VANCOUVER, B.C. (Nov 23, 2020) – Floor machine charger or battery failure can be detrimental to the cleaning machine’s end-user, causing lost productivity and increased operational costs. Any machine failure can negatively impact the manufacturer’s brand reputation. Designing and testing the durability and reliability of the charger hardware and software is imperative in preventing machine failure.
We discuss two related causes of machine failure, and how Delta-Q’s charger solutions can help reduce the risk of lithium-ion battery degradation and charger malfunction.
Charger Failure Cause #1: Vibration and Shock
Vibration from operating conditions is a challenge to OEMs and equipment operators alike – every floor machine exposes the charger to a different high frequency vibration profile and varying levels of mechanical shock. Vibration and shock can shake components inside a poorly or unsafely designed charger loose, or cause components to contact the inside of the enclosure, which can result in serious and costly maintenance issues.
Chargers that are robustly designed and tested can help mitigate the risk of failure from vibration and shock. Delta-Q, for instance, took an innovative approach by developing a fully sealed, rigid die-cast aluminum housing that allows for multiple features to be designed-in. This die-cast construction provides enhanced mechanical support to the power electronic components and helps the charger withstand the effects of vibration and shock. In addition, Design for Manufacture (DFM) is used throughout the product design to significantly reduce secondary parts and assembly time, and provide less points of failure.
Battery Degradation Cause #1: Improper Charging
Poor charging can dramatically shorten the useful life of a lithium-ion battery and replacing it can be very expensive. To ensure operators are getting the best return on investment, it is important to understand what causes a lithium-ion battery to fail, and why charger software is critical to improving the battery life of floor care machines.
Lithium-ion batteries fail over time because of parasitic reactions. These reactions generally occur between the electrolyte and the electrodes inside a lithium-ion battery cell during charge and discharge cycles, and build up over time. According to Professor Jeff Dahn, the leader of Tesla’s battery research partnership with Dalhousie University, high temperatures, high charge rates and high charge voltages aggravate the parasitic reactions in a lithium-ion battery..
To reduce premature degradation and aging, the battery charging system should reduce charge rates when the battery is too hot or cold. High charge rates increase heat in the battery – speeding parasitic reactions – so modest rates of charge are recommended wherever possible. Lithium-ion batteries age faster if left resting at higher states of charge (or end voltage), so battery life can be extended by charging to a reduced voltage or state of charge. All of these causes can be reduced through intelligent charger software and charge profiles. This is especially critical for floor care machines that may be used by different operators at different times of the day – depending on cleaning requirements.
Delta-Q’s custom software and unique charge profiles enable our chargers to adapt to different operating conditions and intelligently return energy to the batteries. Users benefit from precise charge profiles for different battery chemistries and brands. With CAN communications, our battery chargers can also communicate with all components within the floor machine, giving control to the Battery Management System (BMS) and providing detailed charge history to help automate and improve how battery issues are diagnosed.
When sourcing a battery charger for your floor cleaning machine, we recommend picking one with durable hardware and reliable, intelligent software. These features can prove to be cost-effective in the long run – prolonging battery life and improving the overall reliability of your floor cleaning machine.
To learn more about preventing charger and battery failure, watch our free educational video on the subject by clicking the button below.