7 Considerations When Designing A Forklift Battery Charging Station
What are the considerations when designing a forklift battery charging station?
- Space requirements
- Distance to the work area
- Ventilation in the area
- Warehouse flooring
- Water supply and drainage
- Safety equipment
- Power supply
An electric forklift is a good alternative to internal combustion forklifts. For one, electric forklifts produce zero emissions, so it’s an environmentally-friendly choice. They’re also very quiet to operate, can help reduce operating costs, and is fit for various applications. But because they’re powered by electricity, you need to have a designated battery charging station in your facility. Here are some forklift battery charging station considerations to remember. Keep on reading!
To ensure that charging points are fitted correctly, you need to mount chargers in a safe and secure way, while making sure that they’re completely accessible. A battery charging area with a wall is recommended. To avoid having a tripping hazard, ensure that the chargers are mounted at the right height and wires should be an appropriate length.
Other than that, there should be enough space in the battery charging area for the number and size of forklifts on your site. There should also be at least a meter of a gap between each forklift truck. The battery charging area should also have enough battery changers for more efficient charging, maintenance, and storage.
A smooth flow of traffic must be maintained in and out of the battery charging area. There should be enough space for forklifts to move around with no problems. If possible, it would also be beneficial to choose a location for the charging area while considering future plans for expansion as well.
Distance To Work Area
To minimize forklift downtime and maximize battery efficiency, the distance of the charging station to the work area should also be considered. If a forklift has to travel long distances for battery replacement, the time consumed will be a waste. This time could be used for the forklift to be more productive.
Other than that, by having a shorter distance between charging stations and work areas, you can also improve energy efficiency for the batteries. There would be less battery power consumed, so more battery power is conserved.
The charging station should be highly accessible from the work area. It’s best to have it in the middle of the work area, as this can save time on battery charging and replacements. For large facilities, satellite charging stations are recommended.
Ventilation In The Area
Forklift batteries produce gases that can be dangerous when high levels accumulate in the area. To ensure the safety of operators and workers inside the charging area, proper ventilation is crucial.
Ventilation can be achieved by having exhaust fans and other ventilation equipment. Other than that, it’s also important to monitor the air quality, so that hydrogen gas levels can remain below the limit. This type of gas is hard to detect because it’s odorless and colorless.
Forklift batteries can leak due to rare manufacturing defects or cell damage. When there’s a leak, hazardous chemicals are released into the immediate area and cause damage. For this reason, it’s recommended to install acid-resistant flooring in the battery charging area. This protects the floor from leaks and also makes it easier to clean them up.
Other than that, it’s also beneficial to have flat flooring as this can help prevent flexing, stress, and vibration on the battery handling machines.
Water Supply And Drainage
Watering an electric forklift battery is a part of maintenance. That’s why there should be a proper water supply near the location of the battery charging station. Other than that, a drainage system is also important for water run-off from charging stations.
Safety equipment should be easily accessible in the battery charging area to protect your workers from accidents such as acid spills, electrical fires, and burns.
One of the essential pieces of equipment that should be ready on hand includes fire extinguishers that are suitable for use on electrical fires. Since electric forklift batteries can become a burn hazard, consider installing emergency showers and eyewash stations too. This will be beneficial when a worker gets into contact with acid.
Last but not the least, a sufficient power supply is also needed in an electric forklift battery charging area. This will be used for charging the forklift batteries. Other than that, you should also have enough power to supply battery handling, cooling, heating, ventilation, and other equipment as well.
Forklift battery charging stations should be designed to be highly accessible from the work area. This way, electric forklifts can easily come and go, which can help maintain uptime in your facility! Other than that, there should be enough space for the number of forklifts on the site as well. Don’t forget about ventilation, flooring, water supply, safety equipment, and power supply.
Think of these forklift battery charging station considerations, so you can achieve a well-designed area for charging your electric forklift batteries! If you want to purchase forklifts in the Philippines, you can find them here at Multico. We offer one of the most widely recognized and trusted brands for forklifts — CLARK! We can also help you with your pallet truck needs as well.