Every facility that utilizes battery-powered industrial equipment depends on their fleet to be as productive as possible by operating at top performance. When it comes to charging the lead-acid batteries that these units run on, a method known as fast charging has proven to be an effective strategy to keep machines on the job.
What is Fast Charging?
As its name implies, fast charging is a way to replenish the energy in lead-acid batteries more quickly than more traditional charging methods. More accurately, fast charging can be described as ‘opportunity fast charging’ as it allows industrial equipment users to optimize their productivity by minimizing unit downtime due to battery charging time restrictions.
What are the Advantages of Fast Charging?
There are many benefits to utilizing fast charging for your lead-acid batteries:
Fast charging reduces the need to change batteries to keep equipment running. It also allows for the charging process to take place while workers are on break or during short periods that the equipment is not being used.
Reduces Risk of Injury
Operators who have to regularly change run down batteries on industrial equipment face the risk of minor injuries during the battery swapping process. Fast charging greatly reduces the need to change out batteries when a unit’s power level is too low to operate.
The process is also a time saver, as the time it takes to normally change batteries can be used more productively in other ways.
How Quickly Does Fast Charging Work?
Generally speaking, fast charging replenishes 40-50 amps per 100 ampere hour, which equates to a charge rate of 50% or more. Fast charging allows industrial equipment to be in service for longer periods.
Is Fast Charging Safe?
Simply put, yes! Fast charging has been used for many years and has proven to be a safe way to replenish the charge in lead-acid batteries. Top quality fast charging units utilize technology that allows them to monitor a battery’s charge status as the process is taking place.
In addition, fast charge chargers also monitor a battery’s voltage and temperature and will adjust the charging output accordingly if needed.
How to Choose a Fast Charging System
When selecting a fast charge system that can power a high-demand, multi-shift operation, it’s essential to consider these factors to help you make the best choice:
When choosing a fast charger, it is important to select one that can monitor temperature in real time. Precise temperature control is needed to minimize heat, off-gassing, and battery wear. A fast charge system must be engineered to turn off when the battery gets too hot.
When selecting the right fast charging system, look for a unit that accurately monitors battery voltage and current to avoid overheating.
An equalization charge is when the battery is charged at a higher voltage to help remove sulfate buildup and balance the voltage of each cell. An equalized charge is the overcharging of the battery after a complete charging cycle. Find a fast charging system that makes an equalization charge easy, as you may need to perform this frequently.
Finding a fast charging system that allows for the charging process to occur while workers are on break or during short periods when the equipment is not being used is essential for productivity. In general, fast charging replenishes 40-50 amps per 100-ampere hour, which equates to a charge rate of 50% or more.
Lastly, look for a fast charging system with various battery voltage and AH configurations. Having a unit that accommodates diverse charging needs will help prevent the need to purchase multiple pieces of equipment.