How To Test Battery Capacity For Your Forklift

June 12, 2019

To have smooth operations in your warehouse, your motive power equipment must be fully operational at all times. As the power behind your equipment, your batteries must also be operating at optimal efficiency.

Performing routine battery maintenance is the key to keeping your batteries, and therefore your equipment, running as they should be. Battery capacity testing should be an essential part of that care plan. So, here are the basics of why testing battery capacity is so important and how it can be done!

What is Battery Capacity?

A battery’s capacity is essentially a measure of the energy it can store. When conducting a battery capacity test, you're examining the battery's ability to deliver a “specified amount of current at a constant rate to a specified end voltage for a specified time.”

When you purchase a brand new battery, it will come with a battery rating that identifies its capacity. But, because cells age, that rating will no longer be accurate once the battery has been used more than a few times. So, to get an accurate idea of your battery’s true current capacity, you must perform routine capacity tests.

How to Test Battery Capacity

In order to accurately test the capacity of your forklift battery, it’s important to use a battery monitoring device with the right capabilities. One such device is the Hawker Battery Boss WC. It is a compact and wireless electronic device that attaches right to your industrial battery to provide real-time diagnostics on battery capacity, including:

  • Battery voltage, current, and temperature;
  • Electrolyte and water levels;
  • Number of charge cycles; and
  • Total discharge time.

This data can then be downloaded to any PC or laptop quickly and with ease. You can even consolidate data into various reports so you can analyze your entire battery fleet at one time. This can help you identify patterns in your battery usage. Plus, it reports battery faults and warnings that could easily be missed manually.

Why is it Important to Test Battery Capacity?

Keeping your motive power equipment fully operational is essential for ongoing warehouse operations. However, your equipment can’t function properly without a well-maintained forklift battery. A battery test makes it possible to identify weak cells, faulty intercell connectors, and other red flags that indicate repairs are needed before the battery stops working entirely.

If you don’t prioritize battery maintenance, it can result in decreased productivity for your entire warehouse. Think about it—if you have to keep stopping operations to switch out underperforming batteries, it results in extra downtime. This ultimately reduces the amount of time your forklifts are actually able to move cargo, which is what generates value for your business.

Battery capacity testing helps you avoid this wasteful downtime by helping you determine where your industrial battery is on its predictable life curve. This way, you’ll know when it is about time to replace a battery. This way, you can acquire new batteries proactively before the old ones stop functioning during use and completely halt your operations Overall, battery capacity testing helps you maximize forklift battery performance so you can get the full useful life out of your industrial batteries.

Do You Need Assistance Determining Your Battery Capacity?

Having the right team to routinely perform maintenance and repairs on your fleet's batteries is an essential part of maximizing their useful life and improving safety conditions in your warehouse.

At Southern States Enterprises, we offer comprehensive industrial battery and charger maintenance solutions. Our experienced, certified technicians are available 24/7 to troubleshoot and repair any battery or battery charger in your warehouse!

We also conduct battery safety surveys and training and education courses to help you get the most out of your investment in batteries and machinery. Ready to get started? Reach out to one of our experts today!

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