It's hard to believe, but flooded lead acid batteries have been powering lift trucks for nearly a century. Without a doubt, they are the workhorse of the material handling world, providing reliable, critical power across a range of warehouse and Distribution Center (DC) environments.
Complications of conventional flooded batteries
As any lift truck operator knows, flooded lead acid batteries are not without some significant maintenance requirements. Depending on their charging routine, flooded batteries may need to be watered 52 times a year. It's a daunting but essential task, but nevertheless important, as under-watering is the most common cause of flooded battery failures.
Keeping a flooded lead acid battery fleet properly charged also requires a level of maintenance. In a conventional charging routine, flooded batteries need eight hours of charging and eight hours of cooling before eight hours of operation. Equalization charging is also required, not to mention time-consuming and potential safety risks of performing battery change-outs.
Current industry trends are exacerbating these challenges. Rising real estate and labor costs, coupled with rising rack heights, have warehouses and DCs looking for ways to boost battery power and charging performance while reducing battery maintenance and operating expenses. For many multishift operations, the advanced Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology of NexSys® PURE batteries
offers an ideal way to do exactly that.
Advanced TPPL technology from EnerSys®
The proprietary TPPL technology at the heart of NexSys®
PURE batteries offers material handlers a reliable power solution without the restrictive upkeep requirements of watering, equalization charging and battery change outs associated with flooded lead acid batteries.
As its names implies, the thin plate pure lead technology in NexSys®
PURE batteries features thin plates and high purity lead. Thin plates mean more of them can fit inside the battery; the additional plates deliver more power in 30 percent less space than equivalently sized flooded batteries. The added plate surface area makes NexSys®
PURE batteries 10 percent more energy-dense than flooded lead acid batteries, enabling them to maintain more power during peak load periods.
TPPL technology also incorporates the highest purity lead, combined with fine grain plate structure, measuring at one third to one quarter the thickness of conventional lead acid batteries. This proprietary construction allows for a higher resistance to sulfation for increased lifetime throughput, extended high rate run times and rapid recharge capability, enabling effective opportunity charging, eliminating battery changing which translates to longer-lasting power on the warehouse floor. NexSys PURE batteries also feature a sealed, Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) design that eliminates watering requirements and minimizes gassing.
In short, the TPPL technology in NexSys PURE batteries gives material handlers a powerful combination of cost- and labor-saving benefits. And, while it's a relative newcomer in the material handling world, TPPL technology has actually been evolving and delivering reliable power in demanding applications for several decades.
Time-tested safety and reliability
Since the early 1970s, EnerSys®
TPPL batteries have powered the most challenging applications with the most strenuous battery demands. Originally developed for mission-critical military applications, this proprietary technology was then introduced to motive power specialty applications, including floor care and Class III lift truck applications. Today, thousands of NexSys®
PURE batteries are providing safe, reliable and productive power for lift truck fleets, worldwide.
For warehouses and DCs, NexSys®
PURE batteries help safeguard operations and operators. Thanks to sealed construction, NexSys®
PURE batteries eliminate the risk of acid exposure - no watering requirements means there is no chance of electrolyte overflow or spills.
PURE batteries also operate with minimal gassing, making them suitable for use in sensitive areas, including hospitals, schools and universities and retail environments. Unlike flooded lead acid batteries that release oxygen and hydrogen, NexSys®
PURE batteries transfer oxygen from the positive plate through an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) separator and into the negative plate, where it recombines with hydrogen to form water.
A minimal amount of hydrogen is released from NexSys®
PURE batteries can eliminate battery change-outs, in turn eliminating the inherent safety risks of using handing beams or lifts to hoist and move heavy batteries. No more change-outs also slashes cross-plant traffic to the battery room, further reducing the risk of accidents.
Eliminating battery watering and change-outs doesn't just boost operational safety. In effect, it makes battery operation virtually maintenance-free, and lift truck operation much more convenient and cost-effective.
Consider the labor-saving benefits of not having to water batteries. No more watering obviously means no more weekly watering labor costs. But it also means no more spills from overwatering, or the time-consuming clean-ups that follow. The sealed, virtually maintenance-free design of NexSys®
PURE batteries also eliminates periodic battery washing costs.
Next, compare the labor-saving benefits of battery change-outs to opportunity charging with NexSys® PURE batteries
. The ability to keep batteries in the trucks via opportunity charging reduces labor costs and allows facilities to use the floorspace otherwise dedicated to battery changing/charging rooms for more profitable activities. It also reduces the size of battery inventories, further freeing up valuable floorspace. Lastly, NexSys®
PURE batteries are also ready for work after months of inactivity - up to a 2-year shelf life, allowing for storage of up to two years at 68°F (20°C).
Design that powers productivity and flexibility
Flooded lead acid battery plates are manufactured with lead-antimony alloys. The antimony in the grid can lead to an increased rate of corrosion, leading to grid structure degradation and loss of electrical conductivity of the grids. In comparison, the grids used in NexSys® PURE TPPL batteries are pure lead, resulting in much greater conductivity for more power and higher energy throughput, and much longer battery life in operation.
The TPPL design advantages also mean that NexSys®
PURE batteries can be charged at rates of up to 100%, with no risk of damage from overheating. In fact, NexSys®
PURE batteries can be completely recharged in just 2 hours, or 4 times faster than the 8-hour charge rates that flooded lead acid batteries require.
That rapid recharge rate enables fast and effective opportunity charging. In practice, it gives operators the flexibility to charge NexSys®
PURE batteries in 15-minute increments throughout the workday - during breaks, in-between shifts, or whenever it's convenient.
Integrated tools for trouble-free power
Building on the benefits of TPPL technology, NexSys®
PURE batteries are designed for hassle-free power with tools that enable everything from basic State of Charge (SOC) alerts to complete remote monitoring and battery fleet optimization.
battery monitoring device serves as the first line of uptime defense. Mounted directly on the battery harness, the Wi-iQ device combines battery-monitoring expertise with the latest in wireless communication to monitor and capture essential operating data, including amp-hours charged and discharged, temperature levels, voltage levels and more. When it's time to charge the battery the device issues audible and visible alarms to alert operators.
The Wi-iQ device communicates battery operating data via Bluetooth with a suite of EnerSys®
battery operations management tools, including the Truck iQ™ smart battery dashboard, E Connect™ mobile app and the Xinx™ battery operations management system.
The Truck iQ™
dashboard is a Bluetooth or Controller Area Network (CAN)-enabled display module mounted in the lift truck to give drivers a live view of key battery operating conditions. Featuring a touchscreen display, the Truck iQ™ dashboard is mounted directly on the vehicle for easy viewing and access to a range of alerts and alarms to help optimize battery operation.
The E Connect™
mobile app allows users to see and share that same battery operating data on smartphones or tablet devices. With this level of access to operational data, assets can be protected and best battery maintenance practices promoted, to drive productivity and profitability.
Operators and managers in the warehouse, or in remote service locations, can use any or all of these tools to identify the early warning signs of battery abuse in real-time. These tools give operations the intelligence needed to address developing battery performance issues before they lead to premature failures and costly downtime. The Xinx™ battery operations management system can also be used to analyze a fleet's overall power use, workflow and more, providing insights that can optimize a facility's lift truck fleet power solution.
Ensuring success before purchase and beyond
As with all EnerSys®
battery solutions for motive power, NexSys®
PURE batteries are custom-matched to meet lift truck fleet requirements with EnSite™ modeling software. Using a facility's specific data - number of shifts, power requirements and more - EnSite™ software identifies the optimum NexSys®
PURE battery voltages, fleet size and other system specifications. This proprietary software even predicts an operation's ROI ad Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) reduction, helping buyers verify system performance and ownership costs before purchase.
With virtually maintenance-free NexSys®
batteries, constructed with advanced TPPL technology, material handlers now have lift truck power solution that can help reduce TCO and leave the limitations of flooded batteries behind. By providing simpler, more productive, predictable power, NexSys®
PURE batteries can help operations focus far less on their batteries and much more on their core business operations.
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