More and more companies operating fork lift trucks are reaping major benefits from using rapid battery charging systems supplied by Hoppecke Industrial Batteries.
The technology is not new – Hoppecke has been supplying rapid charging solutions to a major UK automotive manufacturer with a large quantity of trucks for over eight years; and a number of rapid charge systems are being used by a leading car maker in Germany. But demand for the technology in the UK is now mushrooming as the country follows USA trends where the equipment is being adopted increasingly by fork lift truck operating companies.
Rapid charging systems are ideal for those who need access to trucks 24 hours a day but don’t use them continuously over that period. The rapid charge option offers an opportunity for some operators to move from gas fuelled trucks to electric trucks where running costs are three and a half times less.
The biggest benefit to warehouse operators is that with rapid charging they no longer need to worry about all the inconvenience associated with battery changing or about keeping large and expensive stocks of spare batteries.
Companies also no longer need to have designated battery charging areas and if they operate an efficient planning sequence they can cut costs further by not needing to have one charger for every truck. This is because the Hoppecke units are available for use across the full 24 hour period by adopting an opportunity charging regime, which means a single rapid charger can be shared across a number of trucks.
Companies are turning increasingly to Hoppecke for their rapid charging solutions because while the practice tends to increase battery temperatures and so can shorten battery life, this is not the case with Hoppecke’s unique trak® air system which uses electrolyte circulation to keep battery temperatures down and so extend battery life.
Another problem with rapid charging in the past has been that customers have needed to understand what warranties would be available on a battery. But, says Gus Whyte, Sales Director – National Accounts and Systems at Hoppecke Industrial Batteries, it isn’t the rapid charging that affects the life of a battery but the energy throughput from the battery.
"Companies should not assume that they will get less battery usage when using rapid charging," he says. "Instead, they should move away from thinking in terms of five year warranties or cycle life warranties and look at warranty in the battery based on energy throughput usage, ie the amount of amps a customer uses from the battery over the period of their contract. And this is registered, recorded and analysed on the Hoppecke rapid charger."
Gus adds: "What is absolutely essential to remember is that rapid charging of truck batteries is not a one size fits all solution. Moving to this option needs careful consideration, discussion and analysis and Hoppecke always works with all its rapid charge customers to get a complete understanding of their requirements before any commitment is made."