Multi-Shifter's sturdy battery storage systems make it easy to keep an inventory of batteries available for immediate use so your forklifts never have to stop for a charge. By implementing a few smart practices, you can extend the life of your forklift batteries and save money.
Create The Proper Environment
Batteries can be dangerous and should be stored in dedicated areas used for nothing else. The storage area should be kept cool because stored batteries slowly lose their charge over time, and this loss is faster at high temperatures. How cool? Most manufacturers recommend storing batteries at or below 60º F, but even a typical room temperature of 70-80º is fine as long as you keep the batteries charged. Although colder is better, don't allow the electrolyte to freeze as this will ruin the battery.
High humidity increases discharge rate so put the battery storage systems in a dry area. Keep the room well ventilated to prevent buildup of flammable gasses. Natural ventilation will usually do the trick, but if the room doesn't have good airflow you might need to put in a ventilation system.
Dangers To Avoid
Batteries emit hydrogen gas, which is why ventilation is so important. Keep ignition sources away from your battery storage systems. This means no sparks, no open flames, and no smoking in the battery room. Keep circuit boxes and electrical equipment out of the area, with the exception of battery chargers and even these should not be stored in the same room as the batteries.
Other dangers occur if a metallic object such as a screwdriver or a wire should fall across the terminals and cause a short. At the very least, this causes the battery to discharge rapidly and could ruin the cell. A more serious danger is that a worker might touch the metal item, say to remove it, and get a powerful and dangerous shock. Finally, the sparks from such a short could cause ignite the hydrogen gas and create an explosion.
Care And Feeding Of Batteries
Lead-acid batteries don't need a lot of attention while in storage but battery storage systems should be inspected periodically to keep the batteries in top shape. Even if you follow the advice we've given, the batteries will still discharge slowly while in storage. This is fine as long as the charge stays above 70% but if it falls below this it can damage the battery. Bring in chargers to top off batteries with low charges.
Inspect batteries for damage or a buildup of deposits around the terminals. Remove and dispose of damaged batteries, and clean dirty terminals to keep batteries in top shape. Check electrolyte levels and top off any cells that seem low. Use only distilled water to fill batteries. Don't use tap water, and don't try to add more acid.
Use these tips and Multi-Shifter battery storage systems can maintain your stored batteries for two years or longer.