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Batteries For Traction

Wheelchairs, scooters and golf cars mostly use lead acid batteries. Even though heavy, lead acid works reasonably well and only moderate attempts are made to switch to other systems Li-ion will be a natural alternative in many applications.?

Although Li-ion battery is more expensive than lead acid, the cycle cost can be lower because of the longer life. A further advantage of Li-ion over lead- and nickel-based batteries is the low maintenance. Li-ion can be left at any state-of-charge without adverse side effects. In contrast, NiCd and NiMH need an occasional full discharge to prevent?memory?and lead acid requires a saturated charge to prevent?sulfation.

Most wheelchairs and golf cars are still powered with lead acid, so are forklifts. With forklifts, the heavy weight is less of an issue, but the long charging time is a disadvantage for warehouses operating 24 hours a day. Some forklifts are fitted with?fuel cells?that charge the battery while the vehicle is in use. The battery can be made smaller but not eliminated because the fuel cell has poor power delivery and has a sluggish ramp-up on demand; the battery remains the primary power source.

The heavier the wheeled application is, the less suitable the battery becomes. This does not prevent engineers from looking into large battery systems to replace the polluting internal combustion engine (ICE). One such application is the Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) system at ship ports. AGVs run 24 hours a day, so the vehicles cannot be tied up for lengthy charging intervals. Li-ion solves this in part by replacing the very large 10-ton, 300kWh lead acid with a battery that is lighter and can be charged more quickly.??

No economical battery solution exists yet for large traction systems and burning fossil fuel cannot be fully avoided. While a modern Li-ion battery delivers about 150Wh of energy, the net calorific value (NCV) of fossil fuel is over 12,000Wh. Even at the low 25-percent efficiency of an ICE engine, the energy from a battery is fractional compared to fossil fuel. Furthermore, the ICE can operate in extreme cold and heat, a task the battery struggles to meet.

Puxun Batteries in Industries

Learn about unique applications and what features to look for when choosing a battery.

Consumers are the first to hear about an apparent battery breakthrough. To get top media attention, the new super battery promises to also satisfy the need for electric vehicle (EV). Personal mobility is an emotional issue that cannot be suppressed, even if it harms the environment. The industrial space, on the other hand, is more conservative and it appears to lag behind. Not so. Industry is rational and understands the many constraints of the battery by focusing on reliability, economy, longevity and safety.