Whether forklift trucks, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), or the classic "ant" - modern industrial trucks in industry and logistics are now predominantly equipped with powerful lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion technology offers significant advantages over lead-acid technology in terms of performance, durability, efficiency, and handling. A real game-changer is the batteries' ability to be charged intermediately. Vehicle batteries previously had to be fully discharged to avoid a memory effect whereas, lithium-ion batteries allow many partial charges at any given energy level.
The technology has many advantages - but only if charging is done with the right battery charging technology. This is because the selection of the optimum energy supply for the process is crucial to whether AGVs, AMRs, and alike can develop their full potential.
The latest whitepaper from Wiferion provides an overview of the battery technologies available, the advantages and disadvantages of the individual systems, and how you can use them to increase productivity. This article provides a summary of the paper with links to the paper at the end.
Li-ion battery systems offer the advantage that they can be charged temporarily. This means that every stop in the operational process no matter how short allows an industrial truck or AGV to be supplied power. The result: Automated processes for industrial trucks paired with the Li-ion battery and corresponding charging solutions manage completely without "dead time". The vehicles can be used for the entire shift for their intended purposes - to do jobs, not to charge. This is where another advantage of Li-ion technology comes into play, the ability to "fast charge." During intermediate charging, energy can be supplied at higher currents than was previously possible with the lead-acid battery. This is expressed in terms of the "C-rate".
For example, an LFP battery with 1C-2C can be charged in under an hour, while an MNC with the same capacity and 0.5C requires two hours for this. This makes LFP and LTO batteries particularly suitable for fast, short, and intermediate charging in the process. In practice, intermediate charging allows the utilization profile of a lithium-ion battery system to be described by a "sawtooth curve". Energy management is an important aspect in this context and has a significant influence on the availability of the industrial trucks used. Intermediate charging can significantly reduce the battery capacity, i.e. the installed volume of batteries, of the vehicles compared to the lead-acid battery.