We’ve now come to the end of our three part series unpacking the technology behind Linde lithium-ion battery systems. In part three we’ll explore safety concerns, effect on the environment, what applications this tech is better suited to, total operating costs compared to LPG/diesel trucks and more. Also, in case you missed them, you can find part one here (1-16 FAQs) and part two here (17-28 FAQs).
29. Are there any Li-ION safety concerns while charging Li-ION batteries?
No, Li-ION is a very safe solution as no gasses or fumes are emitted whilst charging is in progress.
30. If a Li-ION battery catches fire, what gasses are emitted and what are the toxic levels?
a) It’s very unlikely that something would happen, however we recommend you refer to the battery safety data sheets from the manufacturers BMZ (for electric counterbalance and reach trucks – 48V and 80V batteries)/ SAFT (for warehouse products – 24V batteries).
b) It depends on the battery type (different chemistries of SAFT and BMZ batteries) and all the “ingredients” that would burn inside the cells themselves, e.g. plastic parts, cables, electric circuits…nothing unusual but these could potentially be toxic.
c) The most gas volume would be produced by the degeneration of the organic electrolyte.
31. Are lithium-ion batteries hazardous materials?
Yes, lithium-ion batteries are classified as Class 9 hazardous materials (guidelines UN 3480 for batteries, UN 3481 for batteries contained in or packed with equipment or UN 3171 for battery-powered truck or battery-powered equipment). The current hazardous goods regulations for transportation by road (ADR), rail (RID), sea (IMDG) and air (IATA) apply.
32. How does Li-ION compare to lead-acid battery, diesel and LPG in environmental terms?
- Lower CO2 emissions compared to lead-acid and IC-trucks
- Less recycled items and material (one Li-ION battery is the equivalent of 3-4 lead-acid batteries)
- No emissions during the charging process (e.g. hydrogen gas is released when charging lead-acid)
33. Will the battery still need to be cleaned from dust?
No, the battery is fully sealed – its ingress rating is IP6K9K meaning the casing is dust tight and water tight.
34. Can using Li-ION batteries reduce CO2 emissions?
Yes you can reduce your CO2 emissions. Your Linde representative has the tools including Linde’s own Energy Calculator to estimate how much you can reduce your CO2 based on information provided by you.
35. In a true 24 hour operation will I need to change the battery?
Our solution is focused on removing the battery change from the operation. There clearly have to be enough opportunities to charge the Li-ION battery for this to be feasible. In order to increase the effective charging time and thus the absolute amount of energy that can be re-charged to a truck fleet, additional stand-by trucks may be a solution worth considering. The Linde energy calculator will help you to define whether Li-ION is a suitable option for your operation.
36. In a continuous operation, from full to flat, what is the benefit of Li-ION over lead-acid?
The concept of taking a full battery to flat is related to the use of lead-acid batteries where the flat battery is then exchanged for a fully charged one and connected to a charger for 6 – 12 hours. Due to the fast charging capability of Li- ION and their full acceptance of opportunity charging, Li-ION batteries would typically be charged at any point where the truck is unused, enabling them to cope with 24 hour operation without battery changing.
37. Do you have any case studies for use of Li-ION?
Yes, please find below three video customer testimonials.
NORA Zentrum Wolsburg Case Study
Veltins Brewery Case Study
Danone Case Study
38. When should Li-ION be considered over traditional lead-acid batteries?
It’s a great time to consider Li-ION:
- If you want to move away from changing batteries
- Where battery damage due to poor maintenance is a problem
- Where a you want to make the use of electrical energy more efficient, cheaper and more environmentally friendly
The following buzzwords describe typical applications where Li-ION may prove to have significant advantages for your operation:
39. When should Li-ION not be offered as the correct solution (to avoid time wasting)?
There has to be an investigation, before we can say with certainty that a Li-ION solution wouldn’t work for a particular application. However, single shift applications where no spare batteries are required or where long, continuous periods of work which do not allow adequate charging opportunities are unlikely to suit Li-ION. In short, if your current solution is working and problem free, and you are not ready to change your materials handling fleet over, it may be best to investigate your power solution for the next time you renew your fleet. Your Linde representative will use the Li-ION energy calculator to provide a good guide to Li-ION’s practicality in your specific application.
40. Can Linde calculate my Li-ION ROI?
Yes, your Linde representative can calculate you specific ROI using the Linde energy calculator, based on information provided by you.
41. Is there a cost difference between Li-ION to lead-acid?
Whilst Li-ION technology carries more capital expense than lead-acid batteries (generally speaking), the day to day operational expenditure can drop dramatically with the introduction of Li-ION power solutions. Your Linde representative has all the tools at their disposal to provide you with a detailed report explaining the best solution for your specific application.
42. Charging cost comparison (usage of electricity)?
Generally speaking, Li-ION inherent efficiency means that charging will draw much less electricity, however there are other factors that may affect charging costs. This forms part of the detailed report / investigation that your Linde representative will complete.
43. How expensive is it to replace a Li-ION battery?
Based on detailed investigation of your operation, your Linde representative will be able to calculate the approximate life span of the Li-ION battery and may even be able to specify a battery with a similar life expectancy to the machine itself — meaning you may never have to replace a battery again.
44. Li-ION vs. LPG / diesel range — What is the cost of ownership?
A standard answer on this is not possible, trucks drive in different applications, have different features and so on. Your Linde representative will be able to investigate and advise the best solution for your particular application, based on detailed information provided by you. The following graphic gives a very rough assumption however please note this cannot be generalised and depends on individual cases (below is based on a 3 tonne truck):
45. If you have a truck with a lead-acid battery in it already, can you swap to Li-ION and vice versa?
Whilst this is sometimes possible, it may not always be the best way to introduce Li-ION to your material handling equipment fleet. Your Linde representative will be able to calculate and advise.
46. What if I run my Li-ION battery too flat?
The battery management system (BMS) protects the Li-ION battery from over discharge and will limit the performance of the forklift (by restricting lift and/or reducing drive speed) when the battery is getting flat. The cut in points for reduced performance however are at much lower battery states of charge than is the case with lead-acid batteries.
And that brings you to the end of our series on our most common FAQs on Li-ION technology! If you have any questions on the technology that we haven’t covered in the series, or would like to talk to us about upgrading to Li-ION battery technology, please contact us by clicking on the button below.