OPINION: Lithium-ion batteries – the key to a more efficient industrial sector

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Stamatis Asimis is key projects and new technologies manager, lithium R&D at Systems Sunlight, a leading producer of batteries for the energy storage industry. Here he outlines why lithium-ion is the answer for off-road vehicles.  

The global lithium-ion battery market has experienced a period of exponential growth in recent years and is expected to continue growing at an annual rate of 15.70% in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027. The growth of the market can be attributed to the growing commercial viability of lithium-ion batteries as mass production of the technology has increased particularly within the electric vehicle market.

But what does this mean for the industrial vehicle sector? With a more feasible upfront cost, these types of batteries can start to compete with the likes of fuel and lead-acid alternatives and present a range of additional benefits specifically tailored for the industrial sector.

Lower maintenance

For smaller vehicles like forklifts and automated guided vehicles (AGVs), the technological developments of lithium-ion batteries mean that repair and maintenance efforts are considerably reduced. In most cases, maintenance is not necessary at all. We recommend looking for batteries which feature an Active Balancing Battery Management System which allows for the optimum performance of cells and better thermal management, resulting in a longer lifecycle and notable energy savings during the charging procedure.

However, it is important to look for products from energy storage manufacturers that incorporate warehouse management systems (WMS) which enables warehouse managers to monitor the batteries and pre-empt any issues. At Sunlight, our Li.ON range goes one step further, as the first on the market to incorporate cloud access as standard, our network of engineers can remotely access the batteries to increase the amount of usable energy, change the charge profile or even disconnect a faulty module.

Operational efficiency

In times of high demand where more fleets are required, lithium-ion is an efficient option. High energy density coupled with quick recharge times enable lithium-ion batteries to accommodate multiple shifts whilst also reducing idle time. For instance, Sunlight’s Li.ON range reach full charge in under 90 minutes, allowing for three shift operations without the need for battery change in the middle of the working day – a huge advantage for industrial machinery.

Return Of Investment

For those applications that require two or more consecutive shifts, lithium-ion batteries can be a better option. Compared to other energy options, lithium-ion batteries due to their composition require less maintenance, offer greater longevity and can improve the environmental footprint of a business, accounting for an important reduction in resulting annual TCO compared to other technologies.

At Sunlight we understand that for industrial electric vehicle manufacturers the type of energy source chosen will have a major impact on yours or your client’s overall efficiency. That’s why we’ve invested €126 million into research and development for innovative lithium technologies. By working with trusted manufacturers who invest heavily in R&D and assessing the operational demands of the vehicle, you can ensure cost-effective and efficient operations.

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Sunlight is a member of the Olympia Group, an international investment Group with presence in 10 countries and industries like energy, retail and telecoms. With almost 30 years of experience in the market the company is ranked among the world’s top manufacturers of industrial and advanced technology batteries. 

For further information on System Sunlight’s Li.ON range, please visit: www.systems-sunlight.com 

 

 

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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