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Enersys introduces first lithium ion battery for motive power

13 March 2013

EnerSys has extended its class-leading Hawker XFC™ range with two new models, including its first design with advanced Lithium-Ion technology for use in the Motive Power sector. Both batteries are designed for low-duty pallet truck applications where operators want to maintain the availability of the equipment without the complexity and cost of additional infrastructure. 

The batteries can be recharged at any time irrespective of the state of charge without degrading their long-term performance or reliability. Both technologies have an on-board charger and are ideal for applications with duty cycles lasting up to 45 minutes where periods of inactivity can be used for rapid opportunity charging. This means they are suitable for intermittent or sporadic handling requirements such as offloading delivery vehicles or replenishing displays in busy retail environments.

The Hawker XFC-Li is the first motive power battery from EnerSys to utilise advanced lithium-ion technology. It is a 24V battery with 38Ah capacity that incorporates cells with a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cathode and graphite anode with an inherently safe lithium-ion electrolyte. This delivers significant benefits compared with conventional units including greater power density, longer pack life and excellent performance at low temperatures. The battery can be fully recharged in less than one hour from 80 per cent depth of discharge and short, opportunity charges are readily accepted due to its very low internal resistance.

Each Hawker XFC-Li is equipped with a battery management system (BMS) for continuous monitoring of the individual cells to ensure correct use and safe operation with protection against over temperature, overcharge, over voltage, under voltage and short circuits. The BMS also incorporates cell balancing technology which promotes maximum performance throughout the battery’s service life. An on-board LED provides state of charge data while links with external monitoring and management systems can be enabled by an integrated CAN bus.

The second new battery is a 24V model with 82Ah capacity which is based on the same proven thin plate pure lead (TPPL) technology used in the existing Hawker XFC range. Its blocs incorporate pure lead plates which are much thinner than conventional lead calcium grids. These have lower impedance which enables higher current flows in recharge and discharge modes. The electrolyte is absorbed in a superior quality microporous glass mat separator with high absorption and stability for enhanced cyclic capability. These attributes ensure a full recharge is completed in under three hours from 60 per cent depth of discharge.
 The battery pack incorporates a low voltage alarm - LVA. This small electronic device is positioned between the positive and negative cables and warns the operator whenever the battery reaches a specific depth of discharge that a recharge is required. The battery pack also includes a Wi-IQ® monitoring device which stores comprehensive operational records. This information can be transferred to external battery management applications using wireless communications or a USB port for further analysis.

Both models are supplied with a high frequency charger integrated into the top compartment of the battery tray. High frequency charging in inherently more efficient than traditional methods while the charger ensures the correct parameters for rapid recharge and opportunity charging whatever the battery’s state of discharge. By comparison, conventional batteries only provide optimum performance when discharged to a specific level before being fully recharged for 8-12 hours. This often means extra batteries are required to support continuous equipment availability or can lead to interruptions in charging which is potentially damaging to conventional battery technologies.

High-frequency charging also ensures the batteries consume less energy, with resultant lower electricity costs, and have a smaller carbon footprint than conventional units. The batteries are totally maintenance free and require no topping-up with water for low overall cost of ownership while minimum gassing means they can be used in confined spaces and public areas.

The rugged casings and integrated design of the batteries also means that original equipment manufacturers can specify the Hawker®XFC™ models for plug-and-play and power-on-demand applications with on-board charging. This removes any space, handling and cost constraints associated with external chargers or the need to swap and change batteries to maintain continuous operations.

About Hawker
Hawker is the widely-recognised Motive Power brand of EnerSys®, a leading supplier of batteries, chargers and services. EnerSys is the world leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications. EnerSys manufactures and distributes batteries, chargers, power equipment, and battery accessories to customers worldwide. The company also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers from over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. 

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