1. How can PosiCharge help my company?
If your company is changing batteries in order to meet demand in a two or three-shift operation, Fast Charging can help you save money and time. PosiCharge is a safe fast charging technology that enables you to run your trucks on one battery all day with a quick charge during breaks and shift changes. That means you can eliminate the need for battery changing and everything that goes with it: a battery room, extra batteries, and changing. Plus, you can increase productive work time by cutting out time-wasting trips to the battery room and extra maintenance on battery inventories. These savings can translate to as much as 40% over battery changing.
2. How fast is Fast Charging?
Fast charging can take a 48 volt, 1000 amp hour battery from 20% state of charge to an 80% state of charge in about an hour with no cool down period required. That’s four times faster than a standard charger, but where it really shines is during breaks and shift changes. By charging batteries right in the truck just 15 to 30 minutes at a time, you can keep your trucks performing strong between a 40% and 80% state of charge all day.
3. Will Fast Charging affect my battery life?
PosiCharge is perfectly safe for batteries. It does not reduce the amp hours capacity of batteries any more than a conventional charger. Here’s how it works…batteries deliver a certain number of amp hours. Whether you use PosiCharge or standard chargers, you require the same amount of energy through your batteries. The difference is with Fast Charging you put the energy through the battery faster because instead of pulling amp hours out of 2 different batteries, you will pull the required amp hours each day out of a single battery. The result is a shorter life in terms of years, but not in actual amp hour throughput. Over the 15-year life of a charging system, standard chargers and fast chargers will use the same amount of batteries.
4. How will Fast Charging affect my battery warranty?
Good news! DEKA East Penn, GNB, Crown Battery, Enersys, C&D, and Hawker have all issued fast charge battery warranties. These warranties, as well as warrantees for retrofit of existing batteries, vary. For details, please contact your PosiCharge representative.
5. Will Fast Charging overheat my batteries?
PosiCharge uses SBX or Euro connectors to connect the battery to the charger. Along with power, these connectors carry communications between the charger and our unique Battery Monitor and Identifier (BMID). The BMID constantly communicates battery temperature to the PosiCharge PowerStation where the vehicle is charging. The adaptive charging algorithm of the PosiCharge constantly adjusts the charge rate, optimizing it based on battery temperature and other parameters. It is the monitoring ability of the BMID coupled with the adaptive charging algorithm of the PosiCharge station that prevents overheating in the battery.
6. What is a Battery Monitor and Identifier (BMID)?
The BMID is installed on the battery and has two parts:
- An electrolyte emersed thermistor that constantly monitors battery temperature which in turn signals the charger to adjust its algorithm for a safe charge, and
- An advanced electronic device that stores the identity and proper charging profile for a battery as well as documenting and storing charging event information including dates and times, begin and end voltages and currents, cumulative amp hours in the battery and more.
7. How come there is no battery “cool down” period with Fast Charging?
Cool down is required for conventional chargers for two reasons:
- Most conventional chargers must charge a battery at a standard temperature to be effective. A cooled-down, room temperature battery provides just such a standard temperature. Since PosiCharge constantly evaluates a battery’s temperature and adjusts the charger voltage, no cool-down period is necessary.
- Recent tests conducted by both PosiCharge and major battery manufacturers have confirmed that, in contrast to popular belief, batteries can in fact operate at higher temperatures than previously thought, without loss of life or damage to the battery. However, battery temperature must be measured to properly charge and prevent overcharging and/or excessive gassing.
8. What is the difference between opportunity charging and charging with PosiCharge?
Opportunity charging commonly refers to the act of charging during breaks and shift changes with a conventional charger. PosiCharge, although it charges during breaks and shift changes, is a completely different, safer, and more powerful charging method. The greatest differences boil down to two issues: 1) Fast Charging puts significantly more energy into the battery during the quick charge, and 2) PosiChargers use a superior battery monitoring device to minimize heating by adjusting charging algorithms according to battery temperature. These devices also program the exact charging profile for the battery to prevent abusive overcharging typical of opportunity charging programs. Conventional chargers typically used for opportunity charging do not read battery state of charge and therefore can not prevent overcharging.
9. Will Fast Charging reduce my electricity costs?
Yes, it is possible to save energy with PosiCharge. Fast Charging is more energy efficient because it charges to a maximum of 40-100% state of charge in contrast to standard chargers, which return between 108% and 115% of the amp hours removed. The extra “overcharge” represents energy wasted in gassing and heating. To estimate your savings, ask your representative to help you compare your usage and electricity costs with conventional chargers to a Fast Charging system.
10. What kind of information does the PosiCharge collect and store?
We’ve learned that one of the keys to a successful fast charge program is knowing exactly how and when people are using the system. Since any change is difficult to implement, we’ve built our software to track exactly who is charging and when.
PosiCharge also provides information much like an inline power prover. It reports beginning and ending voltage, current, and state of charge. Plus it records the cumulative Amp hours in the battery. With this information you’ll know exactly when batteries require maintenance and replacement. In some cases, you can manage your charging program with Fast Charging, and reduce your fleet size. The data provided by the BMID component of the PosiCharge system can help you evaluate fleet utilization and reduction.
This data can be read from the charger’s two-line digital display panel, or it can be downloaded to a PC for analysis and distribution.
11. Do I need special batteries to charge with PosiCharge?
PosiCharge is a universal battery charger capable of charging nearly all common industrial batteries. This means if you have a fleet with various battery sizes and types, you only need one charger to power them all. Fast charging, however, does require modification to the batteries so they can handle the high current charges.
DEKA, GNB, Crown Battery, C&D, Hawker, and Enersys all provide fast charge ready batteries. These new batteries differ from standard batteries in three ways. First, the cell-to-cell interconnects are made larger to handle high charging currents. Second, the battery connector is changed to accommodate the charger’s dual SBX or single Euro connections. And third, if required for maximum charge, most manufacturers can provide a special battery box that allows cooling air to flow through the battery pack.
12. Can I retrofit my current batteries?
You can retrofit your current standard batteries for Fast Charging by installing the above-mentioned interconnects and charger connections. The success of this varies depending on your battery’s state of health. Your sales representative will be glad to evaluate this option with you.
13. What is the difference between the PosiCharge MVS parallel charger and a sequential multi-vehicle fast charger?
The difference between our multi-vehicle PosiCharge MVS parallel charger and the “sequencer” type fast chargers is apparent in the way available charging power is delivered.
Let’s use the example of 4 trucks connecting simultaneously. With parallel charging, the system looks at the power requirements of each truck – this is determined by the size and voltage of the battery and its current state of charge – then prioritizes all the available power and distributes it accordingly. As a truck’s requirement diminishes, the power it was pulling is automatically shifted to other vehicles to get all trucks recharged as fast as possible. All the power available is being used to recharge vehicles.
In contrast, a sequential charger will prioritize trucks, and then it will send an 8-minute charge to each truck one at a time. This wastes valuable charging power, slows recharge time considerably, and heats batteries unnecessarily.
The greater efficiency of the PosiCharge MVS means you can have more charge ports per system and get the same or better results than with a sequencer. This translates to reduced equipment and installation costs. It also highlights the fact that evaluating a fast charger based on cost per port can be misleading. You aren’t just buying hardware with a fast charger – you’re buying charging ability.
14. Does Fast Charging cause a gassing problem?
Batteries create gassing when they become overheated and/or overcharged, and as a normal function of the equalization or finish charge process. The PosiCharge fast chargers prevent overheating and thereby control gassing by carefully controlling the charge algorithm according to the temperature in the battery (see “Will Fast Charging overheat my batteries?”). These advanced chargers also prevent overcharging by delivering a very precise charge driven by the charging parameters programmed into the battery’s Battery Monitor and Identifier (see “What is a Battery Monitor and Identifier”).
To minimizing gassing effects during equalization, PosiCharge fast chargers can be programmed to automatically equalize during weekends and overnight.
15. What does a typical Fast Charging day look like?
This chart shows a common 2-shift operation with two breaks and lunches and one shift change. As you can see, the truck’s state of charge stays between 40% and 100% throughout the day without ever making a battery change.
16. Is Fast Charging safe?
Nearly all accidents that occur during battery charging activities stem from a forklift that hit something or someone on the way to the battery room, a mishap with changing equipment, or battery acid spills. Since PosiCharge fast chargers eliminate trips to the battery room, battery changing, and charging of extra batteries, it is a much safer charging method.
For added safety, the PosiCharge systems verify the connection between the charger and the battery before starting a charge and monitor it at all times during charging. The connectors also have an instant disconnect pilot to prevent arcing if for any reason someone unplugs the battery in the middle of a fast charge.
All PosiCharge systems are UL and cUL listed. All products are built and tested in our ISO 9002 manufacturing facility.
17. What type of training is needed for employees who use the PosiChargers?
PosiCharge systems are completely automated. They are literally hands-free chargers: a driver pulls up, plugs in, and walks away. There are no settings to learn and no buttons to push, so the training required to teach a driver to fast charge his vehicle can be accomplished in minutes.