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Switch Box for optimal availability

08 February 2017

Fronius has developed a solution to keep batteries permanently charged even if they are stored for long periods of time.

The Fronius Switch Box can help forklift truck and battery dealers to optimise availability and performance, and avoid damaging batteries therefore saving.

Batteries that are stored for long periods gradually discharge, which has a negative impact on their performance and can result in damage. This incurs high costs for repairs or the purchase of replacement batteries. To counteract these problems, Fronius has developed the Switch Box. This can be connected to any Fronius Selectiva battery charging system and has connections for up to ten batteries, which are charged in succession. With the automatic voltage detection feature on the Selectiva devices, the Switch Box can flexibly charge batteries with 12 to 80 volts and with different capacities. All that is needed is the appropriate connector.

The Switch Box is operated via an external display that can be configured to the user's preference. The control system can automatically detect if a battery is fully charged before the specified time, whereupon it will switch to the next battery in line. As soon as every battery has been charged in turn, the cycle is repeated until the batteries are removed. Harmful sulphation – a result of self-discharge – is thus avoided, thereby increasing the service life in the long term. This solution will be of particular interest to forklift truck dealers with their own rental fleet or battery dealers who have to store batteries for a certain period of time.

In the event of a battery malfunction during the charging process, a message appears on the display and has to be acknowledged by an employee, allowing defects to be detected before delivery to the customer. It is also possible to upgrade the system with an external start/stop function. This provides the highest possible levels of safety during the charging process by preventing sparks and cutting the risk of an oxyhydrogen explosion if the charging cable is disconnected while charging is in progress. Another advantage of the Switch Box is that it allows up to ten batteries to be connected to a single battery charging system. There is therefore no need for users to purchase additional devices. What's more, the batteries no longer need to be recharged before delivery. This increases availability and means dealers can supply the batteries much more quickly than before, improving customer satisfaction even further.