enter Wireless Charging
Wireless charging is a game-changer for maximizing fleet power and energy capabilities, offering a seamless and efficient solution to these challenges. By eliminating the need for physically plugging and unplugging charging cables, wireless charging not only simplifies the charging process but also enhances the overall user experience while extending equipment lifetime. Operators or autonomous vehicles don’t need to do anything to charge other than to pull into range of a charger. For those making the leap to lithium-ion batteries, the benefits of wireless charging extend beyond convenience and include:
Preserving Battery Health
Lithium-ion batteries, while powerful, can be sensitive to temperature and charging patterns. Wireless chargers are designed to deliver a controlled and consistent flow of power, reducing the risk of overheating and preserving the overall health of the battery. This can contribute significantly to prolonging the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries and is also a benefit of wireless charging for any battery type, including lithium-ion and lead acid batteries. Wireless charging optimizes charging for all battery types, including lithium-ion batteries, by automating charging so vehicles can easily be charged without relying on operators to manually plug and unplug. This is important for all batteries, however, it’s particularly important for lithium ion battery longevity to avoid over-discharging. This means keeping batteries in the 60-80% charge range and never letting their state of charge go below 40%. Keeping batteries at their optimal state of charge is difficult to do and rarely happens when manual charging is required, especially when operators don’t want to stop to plug their trucks in to charge. This is why automated wireless charging is essential for preventing dead batteries and extending the life of your lithium-ion batteries.
Eliminating Regular Maintenance
Compared to other motive power batteries, lithium-ion batteries are low maintenance and do not require scheduled cycling to maintain their battery life. This is a huge advantage for fleets that need to extend uptime and reduce overall costs. To truly reduce maintenance time and costs, wireless charging should be used with lithium-ion batteries. Resonant Link’s 19.2 kW, 400 A wireless lift truck charger is all solid state, so there are no moving parts in the system. Nothing to wear out, fray or break – a challenge for wired solutions.
Peak Performance and Lowest Total Cost of Ownership
As the world continues to embrace lithium-ion batteries, wireless charging is essential to ensure batteries perform at their peak and operations get fast, reliable and long-lasting power for their fleets. Making the switch to lithium-ion batteries without embracing wireless charging is like having a high-performance car and neglecting to use premium fuel – you'd miss out on the benefits that come with the better technology. In addition, while lithium-ion batteries and wireless charging can cost a bit more upfront, lithium-ion batteries and wireless charging deliver the maximum vehicle uptime for the lowest total cost of ownership of any motive power solution.
When making the switch to lithium-ion, a flexible wireless charging solution is also key. Resonant Link’s 19.2 kW, 400 A wireless lift truck charger works with all types of lithium-ion batteries between 12 and 48 V, so you don’t have to worry about having a specific charger model for a specific type of battery. So get wireless charging and confidently make the switch to lithium-ion for your fleet. Contact us today to discuss leveraging wireless charging in your facility.