What are the Benefits of Lithium-Ion Batteries?
The big buzz in batteries is lithium-ion technology. Nowadays, they are the common source of power in several everyday products such as laptops, cell phones, power tools and even vehicles. As technology evolves focusing on speed, big data and mobility, the importance of reliable portable power is massive and steadily on the rise.
At Tennant, rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-on) batteries are increasingly popular as a power option for small and large cleaning equipment. Their advantages fall into five broad categories: maintenance, longevity, charging speed, safety and ease of charging. Before diving into the specifics, let’s define what exactly are lithium-ion batteries and a little bit of the science behind them.
How are lithium batteries different from lithium-ion?
In short, lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable whereas most lithium batteries aren’t. Li-ion batteries are able to be recharged hundreds of times and are more stable. They tend to have a higher energy density, voltage capacity and lower self-discharge rate than other rechargeable batteries. This makes for better power efficiency as a single cell has longer charge retention than other battery types.
5 Advantages of Lithium-Ion Batteries
As mentioned earlier we, categorized the pros of Li-on batteries into five larger categories:
- Maintenance: Unlike flooded lead-acid batteries with water levels that need to be monitored, lithium-ion batteries do not need to be watered. This reduces the maintenance needed to keep the batteries operational, which also eliminates training new team members on the procedure and monitoring machines to ensure that water levels are correct. Lithium-ion batteries also eliminate engine maintenance.
- Longevity: The average lithium-ion battery lifespan for a large-capacity battery pack can be as long as eight or more years. A long service life helps provide a return on your investment in lithium-ion battery technology.
- Easy & Fast Charging: Using fast-charging lithium-ion batteries means less downtime for a machine while it’s tethered to a charging station. In a busy facility, of course, the less time a machine has to sit idle, the better. Also reducing downtime for a machine, the lithium-ion battery can be opportunity charged. This means that cleaning procedures don’t have to be designed around the need to allow a battery to fully charge in-between uses, and also simplifies training for team members.
- Safer Facilities: Improve indoor air quality and reduce the risk of accidents by eliminating exposure to flammable fuels and battery acid with lithium-ion technology. Also enjoy quiet operation with low dBa sound levels.
- Environmental Impact: Lithium-ion batteries provide significant environmental benefits over other fossil fuel alternatives. With the steady increase in electric vehicles, we are seeing an immediate impact in the reduction of carbon emissions. Minimizing your gas-powered cleaning machines not only benefits your long term cost but helps your business be more sustainable.
Other Considerations & Guidelines
When thinking about how lithium-ion compares to other batteries there are a couple of factors to consider. Things like how to manage the storage of your units is important. Pricing also plays a factor when considering investing in lithium-ion batteries for your equipment. While lithium-ion batteries typically have a higher price tag, the life-time value (LTV) of the product can outweigh the cost.
Time savings, simplified training, and long battery life are some of the biggest reasons that more facilities are making the investment in lithium-ion batteries. Making the switch to lithium-ion is easier than you think and should something your business evaluates on a regular basis. When going over your cleaning equipment inventory consider how these benefits might be useful in your operations.
Source: What are the Benefits of Lithium-Ion Batteries? by Tennant Company.
*Based on a 7-day cleaning cycle with labor costs at $13 per hour