Opportunity vs Conventional Charging
The increasing popularity of opportunity charging has sometimes led to misguided information surrounding proper battery care and proper charging tips. For decades, the general practice was to recharge your forklift battery at the end of the day or shift. Because of this, in multi-shift applications, there would be numerous batteries in rotation to keep the forklift fleet running.
What is Opportunity and Conventional Charging? (What’s the difference)
Conventional charging is ideal for one-shift applications where no battery changing is required. Conventional charging requires that the battery be charged over 8 hours, rest and cool down for another 8 hours, and is used (discharged) over an 8-hour shift.
Opportunity charging is the practice of charging a battery in short intervals throughout the day instead of charging it in full all at once. To summarize, you are charging your forklift battery whenever the opportunity arises.
Opportunity chargers eliminate the space needed to store extra batteries, the cost of labor involved with battery changing, and the cost of handling equipment necessary to change batteries.
What is the cost of an Opportunity Charger?
The cost of an opportunity charger is approximately 10% - 20% more than a conventional charger, an insignificant difference when you consider the cost savings in labor, space, battery handling equipment, and additional spare batteries.
Battery Charging Tips (Conventional & Opportunity)
When to charge:
Conventional Charging: When a battery reaches 80% discharge, Do not charge during breaks.
Opportunity Charging: Any time the lift is not being used. For example: Break times. Preferably three or more times per shift.
How long to charge:
Conventional Charging: Let the charge complete its full charge cycle of 6-8 hours.
Opportunity Charging: Any opportunity when not in use for as little as 15 minutes.
When to equalize charge:
Conventional Charging: Once per week/ every 5th charge - typical duration: 8-10 hours.
Opportunity Charging: Once per week – typical duration: 8-10 hours
When to water:
Conventional Charging: Weekly – always after charge
Opportunity Charging: Weekly – always after charge
Are you a candidate for Opportunity Charging?
Knowing the application and the precise power requirements is essential in determining if you are a candidate for Opportunity charging.