What Is Forklift Battery Equalization & Why Is It Important?

If you’re not performing regular equalization charges on your forklift battery, you could be damaging your equipment. Read on to discover what forklift battery equalization is and why it’s important.

Equalization: Intentional and Beneficial Overcharging

An equalization charge is an intentional overcharging of your lead-acid battery. Follow your battery manufacturer’s instructions regarding how often you should perform equalization charges. The equalization charge can take an additional 3 to 15 hours, depending on your battery, so keep this requirement in mind when planning your work schedule.

Routine charging practices impact how effectively forklift batteries power equipment; charging also affects the length of the battery’s working life. Get the best and safest battery performance by utilizing equalization charges.

Maintain Equal Optimal Voltage Capacity Across the Cells

It’s important to perform an equalization charge on your lead-acid battery to equalize the voltage across all cells. Each battery cell has a nominal voltage of 2 volts, but the actual voltage can vary, and the voltage in the cells is not perfectly balanced.

As you use the battery over time, the difference in voltages between cells will grow. For the best discharge performance, you want to maintain a low voltage difference and increase consistency between cells. By overcharging with an equalization charge, you can bring each cell back to its optimal voltage capacity and improve battery performance.

Equalize To Break Down Sulfate

Finally, an equalization charge is critical because it breaks down sulfate. The sulfation process happens when the sulfuric acid in the battery’s electrolyte breaks down and releases sulfur ions. The free sulfur ion crystals build up on the battery’s lead-acid plates. Without intervention, the crystals will grow, harden, and completely cover the lead plates.

An equalization charge overcharges the battery at a low, controlled rate. The process slightly heats the electrolyte, forces current through the plates, and removes light sulfation. Heavy sulfation will require other forms of intervention, but regularly equalizing the battery can keep sulfation at bay.

Now that you know more about forklift battery equalization and why it’s important for routine maintenance, turn to Green Power Forklift Batteries as your preferred forklift battery supplier. We carry new and reconditioned batteries for a variety of industrial applications. Request a quote on lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries for your business today.