In an effort to reduce energy costs for warehouses, faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York are developing a new energy storage process.
The project, funded by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will work with The Raymond Corp. to develop an economically viable storage demonstration project.
The project is designed to demonstrate why a behind-the-meter storage system and controllable forklift charging can be beneficial for warehouse owners and the utility grid. Ziang (John) Zhang, principal investigator, and Pritam Das, co-principal investigator, both assistant professors of electrical and computer engineering at Binghamton University’s Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, will work closely with Raymond engineers to manage the energy generation, storage and consumption of lithium-ion batteries in their forklift trucks.
Electric forklift trucks are traditionally powered by lead-acid batteries, which can have an extended recharge time of up to eight hours. In many high-use warehouses, several of these shifts may overlap where each forklift truck may have two or three batteries utilized per truck – one in use, one on recharge, and one cooling down in storage. While lithium-ion batteries offer benefits, the fast-charging feature may cause significant energy demands to warehouses during peak times, which is why this project was developed. provide great
“By implementing lithium-ion batteries into more forklifts, companies will see the same high-quality products but with overall energy consumption reduction due to the ability to charge at nearly 100% efficiency and reduced costs, on account of the batteries having a longer lifespan,” said Michael Field, CEO The Raymond Corp.
The proposed solution can turn warehouses into a controllable energy hub which can be optimized to support the power grid during normal and peak grid conditions. Binghamton University will work with New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) to estimate the grid benefit/impact of the proposed system. Preliminary analysis includes an estimation of how the system impacts the efficiency of the local circuit.
“Controllable distributed energy resources, such as battery storage, will pay a significant role in managing the electricity grid in the future. said Carl Taylor, CEO of NYSEG and RG&E.
This project builds on a previously NYSERDA-funded project completed by Raymond in 2017 which showed the advantages of using lithium-ion batteries for energy storage on forklifts. The earlier project developed methods for the battery, truck and charger to communicate temperatures, state of charge and other status information, as well as demonstrate improved performance while the forklifts were in use.
NYSERDA’s project was founded to assist the state in combatting climate change and put it on the path to carbon neutrality.
“Incorporating multiple clean energy technologies into one system, such as this project, will enable warehouses to become more energy efficient, save money and increase productivity while making their buildings healthier for workers,” said Alicia Barton, CEO of NYSERDA.