Opportunity charging charges forklift batteries in a fraction of the time conventional charging takes, but this method isn’t the best option for every business. Continue reading to learn if you should opportunity charge your forklift battery.
How Opportunity Charging Works
Opportunity charging is when a forklift operator charges their lift truck’s battery during a short downtime, such as during lunch, rest breaks, or shift changes. At the end of the charge period, the battery has enough power to last until the next charge.
Opportunity charging takes 10 to 30 minutes, and batteries need a weekly equalization charge to 100 percent. Typical opportunity chargers will charge the battery up to 80 percent before shutting off.
Benefits for Two-Shift Operations
If your facility operates two shifts, you should consider opportunity charging forklift batteries. This charging method gives the battery enough power to work through both shifts, boosting productivity. And because the batteries spend more time powering lift trucks, opportunity charging can let you do the same amount of work with fewer batteries.
Conventional charging typically requires 8 hours of continuous charging, followed by a cooldown period. Opportunity charges save time by taking advantage of natural breaks in the work schedule. It also saves time by minimizing how often operators change out the batteries.
Limitations of Opportunity Charging
Opportunity charges work best for facilities that run two-shift operations. With only one shift per day, conventional charging is convenient. Conventionally charged batteries also have a longer working lifespan than opportunity-charged batteries.
Facilities that use three shifts can benefit best from fast charging. Compared to opportunity charging, fast charging cycles take less time and charge the battery to a lower state of charge. But of the three charging methods, fast charging will decrease the battery’s overall lifespan the most.
If you decide to use opportunity charging, strategically place the chargers near break rooms and work areas. This makes it more efficient for staff to charge their lift truck batteries during breaks.
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