More power, extended running and longer life
Published: 23 October 2014 - Marianne Evans
The heavy-duty Ironclad range of motive power batteries from EnerSys offers more power, extended running times and longer life than comparable designs to support intensive lift truck operations and other demanding materials handling applications. The range is particularly suited to situations where longer truck run times are needed to minimise the use of spare batteries. Models rated from 276 to 1032 Ah are available in standard sizes for small pallet trucks up to large reach and counterbalance trucks. The batteries are now available in the UK and Europe but have been extensively used in the USA, where they have proven to be reliable and rugged performers in tens of thousands of applications, for many years.
Unique Design Delivers More Power
Based on more than 100 years of manufacturing experience at EnerSys the Ironclad batteries have a number of features to deliver performance advantages over conventional lead-acid designs. The positive electrodes in the battery’s cells incorporate a unique square Cladex tube technology that results in around 18% more surface area than the round tubes or flat plates used in conventional lead-acid batteries. This maximises the contact area between the electrodes’ active material and the electrolyte which enables higher sustained voltages throughout the discharge cycle. The batteries are also used with an electrolyte with a higher-than-average specific gravity. These features deliver more power and increased capacity for work – in simple terms a lift truck can work for longer. The batteries have highest ampere-hour capacity ratings, outperforming conventional designs with up to 15% more power, which is ideal for the higher discharge rates demanded by modern AC-drive lift trucks.
Extended Running Time
To maintain a lift truck’s constant drive and lift performance throughout a shift, the motor must offset a battery’s normal voltage drop during discharge by drawing more and more amps. The Ironclad battery’s ability to sustain higher voltages, combined with good capacity ratings, extends its run time when compared with conventional lead-acid models. Materials handling equipment will run for up to one hour longer on each charge, reducing the need for time-consuming battery changes and maximising productivity in even the heaviest duty applications including busy distribution centres and other 24/7 operations such as airports and transport hubs.
Reliably Longer Service Life
In addition to increased power and longer run times the greater surface area of square tube technology and electrolytes with higher specific gravities also help the battery achieve a longer service life. This is because the batteries experience active mass stress levels around 10% lower than conventional designs. Reliability and service life is further enhanced by the use of sleeved electrode separators which prevent misalignment and shorting. Fully insulated flexible inter-cell connectors add extra protection and the dust-proof, single-point filling system reduces topping-up time and cuts down on battery maintenance. All of these features combine to ensure the Ironclad batteries have a design life of 1,800 cycles which equates to an extra year in many applications. This is ideal for intensive long-term rental operations where customers are demanding longer contracts.
Ironclad batteries are available in eight different configurations in a choice of two cell heights (600 and 750mm) and four cell sizes (with 3, 4, 5 or 6 positive plates) with ratings from 276 to 1032 Ah in standard sizes to fit vehicles from small pallet trucks to large forklift trucks. When supplied with the EnerSys BFS filling system and the Hawker Wi-IQ battery charging monitor the batteries have a two year plus two pro-rata warranty. This can be extended to three years plus three pro-rata if the batteries are used in conjunction with a high-performance, high-frequency charger such as the Hawker LifeTech Modular or Hawker Life IQ Modular models from the extensive EnerSys range.