Analysis Series, Chapter 5: Voltage Levels Used in Electric Lift trucks Today

Analysis Series, Chapter 5: Voltage Levels Used in Electric Lift trucks Today

Chapter 5: Voltage Levels Used in Electric Lift trucks Today

Electric warehousing lift trucks are based on a range of voltages (e.g. 24V, 36V, 48V and 80V). Some applications don’t require a great deal of power. For example, most Class III lift trucks (walkies, walkie-stackers and walkie end-riders) operate on 24V power, considered a low voltage. Smaller lift trucks like these often (although not always) only have to transport lighter loads, have limited hydraulic functions requiring lower amperage and work in areas where top speeds are not important. With a relatively low voltage and lower amperage, power output is low. On the other hand, a higher voltage in a truck’s electrical system means the ability to achieve higher levels of performance. For example, an 80V system, as opposed to, say, a 36V system, permits higher levels of acceleration and torque.

In general, any current flow entails some heat radiating from conductors. Thus, the low current of a higher voltage system means relatively lower heat losses. In a lift truck, the single biggest enemy of energy efficient operation is buildup of heat that cannot be dissipated quickly. Heat buildup not only harms electronic components, it also creates greater electrical resistance in wiring and cables, making it more difficult for a battery to push current through the conductors – as the electrical resistance has been increased. A rising heat level in conductors means a greater current draw is needed to compensate for this increased resistance, which in turn creates even more heat.

Continue to Chapter 6…

Read The Full Series:

Chapter 1: The Concept of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Chapter 2: AC Technology Compared to Internal Combustion

Chapter 3: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Chapter 4: Trends in Materials Handling

Chapter 5: Voltage Levels Used in Electric Lift trucks Today

Chapter 6: Battery and Charging Systems

Chapter 7: Electric Braking and Energy Regeneration

Chapter 8: Emissions and Corporate Responsibility: A Major Problem for IC Lift Trucks

Conclusions & Final Recap

HCO Innovations is publishing this eight-part series as an in-depth comparative analysis and discussion on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Internal Combustion (IC) motors and Alternating Current (AC) Eletric lift truck engines, Comparison Analysis of CNG (IC) vs. AC Electric Lift Trucks, by Will Van Ness, VP of Fleet Management at HCO Innovations

Comparison Analysis of CNG (IC) vs. AC Electric Lift Trucks (AC)

The materials handling industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, particularly in the area of motive power propulsion. Tremendous technological advancements have been made over the past decade to directly address the rising cost of petrol (fossil fuels) along with stricter emission standards. Today’s MHE acquirers have more choices than ever when it comes to motive power propulsion and with the success seen amongst fleets utilizing alternative fuel sources such as lithium ion (LION) and Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC), the choices will most likely increase as time goes on. For the purpose of this discussion document, our focus will be on comparing AC Electric (AC) to Internal Combustion powered lift trucks (IC), specifically compressed natural gas (CNG).

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Our customers are at the center of everything we do. HCO knows that many of you are navigating unprecedented challenges and we’re here to help.

The current economic environment has created stress on many of the core industries that this country relies on to thrive.
- Corporate liquidity is at a premium and the management of your balance sheet is critical.
- Bank and vendor leasing for equipment is tightening as corporate credit ratings are in flux and lenders are focused on securing their own capital.

HCO is leading through this disruption with customized forklift fleet programs that allow companies to 1) replace fleet assets and 2) service those assets without relying on banks or vendors for leasing. Our managed service programs allow companies to secure assets and service programs with no upfront capital, and no end of term lease obligations. We are reinventing the way companies access equipment and service. Please reach out to discuss whether this would be valuable to your company.

As we execute our business continuity plan, we will rely on the guidance from the Center for Disease Control, federal, state, and local governments to guide our decisions to keep our employees and our customers’ employees safe. We are committed to continuing to provide clients with our valuable services.

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