Lithium Battery Power for Cleaning Machines

Battery technology for use within the cleaning industry has not significantly improved over the last 40 years. Until now. Three years ago, a 36V Lithium high capacity option was considered bespoke and very expensive compared to 24/48V versions, which were primarily developed for the forklift market.

Since then, Lincoln Cleaning Technology (LCT) has worked extensively with their battery supplier, Battery Service Hub (BSH), to develop an innovative 36V Lithium battery to fit their ATS50BE combination sweeper scrubber. This machine had already proved a popular alternative to LPG and diesel machines of a similar size, especially with companies keen to reduce their carbon footprint.

The idea was first discussed when one of LCT’s customers, a national distribution company, became frustrated with conventional lead acid battery technology when visiting their warehouses around the UK to find cleaning machines parked in a corner with a battery that hadn’t been charged or maintained and which subsequently needed replacing after only a couple of years.

Traditional batteries have an average life expectancy of three years, depending on the number of charges and discharges. Charging a traditional battery from 80% discharged takes 10-12 hours, with any deviation potentially causing damage. With current cleaning regimes within many industrial buildings, often more than one machine is therefore required to cope with the recharging downtime. Lithium, however, allows opportunity charging without causing any damage to or shortening the life of the battery – and the operator does not have to maintain it.

MHE Manager at Culina Asset Management, Andy Miszkiel, is delighted, saying “We find Lithium the ideal fuel for a cleaning machine due to the way they are used operationally. They have short charging windows without having to take the machine out of operation for extended periods, as we do with lead acid.”

Cleaning machines

Director at BSH, Andy Riddle, explains “Because of the quick recharge time from (4 hours from 90% discharge), they would not be without a machine if it was needed outside of the usual cleaning window. The faster recharge time can mean that fewer machines are required, saving additional labour cost, capital outlay and storage space.”

LCT’s Sales Director, Simon Jackson, added “The cost of Lithium over the last three years has come down to a commercially viable level, allowing us to offer extended hire terms to offset the cost difference, delivering a robust commercial and operational solution for our customers.”

With 3,000 charging cycles, shorter charging time (50%-60% faster), no hazardous gases when charging and no requirement for diesel of LPG, the 36V Lithium battery provides flexibility and creates an opportunity for cost savings in warehouses and distribution centres in areas such as electricity consumption and maintenance.

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