When it comes to buying a lithium-ion battery pack, a data plate can tell you everything you need to know about the battery. Data plates are an effective way to display battery pack information that can be useful for safety and servicing purposes. In fact, OSHA requires every operator to know what type of power their forklift is using. Although there is some room for creativity, data plates need to follow industry standards.
In this article, we will go over what information can be found on data plates and why it is important to the equipment operator.
- Model Number:
Model numbers are vital to helping the operator identify what type of battery pack is being used to power their equipment. In the image above, you can see that it is a Flux Power product (S8-105-24).
- Part Number:
Part numbers are unique to each specific product design. This number defines the specific make-up of this particular battery pack. All battery packs having the same part number will be of identical construction.
- Serial Number:
The serial number is a unique identifier. In other words, there is only one battery pack with any assigned serial number. Typically, serial numbers are issued sequentially. The Flux Power product support team can use the serial number to determine information about the battery pack that the operator is using.
- Date of MFG:
This is the date the battery was manufactured. The code represents the Year, Month, and Day it was produced.
- Nominal Voltage:
This is the normal electric voltage that we would expect to flow through a circuit. The voltage of a battery pack is determined by the number of lithium-ion cells and the way the cells are connected to each other (series or parallel).
This is a measure of the charge stored by the battery. Assuming the battery pack is fully charged, the capacity is analogous to the ‘fuel tank’ size of a vehicle. Capacity is measured in ampere-hours.
- Service Weight:
The service weight defines the battery pack weight. This is important, as all forklift OEMs have weight requirements to ensure proper weight distribution in the forklift for safe operation.
- Input 1:
Input 1 shows the internal charger voltage that it supplies to the battery pack. *Note that not all battery packs will have an internal charger option.
- Input 2:
Input 2 is the external charger voltage that is supplied to the battery pack.
Output shows the battery’s voltage and max current that is supplied to the forklift it is powering.
For safety purposes, it is important to list the type of chemistry on the data plate. On all Flux Power battery packs, the chemistry will show LiFePO4. This stands for lithium iron phosphate, which is one of the safest lithium chemistries known.
- UL Listed:
Battery packs that have a UL Listing will include the UL logo on the data plate to show that it has passed the rigorous testing requirements. The UL mark is a third-party validation of product safety.
- Hazard Symbols:
There are two symbols that will be on all battery data plates – the lightning bolt and the exclamation mark.
The lightning bolt symbol is an electric hazard symbol that lets people know that injury from electricity can occur if the battery pack is not handled properly.
The exclamation mark hazard symbol is put on the data plate to inform people that the product can cause certain health effects such as skin irritation, eye irritation, or skin sensitization if mishandled.
The three waves symbol indicates battery packs that can be used in cold storage applications. This symbol lets operators know that the battery pack features an integrated heater.
- Contact Information:
Every data plate will have contact information for the manufacturer. In the image above, you can see the phone number (877-505-3589) and the website (fluxpower.com) for Flux Power. This is helpful in case the forklift operator needs to get in touch with a Flux Power representative.