Twelve months ago, the Battery Charging Systems division of Fronius International GmbH launched the Ri charging process, a completely new, trend-setting technology offering unbeatable benefits for users. One year on, and the company has now unveiled another impressive development, confirming its position as know-how leaders in the battery charging sector.
Fronius appreciates that standing still means going backwards. That’s why the Austrian specialist in cost-effective and eco-friendly battery charging technology has now made a major addition to its range of products and services by including complete charging systems. This move represents the company’s first major step away from being just a component supplier to becoming a provider of complete systems for the charging of traction batteries in forklift trucks.
Following an extensive planning and development phase, Fronius constructed and implemented the first systems, including battery charging rooms, battery charging stations/individual charging points and the electrical equipment required for charging. The hazards inherent in using these systems – the high charging currents, the release of potentially explosive gases during battery charging, the handling of chemicals and the usually unattended operation – meant that compliance with the latest standards and guidelines was extremely important. The new Fronius system concept addresses these hazards and ensures safe charging.
Fronius will, if required, supply battery charging systems with different modules. The standardised 2000 charging module (W x H x D = 886 x 2033 x 650 mm) can accommodate one or more Fronius battery charging systems. However, other high frequency battery charging systems can also be mounted on the standard vertically perforated plate. Where space permits, both sides of the modules can be used, helping to save space. When planning battery charging rooms and installing the systems, Fronius always ensures that the safety clearances to flammable objects, and particularly to hazardous areas with a fire or explosion risk, are observed and that the correct markings are applied to the floor and to the wall. If several modules are installed next to one another, energy and water are usually supplied via a conduit located above the modules. The modules – with the mandatory warnings – are designed to be very stable and are prepared for floor anchoring. Collision guards provide protection against impact damage by forklift trucks.
There is also the option to use the 2000 charging module as a safety station. In this case, it can be equipped with a first aid box, a fire extinguisher, eye wash and a printed copy of the safety rules. Should the customer wish to use a charging module as a maintenance station, an ion exchanger with a tap water connection can be installed. This produces distilled water from the supplied fresh water to fill the traction batteries. The actual filling is carried out using a hose system on each charging station.
The smaller 1200 charging module (W x H x D = 520 x 1133 x 3800 mm) has been developed exclusively for the Fronius Selectiva 8 kW and Selectiva 16 KW battery charging systems. The module can accommodate either one or two of these systems. It is not suitable for use with other chargers.
The new Fronius charging systems comply with all the requirements and regulations for charging traction batteries in a real-life environment. This innovative development, based on an initial internal pilot project for seven stackers, five counterbalanced lift trucks and their back-up batteries, is already being used by a number of customers. The feedback received has been consistently positive. The new charging station approach will benefit forklift drivers in their day-to-day work, simplify the entire battery charging cycle and provide for increased safety. The clear setup of the charging stations also improves the allocation of charger to stacker. Finally, the new layout will help promote cleanliness and tidiness among employees.