Supplying batteries since 1952

Lucas

 

Although we have established relationships with several premium quality industrial battery manufacturers across the European markets that we serve, there is certainly room for a brand that has the type of recognition that transcends boarders and endorses the truly pan-European nature of ECOBAT Battery Technologies.

 

Although Lucas has its roots in the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors and in the UK where we have been responsible for the brand for a number of years, it is enjoying huge growth, the awareness of the brand is far wider because historically it was active across many other sectors and on a global stage. As a result, it is still a prominent brand that commands great influence.

 

Therefore, despite already being equipped to offer the required power storage solution for our industrial customers, an expanded Lucas offering that caters for the industrial sector could certainly bring a new dimension to the ECOBAT Battery Technologies portfolio and subsequently bring benefits to many businesses in the process.

 

The Power Of Partnership

Successful businesses are built on solid and dependable relationships that allow them to develop and grow. ECOBAT Battery Technologies has made partnership a foundation principle at the heart of its business ethos. Developing partnership is central in its relationship with its product suppliers, with recycling specialists and of course, with its customers. These partnerships provide the environment to power business growth and define ‘the power of partnership’.

A New Company For A Positive Future

IMHX 2016 was the first official UK appearance of ECOBAT Battery Technologies, a new company that has been formed from the consolidation of three independent businesses operating within the ECOBAT Technologies Group. ECOBAT Battery Technologies is therefore an entirely new entity, which is able to offer a unique and comprehensive battery service across Europe.

 

The three consolidated businesses all have an enviable heritage and superb reputation within their home markets and in the case of Manbat Industrial, that heritage has enabled the company to establish itself as a leading provider of industrial batteries and related power storage equipment that is able to supply the appropriate equipment to ensure the most suitable overall package across a multitude of industrial sectors. The company is committed to ‘the power of partnership’, which means that it works alongside its manufacturing partners: US Battery, TAB and Sonnenshein, as well as Fronius and SPE for chargers, to deliver the very best for its customers.

 

In addition to its comprehensive range of products, it has four dedicated branches and the UK’s largest number of service engineers, which allows it to provide a truly national service encompassing specialist battery advice, alongside sales and service support.

 

Now brought together under a single European identity these businesses are able to benefit their existing customers and influence the far wider market, in a way they would not have been able as individuals.

 

The establishment of ECOBAT Battery Technologies is a strategic development that makes the entity Europe’s number one battery partner, offering a four-fold service from product conception, design and construction, to its regional and local circulation and end of life collection. In the process it is able to provide the most suitable solution for every aspect of the aftermarket battery supply business and demonstrate the power of partnership with its existing and future customers.

 

Alongside the very best in customer service, ECOBAT Battery Technologies is able to back up its offering with the brands that provide the opportunities that workshops need to develop their battery related business and with premium quality products that give their customers complete confidence. Prominent in its portfolio is Lucas, a brand widely recognised across the continent and offering huge potential for future growth.

 

Environmental responsibilities are, quite correctly, a reality for all sectors of industry and the aftermarket is no different. Therefore, this is another area in which ECOBAT Battery Technologies can make a positive difference by providing a truly European closed-loop recycling service that takes care of all the waste management requirements for the workshop and ensures the most environmentally sensitive outcome for battery disposal.

 

As a result of these combined elements and the consolidation of the successful existing businesses, ECOBAT Battery Technologies is able to offer the European aftermarket a positive and unique solution that sets new standards across a wide range of requirements and delivers quality products and a level of service that will make a genuine difference to its customers and the profitability of their businesses.

 

The Power Of Partnership

Successful businesses are built on solid and dependable relationships that allow them to develop and grow. ECOBAT Battery Technologies has made partnership a foundation principle at the heart of its business ethos. Developing partnership is central in its relationship with its product suppliers, with recycling specialists and of course, with its customers. These partnerships provide the environment to power business growth and define ‘the power of partnership’.

Cost Saving Benefits For Saint-Gobain Glass

As one of the country’s leading independent distributors of industrial batteries and related power storage equipment, Manbat Industrial -part of the ECOBAT Technologies Group – is able to supply the most appropriate individual elements to ensure the suitability of the overall package when it comes to the power storage related requirements of businesses. In addition, it has the largest number of service engineers and therefore is the only company to be able to provide a truly national service encompassing general battery advice, as well as sales and service support.

 

An example of the company’s practical battery advice comes with Saint-Gobain Glass, Europe’s leading manufacturer for float glass for the UK’s domestic and commercial construction markets.

 

The Manbat Industrial team, in association with Fronius UK, for which the company is a sales and service partner, assessed the fleet of forklifts used at Saint-Gobain’s Eggborough facility, in terms of a cost/emissions/maintenance comparison against their existing charging regime. The fleet consists of some 20 forklifts and specialist glass moving machines, which are equipped with a variety of batteries and utilises a combination of chargers of various outputs.

 

The comparison took into account energy usage based on an average cost of 7 pence per kilowatt-hour (kWh), with a projected increase of 5% per year, distilled water based on an average cost of 30 pence per litre and an emission factor of 0.53 kgCO2 per kWh, over a five year period. However, the battery purchase price and cost of Saint-Gobain’s warehouse engineers were not part of the remit.

 

By examining the requirements and typical usage of each vehicle and then taking into account the capacity of the battery with which each is equipped – these range from 48v 660Ah to 80v 1240Ah, but all utilise standard technology – a specific model from within the Fronius Selectiva charger range was chosen to provide a realistic like for like comparison against the existing equipment, but with both using a standard charging lead of between 2.5 and 3m in length.

 

At the conclusion of the review, across all the vehicles, irrespective of their specific use within the Saint-Gobain facility, cost savings were made on the three elements for comparison, which amounted to real world savings of between £0.69 and £3.18 per charge.

 

Breaking down these headline figures, 86% of the savings came from energy and 14% water, but it is only by analysing them in terms of the whole business that the scale of the cost savings can be fully appreciated. The annual cost saving at the end of year one will be £33,365, which will increase to £68,143 for year two and by the end of the five year cycle, a substantial saving of £181,672, is the very welcome return.

 

Important though these financial savings are, it is the environmental benefits that provide the greatest returns to the wider community that really count. On this measure, the exercise will save more than one million kgCO2, which will make a very positive contribution to the environment.

Practical Cost Savings With Manbat Industrial & U.S. Battery

As the country’s leading independent distributor of industrial batteries and related power storage equipment, Manbat Industrial is able to supply the most appropriate individual elements to ensure the suitability of the overall package. In addition, it has the largest number of service engineers and therefore is the only company to be able to provide a truly national service encompassing general battery advice, as well as sales and service support.

 

Manbat Industrial is also the country’s sole distributor for the worlds leading manufacturer of deep cycle batteries – U.S. Battery Manufacturing Company. U.S. Battery’s prolific range includes 2, 6, 8 and 12-volt lead acid batteries, as well as AGM batteries and watering systems.

 

The majority of the batteries in the lead-acid range incorporate its unique Diamond Plate Technology® – which it denotes with the Xtreme Capacity (XC2™) label – to provide those using high energy drawing equipment such as cranes, lifts and access machines with the ideal battery solution as they combine higher initial capacity and greater total energy delivery.

 

U.S. Battery’s Diamond Plate Technology® has made it possible for the company to produce a uniformly fine crystal structure throughout the battery’s plate formulation, through the introduction of a synthetic tetrabasic lead sulphate (TTBLS) additive. The net result is enhanced battery performance and charging characteristics, which prolongs the life of the battery.

 

Prior to the introduction of synthetic TTBLS additives, the plate production process required a high temperature, high humidity curing process. Even though this curing process was well controlled and produced consistently high levels of TTBLS, it was not well suited for controlling the size of the individual crystals that were ‘grown’ in the crystal development process. The resulting crystals therefore varied widely and if they grew too large, the plates would become difficult to form. This ultimately affects the battery’s performance, returning a lower capacity and less efficient charge characteristics.

 

XC2™ batteries therefore delivery increased initial capacity, higher peak capacity, enhanced recharge-ability, improved vibration and shock resistance. The batteries also gain improved energy density and specific energy without any increase in their size or weight.

 

In Practice

As Fred Wehmeyer, senior VP engineering for U.S. Battery Manufacturing explains, this development in battery technology allows companies operating a fleet of lifts/aerial platforms to lower their annual operating costs. “The XC2™ formulation, used in conjunction with our Diamond Plate Technology® is our proprietary battery-plate combination that dramatically extends the cycle-life and total amp-hour operation in deep-cycle batteries.

 

“These deep-cycle batteries can reach peak capacity in as few as 25 cycles. In addition, the battery’s initial and peak capacity are dramatically increased, and its higher total energy delivery will allow fleets to save time and money.”

 

In order to determine any cost savings, the fleet owner or manager must first make scheduled maintenance checks and take detailed notes on the condition of the batteries.  “Anyone in charge of maintaining a fleet of machines needs to look at their battery expenditures in terms of cost-per-cycle, and cost-per-amp hours delivered over the life of the battery,” says Wehmeyer. “Simply comparing battery ratings on the label or published cycle life, doesn’t always tell the true story. In addition, purchasing the least expensive batteries you can find, almost never adds up to a cost saving in the long run.”

 

In order to determine the cost-per-cycle and cost-per-amp-hours delivered, Wehmeyer suggests measuring the condition of the batteries on a weekly basis and making a note of the total service hours achieved from a full charge (total amp-hours). He also suggests recording the number of cycles, before they are no longer useful.

 

Over the course of several months, the information gathered will show an average run-time and amp-hours delivered from the batteries. This allows for a proper comparison of battery performance against the purchase cost. “Once you compare the actual operating cost-per-amp-hour, you can begin to see that not all deep-cycle batteries are the same, and those that are more efficient, even at a higher initial purchase price, can actually save overall operational costs in the long run,”‘ says Wehmeyer.

 

For comparison, a U.S. Battery with XC2™ was tested against a popular brand. The results showed that the XC2™ battery delivered a 36 per cent longer cycle-life and 55 per cent more total amp-hours over its cycle life than the nearest competitor.

 

If the purchase prices for the batteries are the same, this example translates to a 27 per cent reduction in cost-per-cycle and a 65 per cent reduction in cost-per-amp hour over the life of the battery.

 

Efficient Warehouse Cost Management

It is almost impossible to overstress the importance of cost control in any business, but in the ultra competitive world of storage and logistics, effective cost management is a must. As a result, alongside a competitive purchase price/lease agreement on its capital equipment, an on-going maintenance package is also paramount for the proactive business.

 

This is particularly important when it comes to forklifts and warehouse equipment, as whenever these vital items are inoperable, the business is subject to a reduction in its productivity and an increase in its costs. This is why specifying the most suitable battery for the equipment and matching it to the most appropriate charger and instituting the most robust charging/maintenance regime is so important.

 

It is therefore, not uncommon for the optimum battery/charger/maintenance combination to consist of products from different suppliers, so the most suitable package could feature batteries from one manufacturer, chargers from another and maintenance equipment from a third.

 

When it comes to charging technology, high frequency (HF) chargers such as those manufactured by SPE Elettronica Industriale and distributed by Manbat Industrial, are 30% more efficient than traditional Ferro-resonant 50Hz chargers, as well as being approximately half the size and weight.

 

This scale of energy-saving potential, especially when considering large forklift fleets, can easily offset the higher initial costs of HF chargers compared to traditional chargers, even during the first year of ownership. Therefore, due to the service life of the average forklift, customers will continue to save money in the long term, particularly when paired with high quality batteries.

 

Additional benefits include the fact that, unlike traditional 50Hz chargers, the charging process is not affected by fluctuations of the input voltage and for wet lead acid traction batteries, there’s less water consumption during recharging process, due by the low ripple output current. Therefore, the charger is not overheating the batteries, which is what can often happen with traditional chargers with a high pulsing output current.

 

For the GEL PZV batteries however, HF charging is the only applicable technology. As a result, every SPE charger is equipped with 8 different profiles, so they can be easily re programmed to charger WET, GEL or even AGM battery packs.

 

The SPE 3-Phase GREEN6 & GREEN8 HF chargers are designed to be robust, reliable and extremely easy to monitor being quipped with a data logging function and graphic display that provides all the information necessary to track the charging process.

 

Being modular in design, the chargers are also highly repairable, so in the unlikely event of a module failing, the charger can easily continue to work with the remaining, while the problem module can easily be replaced simply with a screwdriver.

 

As one of the country’s leading independent distributors of industrial batteries and related power storage equipment, Manbat Industrial is able to supply the most appropriate individual elements to ensure the suitability of the overall package. In addition, it has the largest number of service engineers and therefore is the only company to be able to provide a truly national service encompassing general battery advice, as well as sales and service support.

Practical Cost Savings With Manbat Industrial & U.S. Battery

As the country’s leading independent distributor of industrial batteries and related power storage equipment, Manbat Industrial is able to supply the most appropriate individual elements to ensure the suitability of the overall package. In addition, it has the largest number of service engineers and therefore is the only company to be able to provide a truly national service encompassing general battery advice, as well as sales and service support.

 

Manbat Industrial is also the country’s sole distributor for the worlds leading manufacturer of deep cycle batteries – U.S. Battery Manufacturing Company. U.S. Battery’s prolific range includes 2, 6, 8 and 12-volt lead acid batteries, as well as AGM batteries and watering systems.

 

The majority of the batteries in the lead-acid range incorporate its unique Diamond Plate Technology® – which it denotes with the Xtreme Capacity (XC2™) label – to provide those using high energy drawing equipment such as cranes, lifts and access machines with the ideal battery solution as they combine higher initial capacity and greater total energy delivery.

 

U.S. Battery’s Diamond Plate Technology® has made it possible for the company to produce a uniformly fine crystal structure throughout the battery’s plate formulation, through the introduction of a synthetic tetrabasic lead sulphate (TTBLS) additive. The net result is enhanced battery performance and charging characteristics, which prolongs the life of the battery.

 

Prior to the introduction of synthetic TTBLS additives, the plate production process required a high temperature, high humidity curing process. Even though this curing process was well controlled and produced consistently high levels of TTBLS, it was not well suited for controlling the size of the individual crystals that were ‘grown’ in the crystal development process. The resulting crystals therefore varied widely and if they grew too large, the plates would become difficult to form. This ultimately affects the battery’s performance, returning a lower capacity and less efficient charge characteristics.

 

XC2™ batteries therefore delivery increased initial capacity, higher peak capacity, enhanced recharge-ability, improved vibration and shock resistance. The batteries also gain improved energy density and specific energy without any increase in their size or weight.

 

In Practice

As Fred Wehmeyer, senior VP engineering for U.S. Battery Manufacturing explains, this development in battery technology allows companies operating a fleet of lifts/aerial platforms to lower their annual operating costs. “The XC2™ formulation, used in conjunction with our Diamond Plate Technology® is our proprietary battery-plate combination that dramatically extends the cycle-life and total amp-hour operation in deep-cycle batteries.

 

“These deep-cycle batteries can reach peak capacity in as few as 25 cycles. In addition, the battery’s initial and peak capacity are dramatically increased, and its higher total energy delivery will allow fleets to save time and money.”

 

In order to determine any cost savings, the fleet owner or manager must first make scheduled maintenance checks and take detailed notes on the condition of the batteries.  “Anyone in charge of maintaining a fleet of machines needs to look at their battery expenditures in terms of cost-per-cycle, and cost-per-amp hours delivered over the life of the battery,” says Wehmeyer. “Simply comparing battery ratings on the label or published cycle life, doesn’t always tell the true story. In addition, purchasing the least expensive batteries you can find, almost never adds up to a cost saving in the long run.”

 

In order to determine the cost-per-cycle and cost-per-amp-hours delivered, Wehmeyer suggests measuring the condition of the batteries on a weekly basis and making a note of the total service hours achieved from a full charge (total amp-hours). He also suggests recording the number of cycles, before they are no longer useful.

 

Over the course of several months, the information gathered will show an average run-time and amp-hours delivered from the batteries. This allows for a proper comparison of battery performance against the purchase cost. “Once you compare the actual operating cost-per-amp-hour, you can begin to see that not all deep-cycle batteries are the same, and those that are more efficient, even at a higher initial purchase price, can actually save overall operational costs in the long run,”‘ says Wehmeyer.

 

For comparison, a U.S. Battery with XC2™ was tested against a popular brand. The results showed that the XC2™ battery delivered a 36 per cent longer cycle-life and 55 per cent more total amp-hours over its cycle life than the nearest competitor.

 

If the purchase prices for the batteries are the same, this example translates to a 27 per cent reduction in cost-per-cycle and a 65 per cent reduction in cost-per-amp hour over the life of the battery.

 

Quality Chargers And Expert Service Provide A Winning Combination

Battery distributor Manbat Industrial and charging experts Fronius UK have forged a closer business relationship that will bring tremendous benefits to the logistics industry.

 

Both businesses already have a reputation for their dedication to consumer service and providing their customers with what they need, when they need it, which will only improve now that the two companies have established this closer bond.

 

As one of the country’s leading independent distributors of industrial batteries and related power storage equipment, Manbat Industrial – part of the ECOBAT Technologies Group – is able to supply its customers with the most appropriate individual elements to ensure the suitability of the overall power storage package. In addition, it has the largest number of service engineers and therefore is the only company to be able to provide a truly national service, encompassing general battery advice, as well as sales and service support.

 

Fronius is a well established manufacturing company with a hard earned reputation for quality engineered products for the charging, welding and solar energy sectors. When it comes to charging, the company offers a comprehensive range of battery chargers and charging systems for both the automotive and industrial markets, but it is for industrial and with the Selectiva range that the new relationship is founded.

 

“The Fronius brand is recognised across the power storage industry for its high quality, reliability and performance,” explains Manbat Industrial’s operations director, Derek Anderson. “In combining the very best in terms of equipment, with the very best in terms of battery advice, customer service and national coverage, we believe we provide businesses looking to achieve the most reliable power storage solution, the ultimate package.

 

“There are several factors that distinguish Selectiva chargers, but their ability to assess the condition of the battery when it is initially put on charge and then monitor the charging process to exercise the battery to elongate its life span, are particularly impressive.

 

“When the cost effectiveness of the battery/charger combination is such a major consideration, getting the very best out of the package is paramount and that is what the Selectiva range does so well.”

 

Another indication of the level of commitment both companies have made to this agreement, is the fact that all Manbat Industrial’s service engineers are qualified to service Fronius battery chargers, which means that in the unlikely event of a problem, a member of the team is always close at hand and the issue quickly remedied.

 

In having these two reputable companies solidifying their business relationship, customers, both present and future, can be assured of the best possible control over their power storage overheads, which provides a huge advantage in today’s competitive environment.

 

Deep-Cycle Batteries Delivering Real-World Benefits

Manbat Industrial, the UK’s only truly national industrial battery sales and service provider, is also the country’s sole distribution partner for deep-cycle battery specialist, U.S. Battery Manufacturing.

 

A key feature of U.S. Battery’s XC2™ deep-cycle battery range is its ability to provide more running time for battery powered access lifts, and cranes, among a host of other factory equipment, by incorporating the company’s exclusive Diamond Plate Technology®. Available in both 6-volt and 12-volt formats, the advanced technology allows U.S. Battery to manufacture a more efficient battery, which will allow rental companies and fleets, factories and warehouses, to operate their machinery longer on a full charge.

 

As these batteries are designed and able to reach their peak capacity in as few as 25 cycles, they provide higher total energy delivery and extend battery life. As a result, with proper maintenance, a fleet of lifts, cranes, access platforms and similar factory equipment fitted with XC2™ batteries can deliver substantially lower annual operating costs for users.

 

Available in a variety of sizes and amp-hour capacity ratings, U.S. Battery products feature extra heavy-duty connector terminals and a tough polypropylene exterior case. The company’s SpeedCap® venting positive locking system is also available, making it easy to perform maintenance procedures and to install a single-point watering system.

Efficient Warehouse Cost Management

It is almost impossible to overstress the importance of cost control in any business, but in the ultra competitive world of storage and logistics, effective cost management is a must. As a result, alongside a competitive purchase price/lease agreement on its capital equipment, an on-going maintenance package is also paramount for the proactive business.

 

This is particularly important when it comes to forklifts and warehouse equipment, as whenever these vital items are inoperable, the business is subject to a reduction in its productivity and an increase in its costs. This is why specifying the most suitable battery for the equipment and matching it to the most appropriate charger and instituting the most robust charging/maintenance regime is so important.

 

It is therefore, not uncommon for the optimum battery/charger/maintenance combination to consist of products from different suppliers, so the most suitable package could feature batteries from one manufacturer, chargers from another and maintenance equipment from a third.

 

When it comes to charging technology, high frequency (HF) chargers such as those manufactured by SPE Elettronica Industriale and distributed by Manbat Industrial, are 30% more efficient than traditional Ferro-resonant 50Hz chargers, as well as being approximately half the size and weight.

 

This scale of energy-saving potential, especially when considering large forklift fleets, can easily offset the higher initial costs of HF chargers compared to traditional chargers, even during the first year of ownership. Therefore, due to the service life of the average forklift, customers will continue to save money in the long term, particularly when paired with high quality batteries.

 

Additional benefits include the fact that, unlike traditional 50Hz chargers, the charging process is not affected by fluctuations of the input voltage and for wet lead acid traction batteries, there’s less water consumption during recharging process, due by the low ripple output current. Therefore, the charger is not overheating the batteries, which is what can often happen with traditional chargers with a high pulsing output current.

 

For the GEL PZV batteries however, HF charging is the only applicable technology. As a result, every SPE charger is equipped with 8 different profiles, so they can be easily re programmed to charger WET, GEL or even AGM battery packs.

 

The SPE 3-Phase GREEN6 & GREEN8 HF chargers are designed to be robust, reliable and extremely easy to monitor being quipped with a data logging function and graphic display that provides all the information necessary to track the charging process.

 

Being modular in design, the chargers are also highly repairable, so in the unlikely event of a module failing, the charger can easily continue to work with the remaining, while the problem module can easily be replaced simply with a screwdriver.

 

As one of the country’s leading independent distributors of industrial batteries and related power storage equipment, Manbat Industrial is able to supply the most appropriate individual elements to ensure the suitability of the overall package. In addition, it has the largest number of service engineers and therefore is the only company to be able to provide a truly national service encompassing general battery advice, as well as sales and service support.

Glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain is seeing instant returns after upgrading to a high-efficiency Fronius charging system from Manbat.

When you look at a modern skyscraper, there’s a fair chance that its glass was created by Saint-Gobain. Over some 350 years, the company has grown from a Parisian mirror maker to one of the world’s leading flat-glass manufacturers, with customers across 24 countries.

At any one time, the company’s UK operation, in Eggborough, Yorkshire, has thousands of tonnes of industrial glass on site.

Awarded the titles of Britain’s Best Factory (2005) and Britain’s Best Processing Plant (2008), its heavy lifting is carried out by electric Hubtex loaders. With each truck weighing up to 40 tonnes fully laden, the fleet has a huge appetite for power – supplied by batteries measuring two metres square. To keep production moving around the clock, Saint-Gobain’s 16 charging bays are in constant use, making energy bills a critical cost centre.

High-frequency options

Clearly, savings on battery and charging costs can quickly add up, so when Saint-Gobain’s materials handling supplier suggested a switch to high-frequency charging, facilities manager Richard Simpson was keen to take a close look at the figures, and explore all the options.

As well as the standard high-frequency chargers offered by the dealer, Saint-Gobain decided to trial the new Fronius Ri-charge technology recommended by the battery experts at Manbat Industrial Power Systems.

Richard took both chargers on a month’s trial, so that he could gauge the level of performance and savings Saint-Gobain could expect when stacked against the current setup.

When he recorded energy usage over the course of the week, the winner was clear.

60% saving – 16-month payback

“The standard high-frequency charger had achieved a reasonable saving – 65.9 kWh per charging cycle compared to our previous average of 107.2 kWh – but the Fronius was in another league,” recalls Richard.

“The consumption of 40.2 kWh per cycle meant we were saving over 60% compared to our old chargers.”

Although the Fronius chargers were the slightly more expensive option, the tests showed they could pay for themselves in around 16 months. And since all the charging stations have been converted to Fronius, the actual savings have been better still – suggesting the investment should turn a profit in just 67 weeks.

Longer lasting batteries

Incredibly, the savings are calculated on energy consumption only. One of the key benefits of Fronius Ri-charge technology – longer lasting batteries – is simply an additional bonus.

Unlike conventional chargers, the Ri-charge system — based on Fronius’ Modern Active Inverter Technology — takes the battery’s state into account and alters its current accordingly. This minimises the chance of overcharging and makes the charging process much less damaging to the batteries’ longevity.

“The batteries can cost up to six or seven thousand pounds each,” explains Richard.

“Anything that can extend their life will be a huge benefit. And because the new chargers have a timer on them we can make an eight-hour charge cycle into a nine-hour cycle, and we can keep an eye on how long it’s been sat fully charged. That helps us to use our batteries better, and should make each one last much longer.”

Cooler charging, less topping

The less aggressive charging has also led to a noticeable difference in the charging room itself: it does not get nearly as hot. This is not only good for the working environment. With less water boiling off, the batteries require less topping, creating further savings on de-ionised water and engineer time.

Richard continues: “The difference is very noticeable. Although we have a ventilation system, the guys would say the atmosphere in the charging bay would sting their eyes at times with all the hydrogen being given off. It’s completely different now.”

Benefits of shopping around

For Richard, taking the time to evaluate his charging options has paid off handsomely.

“Overall, the Manbat and Fronius offering was the most advantageous to us, with the best payback time, better battery life and less battery maintenance,” he says.

“The service was excellent from both Manbat and Fronius. The chargers were all installed within two days, and any issues have been turned around really quickly. From both an energy saving and a financial perspective it’s been very attractive.

“For us, the lesson is that you don’t have to accept the first chargers your dealer suggests. We analysed what we were told with a critical eye, and took advice from a battery specialist, and it has paid off.”

Efficient Warehouse Cost Management

It is almost impossible to overstress the importance of cost control in any business, but in the ultra competitive world of storage and logistics, effective cost management is a must. As a result, alongside a competitive purchase price/lease agreement on its capital equipment, an on-going maintenance package is also paramount for the proactive business.

 

This is particularly important when it comes to forklifts and warehouse equipment, as whenever these vital items are inoperable, the business is subject to a reduction in its productivity and an increase in its costs. This is why specifying the most suitable battery for the equipment and matching it to the most appropriate charger and instituting the most robust charging/maintenance regime is so important.

 

It is therefore, not uncommon for the optimum battery/charger/maintenance combination to consist of products from different suppliers, so the most suitable package could feature batteries from one manufacturer, chargers from another and maintenance equipment from a third.

 

When it comes to charging technology, high frequency (HF) chargers such as those manufactured by SPE Elettronica Industriale and distributed by Manbat Industrial, are 30% more efficient than traditional Ferro-resonant 50Hz chargers, as well as being approximately half the size and weight.

 

This scale of energy-saving potential, especially when considering large forklift fleets, can easily offset the higher initial costs of HF chargers compared to traditional chargers, even during the first year of ownership. Therefore, due to the service life of the average forklift, customers will continue to save money in the long term, particularly when paired with high quality batteries.

 

Additional benefits include the fact that, unlike traditional 50Hz chargers, the charging process is not affected by fluctuations of the input voltage and for wet lead acid traction batteries, there’s less water consumption during recharging process, due by the low ripple output current. Therefore, the charger is not overheating the batteries, which is what can often happen with traditional chargers with a high pulsing output current.

 

For the GEL PZV batteries however, HF charging is the only applicable technology. As a result, every SPE charger is equipped with 8 different profiles, so they can be easily re programmed to charger WET, GEL or even AGM battery packs.

 

The SPE 3-Phase GREEN6 & GREEN8 HF chargers are designed to be robust, reliable and extremely easy to monitor being quipped with a data logging function and graphic display that provides all the information necessary to track the charging process.

 

Being modular in design, the chargers are also highly repairable, so in the unlikely event of a module failing, the charger can easily continue to work with the remaining, while the problem module can easily be replaced simply with a screwdriver.

 

As one of the country’s leading independent distributors of industrial batteries and related power storage equipment, Manbat Industrial is able to supply the most appropriate individual elements to ensure the suitability of the overall package. In addition, it has the largest number of service engineers and therefore is the only company to be able to provide a truly national service encompassing general battery advice, as well as sales and service support.