Lithium Benefits for Material Handling Applications

Posted April 25, 2022

Compared to lead-acid and other lithium batteries, lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries offer significant advantages in a variety of applications, including improved discharge and charge efficiency, a longer life span, and the ability to deep cycle while maintaining power. Lithium solutions for material handling applications are no different, offering warehouses simplified operations, improved productivity, and costs savings. When looking at all the benefits long-lasting lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries bring, they are hands-down the best solution to power your equipment from pallet jacks to scissor lifts, and more.

Lithium Battery Benefits For Material Handling:

  • Maintenance Free
  • Temperature Tolerant
  • Longer Life
  • Increased Productivity
  • Safer Technology
  • Save Money In The Long Run

Maintenance Free

A major drawback of lead-acid batteries is that they require a good amount of maintenance. Watering is required daily, and acid spills will inevitably happen. Frequently monitoring and taking care of your lead-acid battery can be time-consuming and stressful. LiFePO4 lithium batteries are maintenance-free. There’s no adding water, no cleaning acid residue from cables, connections, battery tops or equipment. The built-in Battery Management System (BMS) contributes to this by ensuring that the state of charge and health are always optimal for any application. Without the need for regular maintenance, using a lithium power source can reduce costs and save time in your warehouse.

Temperature Tolerant

Battery selection is even more important for refrigerated warehouses or cold climate regions where equipment will be operated. With standard lead-acid batteries, the cold can degrade the health and longevity of the unit. Temperatures below the 32°F mark will reduce both efficiency and usable capacity of lead-acid noticeably, providing 70-80% of its rated capacity at 32°F whereas lithium batteries are 2.5x more efficient operation at low temperatures. They can operate with very little loss providing 95-98% of its capacity at 32°F. Lead-acid batteries also have a tighter range of suitable charging conditions. Lithium batteries maintain their performance level in cold temperatures, and many battery packs are specially designed to be used in colder temperatures with on-board heaters to prevent any performance issues.

Longer Life

One of the biggest advantages of incorporating lithium batteries into your material handling equipment is that they allow for higher cycle life. Rechargeable lithium batteries cycle 5,000 times or more, compared to lead-acid batteries which typically deliver only 300-500 cycles. This means you’re not having to spend the time or expense replacing batteries. The extended life of lithium batteries can help a warehouse to keep functioning seamlessly and be more productive overall. Not only is the LiFePO4 technology longer lasting due to its chemistry, but also because, unlike lead-acid nothing significantly shortens the life of lithium such as improper watering or charging. In fact, partial states of charge do not damage LiFePO4 batteries at all.

Increased Run Time = Increased Productivity

Lithium batteries are efficient and provide 100% of their rated capacity at any rate of discharge.. There is no voltage drop through the whole discharge cycle with lithium, so your equipment will run and lift as fast at the end of the shift as it did at the beginning. Lead-acid batteries experience a voltage drop and typically lose around 20% of their power during a shift. This means operators will experience more hours of productivity when using lithium batteries with sustained power throughout discharge. Plus, lithium batteries typically charge in half the time!

Safer Technology

Not only do LiFePO4 batteries work hard, they’re also inherently safe. With chemistry engineered with exclusive safety measures, including a battery management system (BMS) that protects against over-charge, over-discharge, overtemperature, and short circuit conditions, safety becomes standard. In addition, lithium batteries are safer for your workforce because they’re not having to change out heavy lead-acid batteries, risking injury, equipment damage, or acid spills.

Total Cost Of Ownership

While lithium batteries come with a higher upfront cost, they can actually save your business money when considering their cost over life. Lithium batteries offer up to 10X longer life span compared to lead-acid batteries. Changing batteries less often means fewer replacement and labor costs. Once you do the calculations, you’ll see that the total cost of ownership is much lower than with lead-acid operated equipment. This is especially true for companies with multi-shift operations. These savings make lithium batteries a more valuable investment for the long term. RELiON’s lithium batteries have a proven track record already integrated with over 1,000 Hyster® and Yale® electric lift trucks.

RELiON’s medium format lithium batteries offer all these dynamic advantages plus more that you can’t find elsewhere. The InSight Series™ batteries bring solid, quality construction and interactive features that allow for a more “hands-off” experience for equipment users. The intelligent InSight 24V UL-certified lithium battery was built specifically to meet the power and energy requirements in a variety of material handling equipment, including pallet jacks, scissor lifts, and AGVs. This standard GC2-sized solution is drop-in ready and eliminates the “opportunity charge” often required with lead-acid batteries. Operators can complete their tasks without having to stop, charge and wait. In addition, RELiON can customize batteries, enabling outside manufacturers to integrate them into their own products.

With all the benefits lithium brings, it’s a clear superior power source when compared to traditional lead-acid batteries. Are you ready to simplify your operations by upgrading to RELiON lithium batteries for material handling equipment? Contact us and one of our tech experts will be in touch.