3 Tips & Tricks to Prolong Your Motive Power Batteries

Here at Northeast Battery, we understand the needs of our customers.  We want to provide all of the DC power needs for your equipment and operations to help you move your materials and your business to greater heights.

Motive power applications experience high demand are some of the most labor-intensive jobs in an operations setting.  Moving, picking, and sorting your products takes a lot of power, and we want to make sure your batteries are properly maintained to keep your business moving.

Here are some tips to keep your batteries powering on:

Watering

Forklift batteries can experience high demand from the equipment when moving heavy loads. When we work out and perhaps lift weights, like a forklift, we tend to lose water in the form of sweat.  We replenish our bodies with water after a workout and the same needs to be done with batteries.  When the batteries are working this hard, they can lose water in the electrolyte due to the heat caused by the chemical reactions.  Losing too much water in the batteries and the active material on the battery grids will start to fall – this will cause both the performance and life also to fall off.

To prevent this, you need to replace the water if you battery allows for maintenance, and there are several ways to do this.  You can use single-point water systems (SPW), watering tanks, or guns.  Be careful not to overwater the batteries as it can cause spillage and exposure to battery acids.  Battery acid is hazardous and can burn through both clothing and skin.  Sadly 90s fashion has not come back and holes in your clothes is not a stylish look.  Make sure you are careful when watering batteries and have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

If used daily, it is recommended to water the batteries every two weeks or after every five charges and always after charging.

 

Charging

Discharging takes a lot out of the battery!  Charging batteries before they hit a charge of 30% instead of at regular intervals is recommended.   This helps prevent the formation of those pesky sulfate crystals which reduce the usable areas on the battery grids and impacts performance.  Sulfate crystals are as difficult to remove as days old casserole residue in your moms corning ware. So it is best not to let them form.

When charging, make sure you are in a designated charging area that should be labeled with the appropriate signage.  Only trained employees should be allowed to perform maintenance.  Always wear PPE to avoid exposure to battery acid and outgassing.  OHSA has provided guidance here.

Make sure all of your equipment is in good order.  Inspect cables and connectors for any signs of breakage.  If you see signs of wear and tear, replace that equipment.

Understand that charging a forklift battery may take a while, so plan for that time.  Charging may take up to 8 hours, depending on both the charger and the battery.  Equalizing the battery is also recommended to thoroughly distribute the appropriate acid concentration throughout the entire battery and remove pesky sulfate crystals, which can severely impact performance.  And, as stated before, make sure you check fluid levels when the charging is complete and replace any lost liquids.

 

Battery replacement

Upon inspection, if the battery hardware shows signs of corrosion, it may mean it’s time for a replacement.  It is always recommended to keep a battery log tracking all of the maintenance mentioned above.  If the battery is under warranty, the manufacture may want to check the records.  The life of these batteries will depend on both the type (tubular, flat plate, VRLA, TPPM, etc.), how long the batteries have been in use, and, ultimately, the demand from the forklift applications.

 

Contact us at Northeast Battery to discuss your motive power batteries.  We have the experience and expertise to assist you in selecting the right product for the right application.  Let Northeast Battery lift you to new heights, just like your forklift equipment.  We are here to help you move your products and move your operations in the right direction.

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