How the Summer Heat Can Affect Your Forklift’s Battery

June 23, 2021 12:07 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Efficient batteries are essential for operating a forklift. Unfortunately, temperature conditions have a major impact on how forklift batteries perform. While you might think that only cold weather affects the batteries, you might be surprised to know that high temperatures have an impact on forklift battery life. Here’s what you need to know about how the summer heat effects a forklift battery.

Reduced lifespan

One of the main ways high temperatures have an impact on forklift battery life is its lifespan. As a general rule, for every 10-degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature, the lifespan of a sealed lead acid battery is cut in half. Heat is unavoidable in some areas. If you can’t safely store batteries in a climate-controlled space, at least make sure they’re under shade like a garage or parking cover. Keep in mind that batteries damaged by heat can’t be repaired, so try to keep your forklift batteries in a temperate environment as much as possible.

Charging concerns

While batteries can operate over a large temperature range, albeit at differing levels of efficiency, when it comes to charging you need to be a lot more careful where temperature conditions are concerned. As a general rule, batteries should be charged in an environment that’s between 50 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’ve been working with your forklift in high temperatures and you need to charge the batteries, it’s recommended to let them come to room temperature before you do any charging. As a general rule, allow the battery to cool for at least eight hours before charging. One thing you can do to cool down a battery is install a fan over the battery’s intercell connectors. While both lead acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries can perform well in hot climates, the former and more traditional option requires proper maintenance and watering, since high temperatures can make the water evaporate way too quickly.

Also, remember that your battery will heat up during charging. Once they’ve reached full charge, remove them and let them cool before putting them back in the forklift. Hot batteries can warp the lead plates and cause the battery cells to short out, which can require an expensive and inconvenient fix.

Maintenance requirements

It’s best to perform a battery check regularly if you’re using your forklift in very hot temperatures. Don’t be too alarmed if you discover that your battery is running hot. Try to be mindful of workloads during the summer and keep them at a manageable level if you want to get the longest lifespan from your battery, no matter what type you have. If you do a lot of work with your forklift in very hot temperatures, it may be smart to invest in a battery that’s specifically designed to work well in those conditions.

There’s no question that summer heat effects forklift batteries. If you use your forklift on a day-to-day basis, perform a battery check each day, especially during the summer months. Contact Remis Power Systems Inc. today to learn more about proper forklift battery care for every season.

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