Opportunity charging is a practice applicable to both Lead Acid and Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for motive power systems and especially useful for Material Handling (MH) equipment. These practices can be applied to all classes of MH equipment from small pallet jacks to 4 wheel forklifts to large turret trucks. Fast charging is a key differentiator for Lithium-ion batteries. Because the chemistry allows fast charging without damaging cycle life, Our Lithium SAFEFlex Li-ion batteries can be charged opportunistically during breaks and don’t require battery swaps. However, typical fast charging requires very high currents and two cables to accommodate the current with larger capacity batteries. Green Cubes Techology’s MultiVoltage SAFEFlex battery can be charged at twice the voltage, so dual cables are unnecessary and they can be charged in half the time.
Li-ion batteries are preferably charged using a Constant Current / Constant Voltage (CC/CV) charge regime, but most MH equipment batteries are designed to accept both CC/CV and FLA charge regimens. Regardless of the state-of-charge of the battery when connected to the charger, the battery will efficiently accept the power and increase its state-of-charge. Whether the battery has been connected to the charger for 15 minutes or two hours, that battery can be immediately discharged and used by the MH equipment as there is no need to cool or rest a Li-ion battery after charging.
The Li-ion cell chemistry has numerous chemical variants. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) chemistry is the predominant chemistry used to power MH equipment: LFP features:
The long cycle life means an LFP battery can be installed and remain in the equipment for 8-10 years. More importantly, since LFP chemistry can accommodate high power delivered to and from the battery, a depleted LFP battery can accept a full charge in a little over one hour (i.e. 1 C rate) and it can be delivered throughout the shift when the operator has a break or lunch. Li-ion is the optimal chemistry for opportunity charging.
SAFEFlex MultiVoltage Batteries
Lithium SAFEFlex is a comprehensive battery solution designed to meet the cost, performance, efficiency and durability requirements of the rugged warehouse environment. It includes application-specific cell chemistry and intelligent battery management electronics. Lithium SafeFlex battery systems are high cycle life maintenance free solutions for industrial vehicles with fully customizable features to fulfill the most demanding requirements. The drop in replacement batteries make upgrading from Lead Acid to Lithium simple. The batteries are sized to fit the standard motive power lead acid battery, along with meeting the truck battery weight requirements.
MultiVoltage technology enables the battery to charge at double its output voltage, which cuts charging time in half and makes opportunity charging a more accessible option with simplicity and ease of use for the operator. The MultiVoltage battery completes a full charge in less than one hour and is offered in 24/48V, 36/72V and 48/96V combinations.
Green Cubes is a great company, great engineers, great product. That’s been kind of my number one go to [lithium] battery.
The thing I like about Green Cubes is that they have other lines of business outside of material handling batteries, they have been in the lithium world for a long time. I can trust they will likely stay in business
Green Cubes [differentiates] on its capability to custom design for things like the hardware, the firmware, and inverters. They also have economies of scale because they make battery systems for things like forklifts.
I am doing some work with them right now. We’re learning their products, and looking at demos. They have good people. They seem like they know the technology well – they say they’re a technology company. I like that they’ve been in the lithium business a long time. I can trust they will likely stay in business.
Green Cubes Technology would be my go-to for lithium applications.
I’ve told my friends at Green Cubes, I don’t plan on going anywhere. I believe in loyalty.