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Sustainable charging

18 June 2013

Fronius Selectiva battery chargers with ‘active inverter technology’ allow large numbers of forklift truck batteries to be charged at food retailer Spar Austria, significantly enhancing the sustainable business activities of the group.

Individual stores across Austrian are supplied from warehouses run by six subsidiaries. Every day, around 11,000 pallets arrive in the subsidiaries, where approximately 750,000 trading units are picked every day.

The speed at which the stores receive the items they have ordered depends primarily on the order picking time, so a large number of electrically powered forklift trucks operate in the warehouse. In Wörgl, for example, 68 picking trucks, 41 pedestrian-controlled low-lift pallet trucks, 14 rider-seated low-lift pallet trucks, 15 reach trucks and 23 pedestrian-controlled high-lift pallet trucks are in use.

With the Selectiva product range, Fronius offers chargers for intralogistics applications with efficiency levels of up to 94%. Thanks to the HF inverter technology for traction batteries, the high efficiency level means that considerable savings in energy costs can be achieved compared with conventional 50 Hz transformer devices.

Battery costs are reduced too, as the constant charging current and charging voltage provide ideal battery charging conditions that help extend battery life significantly.

Christian Hemetsberger, head of the Warehousing department in Wörgl, says: "We noticed that even when an older charger is not charging, it consumes a tremendous amount of power. We therefore decided to carry out some comparative measurements between a 50 Hz charger using conventional HF inverter technology and a Fronius battery charging system with ‘active inverter technology’. We concluded that the Fronius device was the only one that consumed very little power when on stand-by.”