Batteries have their place among all manner of modern consumer products. From items such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops – that we can scarcely imagine life without – all the way up to emerging new products such as super long-lasting USB-C rechargeable batteries, such as those produced by Pale Blue Earth, or the massively powerful lithium-ion cells soon to be manufactured on an unprecedented scale by Tesla.
However, the runaway success of all these commercial battery products perhaps masks another area where batteries have been just as revolutionary – the industrial sphere. The batteries in use in industrial settings are typically purchased by companies and specialists, and thus do not have such a flashy profile. Be in no doubt though the everyday operation of the construction site, the warehouse, and the factory has been revolutionized by super powerful lithium-ion batteries to just the same extent as the commercial products with which we are all so familiar.
Challenges with Industrial Batteries
For sure, the replacement of gas-powered machinery and tools with battery-powered alternatives has many great benefits, but it has also brought with it a range of new challenges.
For example, weather conditions have a uniquely pronounced effect on batteries. In the industrial context, the power-sapping potential of extreme hot or cold can have unfortunate consequences, not only adversely affecting the battery’s performance at that point in time, but also causing it to degrade faster.
Given that so much industrial work occurs outside and involves a good deal of exposure to the elements, this is one of the primary challenges with industrial batteries. Nonetheless, there are also other issues to consider. For example, the wrong type of battery with a forklift truck could entail problems ranging from inefficient operation to stability issues and even damage to the equipment. A proper system of battery maintenance needs to be in place.
Industrial Battery Maintenance
The precise kind of battery maintenance which will be appropriate is of course heavily dependent on the work being carried out at the specific location. However, there are a range of general tips and best practices to defer to. Here are some of the most important:
Put in Place a Regular Battery Check Up
Just because nothing has gone wrong (yet) does not mean that all the batteries at your place of work are in good working order. Battery issues in industrial settings are not only dramatic events like machinery damage or industrial accidents. Sometimes, it can be simply inefficient use of battery power. If something is wrong with your batteries, then they could be running down quicker. And if that is the case, you could be losing money. The best practice is to check regularly.
Always Keep the Battery Top Clean and Dry
There are some battery packs which are weather resistant or even waterproof, but as a general rule of thumb, the part of the battery which is exposed should be kept clean and dry.
Ventilate Batteries During Charging
Most batteries in industrial settings are part of battery pack which can be opened in some way. Given the high power of these batteries, they are often prone to overheating when being charged. This is a problem that can be ameliorated by keeping the battery open when charging is happening.
There are of course several more tips to help you with the efficient running of batteries in an industrial setting. Nevertheless, many of these will be specific to your particular industrial enterprise. There is no doubt that batteries make life easier, but they should give you a few extra things to consider as well.