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BEST Magazine: How to achieve ROI with lithium-ion batteries in material handling equipment

With multiple formats and configurable voltage options, motive lithium-ion batteries that can be retrofitted into existing vehicles and charging infrastructures, without expensive investments in facilities, have become drop-in replacements for lead-acid batteries. Jeff VanZwol, chief marketing at Green Cubes Technology explores the market.

Read the full article in BEST Magazine

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Jerry Crump, Director of Business Development – GSE is interviewed by Chris Notter of EVA International

Jerry has been in the industry for 22 years, 13 years of that has been adapting fleets to E-GSE. In the interview they cover a number of topics including; how Lithium batteries for GSE can power a fleet with long-lasting, reliable power, airport Infrastructure hurdles, GSE issues post covid, the need for Airports, Operators, Energy Companies & GSE providers to collaborate, zero emission ramps, People – Profit – Planet, Carbon footprint reductions and Sustainability.

You can listen to the Podcast here or watch the full interview on YouTube HERE.

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Design World: MultiVoltage lithium batteries target material handling equipment

Patent-pending MultiVoltage technology enables the battery to charge at double its output voltage, which cuts charging time in half and makes opportunity charging a more accessible option with simplicity and ease of use for the operator.

Patent-pending MultiVoltage technology enables charging at double the batteries’ output voltage, halving the charge time and increasing productivity. Applicable to the material handling market, Green Cubes Technology’s MultiVoltage battery completes a full charge in less than one hour and is offered in 24/48 V, 36/72 V and 48/96 V combinations.

Green Cubes has deployed over 200 MultiVoltage batteries across these three different voltage combinations. It is common for high use and high capacity batteries, such as a large 48-V battery, to be charged with two cables to increase the charge current. The MultiVoltage battery utilizes single connector 4/0 cabling in a charge port configuration, which delivers cost efficiencies and minimizes the chance of cable damage over traditional fast charging with dual cables. In addition, due to the lower insertion and extraction forces of the single connector equipment, operators appreciate the MultiVoltage systems over their dual cable counterparts.

“The ability to opportunity charge is a key feature of Li-ion batteries’ value proposition for material handling equipment,” said Anthony Cooper, General Manager of Green Cubes’ Motive Group. “MultiVoltage SAFEFlex batteries accommodate an even faster charging time which widens the performance gap between Li-ion and Lead Acid Batteries. Our class 2, 36-V products, have been extremely popular for Reach Trucks because they are very highly utilized and recognize the benefits.”

Other than the battery configuration itself, the MultiVoltage battery uses standard chargers and requires no changes to the equipment. Lithium SAFEFlex is the integration of lithium-iron=phosphate cells, electronics, packaging and a software platform that was designed specifically for the rugged requirements of material handling. The advanced mechanical packaging meets the impact forces of a large forklift and the rugged automotive-grade Battery Management System (BMS) makes Lithium SAFEFlex the most reliable lithium battery for the material handling industry. With MultiVoltage technology, a quick coffee or lunch break can be used to charge a battery, keeping material handling equipment in full utilization.

See the original news article in Design World

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Material Handling & Logistics: Lithium Batteries

Green Cubes Technology has launched MultiVoltage SAFEFlex batteries that can charge at double their output voltage, which can reduce charging time in half.

Green Cubes Technology has launched a full line of MultiVoltage SAFEFlex batteries. Patent-pending MultiVoltage technology enables the battery to charge at double its output voltage, which cuts charging time in half.

Applicable to the material handling market, Green Cubes Technology’s MultiVoltage battery completes a full charge in less than one hour and is offered in 24/48V, 36/72V and 48/96V combinations. It is common for high use and high capacity batteries, such as a large 48V battery, to be charged with two cables to increase the charge current. The MultiVoltage battery utilizes single connector 4/0 cabling in a charge port configuration, which minimizes the chance of cable damage over traditional fast charging with dual cables.

Other than the battery configuration itself, the MultiVoltage battery uses standard chargers and requires no changes to the equipment. Lithium SAFEFlex is the integration of Lithium Iron Phosphate cells, electronics, packaging and a software platform that was designed specifically for the rugged requirements of material handling. The advanced mechanical packaging meets the impact forces of a large forklift.

See the original news article in Material Handling & Logistics

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Material Handling Wholesaler: Green Cubes Technology Announces MultiVoltage Lithium SAFEFlex Batteries

Green Cubes Technology (Green Cubes), the leader in producing Lithium-ion (Li-ion) power systems that facilitate the transition from lead acid batteries and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) power to green Li-ion battery power, today announced a full line of MultiVoltage SAFEFlex batteries. Patent-pending MultiVoltage technology enables the battery to charge at double its output voltage, which cuts charging time in half and makes opportunity charging a more accessible option with simplicity and ease of use for the operator.

Applicable to the Material Handling market, Green Cubes Technology’s MultiVoltage battery completes a full charge in less than one hour and is offered in 24/48V, 36/72V and 48/96V combinations. Green Cubes has deployed over 200 MultiVoltage batteries across these three different voltage combinations. It is common for high use and high capacity batteries, such as a large 48V battery, to be charged with two cables to increase the charge current. The MultiVoltage battery utilizes single connector 4/0 cabling in a charge port configuration, which delivers cost efficiencies and minimizes the chance of cable damage over traditional fast charging with dual cables. In addition, due to the lower insertion and extraction forces of the single connector equipment, operators appreciate the MultiVoltage systems over their dual cable counterparts.

“The ability to opportunity charge is a key feature of Li-ion batteries’ value proposition for material handling equipment,” said Anthony Cooper, General Manager of Green Cubes’ Motive Group. “MultiVoltage SAFEFlex batteries accommodate an even faster charging time which widens the performance gap between Li-ion and Lead Acid Batteries. Our class 2, 36V products, have been extremely popular for Reach Trucks because they are very highly utilized and recognize the benefits.” Other than the battery configuration itself, the MultiVoltage battery uses standard chargers and requires no changes to the equipment. Lithium SAFEFlex is the integration of Lithium Iron Phosphate cells, electronics, packaging and a software platform that was designed specifically for the rugged requirements of material handling. The advanced mechanical packaging meets the impact forces of a large forklift and the rugged automotive-grade Battery Management System (BMS) makes Lithium SAFEFlex the most reliable lithium battery for the material handling industry.  With MultiVoltage technology, a quick coffee or lunch break can be used to charge a battery, keeping material handling equipment in full utilization.

See the original news article in Material Handling Wholesaler

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Material Handling Network: Green Cubes Technology Announces MultiVoltage Lithium SAFEFlex Batteries

Green Cubes Technology (Green Cubes), the leader in producing Lithium-ion (Li-ion) power systems that facilitate the transition from lead acid batteries and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) power to green Li-ion battery power, today announced a full line of MultiVoltage SAFEFlex batteries. Patent-pending MultiVoltage technology enables the battery to charge at double its output voltage, which cuts charging time in half and makes opportunity charging a more accessible option with simplicity and ease of use for the operator.

Applicable to the Material Handling market, Green Cubes Technology’s MultiVoltage battery completes a full charge in less than one hour and is offered in 24/48V, 36/72V and 48/96V combinations. Green Cubes has deployed over 200 MultiVoltage batteries across these three different voltage combinations. It is common for high use and high capacity batteries, such as a large 48V battery, to be charged with two cables to increase the charge current. The MultiVoltage battery utilizes single connector 4/0 cabling in a charge port configuration, which delivers cost efficiencies and minimizes the chance of cable damage over traditional fast charging with dual cables. In addition, due to the lower insertion and extraction forces of the single connector equipment, operators appreciate the MultiVoltage systems over their dual cable counterparts.

“The ability to opportunity charge is a key feature of Li-ion batteries’ value proposition for material handling equipment,” said Anthony Cooper, General Manager of Green Cubes’ Motive Group. “MultiVoltage SAFEFlex batteries accommodate an even faster charging time which widens the performance gap between Li-ion and Lead Acid Batteries. Our class 2, 36V products, have been extremely popular for Reach Trucks because they are very highly utilized and recognize the benefits.” Other than the battery configuration itself, the MultiVoltage battery uses standard chargers and requires no changes to the equipment. Lithium SAFEFlex is the integration of Lithium Iron Phosphate cells, electronics, packaging and a software platform that was designed specifically for the rugged requirements of material handling. The advanced mechanical packaging meets the impact forces of a large forklift and the rugged automotive-grade Battery Management System (BMS) makes Lithium SAFEFlex the most reliable lithium battery for the material handling industry.  With MultiVoltage technology, a quick coffee or lunch break can be used to charge a battery, keeping material handling equipment in full utilization.

See the original news article in Material Handling Network Product News

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Power Electronics News: Li-ion Batteries – The Future of Motive Power

The Li-ion battery industry is rapidly expanding as governments around the world accelerate the energy infrastructure needed to support climate change initiatives. Almost daily, the major news outlets are reporting on the technology in their headlines; from the New York Times “The Auto Industry Bets Its Future on Batteries” and “17 Reasons to Let the Economic Optimism Begin”, which predicts improvements in Li-ion battery technology similar to the predictive improvements in semi-conductors known as Moore’s Law.

Li-ion batteries are finding new applications in markets where they are replacing older lead-acid technology and there is a drive to convert products that previously used internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric power. Motive applications, from fork-lifts to landscape equipment can benefit from increased run-time, decreased weight, higher power, improved safety and environmental benefits of Li-ion chemistry and its variants. The big auto makers are aggressively moving their fleets to electric power and there is a trickle-down effect in other motive applications, from aviation ground support equipment to electric scooters. With the wide-spread adoption of Li-ion technology, there is an improved variety in the chemistries and formfactors available and this is, in turn, enables the implementation of battery technology in a wider range of devices. In this series of blog posts, I will discuss the battery technology available for electric power and address typical concerns and tips for newly implementing these innovations in motive applications. First, let’s review some of the high-level changes to what is available in the market and where the technology and price points are headed.

Li-ion batteries’ first “killer app” was in the consumer electronics market, as a smaller and lighter weight alternative to the Nickel chemistries that powered early laptops. These features of Li-ion spurred the invention of small mobile devices from cell phones to watches and hearing aids. Smaller, mobile industrial devices, from military radios to defibrillators had requirements in common with consumer applications, so they also utilized the same technology. However, only recently has Li-ion technology been adapted and modified for transportation applications from e-bikes to buses. The performance of a cell is determined by a balance of competing and subtle trade-offs that depend on its major components: the cathode, anode, electrolyte, internal cell design and external cell size. The interplay of physical and chemical variables makes it difficult to make a direct or linear correlation between design and performance. The rapid evolution of the market is driving innovation and variety, and the innovation, in turn, is enabling more applications. While the increase in options for form factors and specific chemical formulations provides an exciting opportunity for differentiation, it also brings a lack of stability for supply in terms of longevity and cost. The risks associated with being single sourced for a marginal chemistry variant have gone up in recent years and the market fundamentals of the raw materials used for rechargeable Li-ion cells, and the sourcing of these materials continue to be issues.

Increasing prevalence is most notable in medium-to-large format systems. Some industry experts predicted an eventual decline in the use of cylindrical cells since the consumer electronics applications were getting thinner and thinner and polymer cells. Then the motive, electric vehicle, buses and e-bikes found traction, causing a steep increase in demand for larger sizes and higher power. Of the chemical components, the cathode material has the biggest influence on performance. A divide has occurred in recent years with Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO) still being dominant cathode in polymer/pouch cells used in consumer electronics and the so-called “Mixed-metal Oxides” (NMC/NCA), where some proportion of the Cobalt is replaced with Manganese, Nickel, and or Aluminum, now being the cathode of choice for cylindrical (18650/21700) and larger format cylindrical cells. Generally, consumer electronics differentiate with long run-time from high capacity or energy density and faster charge rates, but cycle/calendar life is a lower priority, unlike motive applications, which prioritize cycle life and power delivery.  High-rate cells, which were originally designed specifically for power tools, are now being used in everything from garden equipment to pallet jacks to aircraft tugs. Because of these uses, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) cathode cells, even in large format prismatic shapes, are finally becoming common-place with price points comparable to the cobalt chemistries and some added benefits. The growth of electric vehicles and motive application is spurring interest in hydrogen fuel cells as an adjacent and complimentary technology. In my next articles, I will compare the new LFP options to their predecessors and discuss the differences between hydrogen fuel cells and the latest battery technologies- always with a focus on motive applications and their unique challenges.

Author: Robin Schneider, Director of Marketing

See the original article in Power Electronics News – page 61

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ProMat DX Show Daily: Green Cubes showcases Lithium SAFEFlex material handling equipment battery

Green Cubes is showcasing Lithium SAFEFlex material handling battery, the most advanced motive power lithium battery for all electric material handling (MHE) Classes 1-3. Lithium SAFEFlex is the integration of lithium iron phosphate cells, electronics, packaging, and a software platform that was designed specifically for the rugged requirements of material handling.

The advanced mechanical packaging meets the impact forces of a large forklift and the rugged automotive-grade Battery Management System (BMS) makes Lithium SAFEFlex the most reliable lithium battery for the material handling industry.

“Enterprise customers can recognize the value of fast charging and long runtimes offered by Li-ion technology with Lithium SAFEFlex batteries,” said Robin Schneider, director of marketing, Green Cubes. “Green Cubes Technology offers innovative technology and comprehensive platforms that ease the transition to green power with a maximum return on investment.”

See the original article in ProMat DX Show Daily

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Material Handling Network: Green Cubes Technology Expands to Meet Demand for Green Power Infrastructure

Green Cubes Technology today announced broad company expansion and rebranding to capture the new scope and scale of the company. Green Cubes added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the Material Handling and Data Center markets.

Increasing industrial output and e-commerce is a key factor driving global demand for material handling equipment, and there is continued demand for online data storage that started with digital globalization and is exponentially increasing with the remote workforce. At the same time, green initiatives are gaining public and private support. While the need to decrease fossil-fuel dependency gets attention, green power storage – in the form of Lithium-ion batteries – is a necessary complementary technology.

“Expansion of warehouses and capacity across the globe has been fundamental to the global material handling battery market trends observed in the recent years,” said Christophe Pillot, Partner and Director of AVICENNE Energy. “As organizations recognize the potential to reduce total cost of ownership and meet green initiatives, we will see Li-ion based systems move further into the mainstream, specifically for 24/7 operations where the value proposition of the technology is easily recognized.”

“Our vision is to design platforms to help accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies to improve enterprise customer performance,” said Keith Washington, President and CEO of Green Cubes. “In a remarkable confluence of events, the growth in both e-commerce and online data storage are timed alongside accelerated demand for green solutions.”

Green Cubes is responding with technology innovation and manufacturing scale to meet these needs on a global level. It recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000 square foot facility. The existing production facility will continue provide Lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces Lithium-ion material handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes established two new facilities in Europe to better serve its growing overseas customer base. A new Technology Center is located in Zurich, Switzerland. This facility currently employs a high-performance team of engineers, with staff coming from Power-One, ABB and BEL Power Solutions. This facility is the center of excellence for data center and network power products, including rack-mounted Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and power conversion products. Products for the network power market are under development at this Technology Center and will be released in mid-2021. A new Production Center is located near Bratislava, Slovakia. This facility specializes in the manufacturing of battery and power conversion products for European market. Production of medium format Lithium-ion batteries for the material handling and network power market will be operational by the end of Q2, 2021. The new European team includes industry expert Jochen Schumann as Chief Technical Officer for Green Cubes. Mr. Schumann has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

With the expansion of both North American and European operations, Green Cubes has a global footprint and now has engineering centers in the United States, India and Switzerland and production facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Slovakia. An updated brand and new website capture the essence of the company.

See the original article in Material Handling Network

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Battery & Energy Storage Technology: Green Cubes expands global lithium-ion battery reach into industrial EV and data centre markets

Lithium-ion power system firm Green Cubes Technology has signalled its global ambitions with plans to expand its US facilities, branch into Europe and launch new products.

With the expansion plans Green Cubes now has engineering centers in the US, India and Switzerland and production facilities in the US, Malaysia, and Slovakia. 

In the US, the company has added 36,000 square foot to its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana, to house engineering staff and produce lithium-ion batteries for the material handling applications.

The existing production facility will provide lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market.

The company has also established two new facilities in Europe— a technology center in Switzerland and a production center in Slovakia— in a bid to grow its “overseas customer base”. 

The Zurich facility is the center of excellence for the firm’s data center and network power products, and is where products for the network power market are under development. 

The facility in Bratislav will produce medium format lithium-ion batteries for the material handling and network power market by the end of Q2, this year. 

See the original article in Battery & Energy Storage Technology

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Supply Chain Management Review: Green Cubes Technology expands sites, operations

Green Cubes Technology today announced broad company expansion and rebranding to capture the new scope and scale of the company. Green Cubes added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the material handling and data center markets.

Increasing industrial output and e-commerce is a key factor driving global demand for material handling equipment, and there is continued demand for online data storage that started with digital globalization and is exponentially increasing with the remote workforce. At the same time, green initiatives are gaining public and private support. While the need to decrease fossil-fuel dependency gets attention, green power storage – in the form of Lithium-ion batteries – is a necessary complementary technology, Green Cubes stated in explaining the drivers behind its growth.

“Expansion of warehouses and capacity across the globe has been fundamental to the global material handling battery market trends observed in the recent years,” said Christophe Pillot, Partner and Director of AVICENNE Energy, a consulting firm that researches the battery market. “As organizations recognize the potential to reduce total cost of ownership and meet green initiatives, we will see Li-ion based systems move further into the mainstream, specifically for 24/7 operations where the value proposition of the technology is easily recognized.”

“Our vision is to design platforms to help accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies to improve enterprise customer performance,” said Keith Washington, President and CEO of Green Cubes. “In a remarkable confluence of events, the growth in both e-commerce and online data storage are timed alongside accelerated demand for green solutions.”

Green Cubes recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000 square foot facility. The existing production facility will continue provide Lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces Lithium-ion material handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes established two new facilities in Europe to better serve its growing overseas customer base. A new Technology Center is located in Zurich, Switzerland. This facility currently employs a high-performance team of engineers, with staff coming from Power-One, ABB and BEL Power Solutions. This facility is the center of excellence for data center and network power products, including rack-mounted Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and power conversion products. A new Production Center is located near Bratislava, Slovakia. This facility specializes in the manufacturing of battery and power conversion products for European market. Production of medium format Lithium-ion batteries for the material handling and network power market will be operational by the end of Q2, 2021.

The new European team includes industry expert Jochen Schumann as Chief Technical Officer for Green Cubes. Mr. Schumann has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

With the expansion of both North American and European operations, Green Cubes has a global footprint and now has engineering centers in the United States, India and Switzerland and production facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Slovakia. An updated brand and new website capture the essence of the company.

See the original article in Supply Chain Management Review

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Modern Materials Handling: Green Cubes Technology expands sites, operations

Green Cubes Technology today announced broad company expansion and rebranding to capture the new scope and scale of the company. Green Cubes added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the material handling and data center markets.

Increasing industrial output and e-commerce is a key factor driving global demand for material handling equipment, and there is continued demand for online data storage that started with digital globalization and is exponentially increasing with the remote workforce. At the same time, green initiatives are gaining public and private support. While the need to decrease fossil-fuel dependency gets attention, green power storage – in the form of Lithium-ion batteries – is a necessary complementary technology, Green Cubes stated in explaining the drivers behind its growth.

“Expansion of warehouses and capacity across the globe has been fundamental to the global material handling battery market trends observed in the recent years,” said Christophe Pillot, Partner and Director of AVICENNE Energy, a consulting firm that researches the battery market. “As organizations recognize the potential to reduce total cost of ownership and meet green initiatives, we will see Li-ion based systems move further into the mainstream, specifically for 24/7 operations where the value proposition of the technology is easily recognized.”

“Our vision is to design platforms to help accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies to improve enterprise customer performance,” said Keith Washington, President and CEO of Green Cubes. “In a remarkable confluence of events, the growth in both e-commerce and online data storage are timed alongside accelerated demand for green solutions.”

Green Cubes recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000 square foot facility. The existing production facility will continue provide Lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces Lithium-ion material handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes established two new facilities in Europe to better serve its growing overseas customer base. A new Technology Center is located in Zurich, Switzerland. This facility currently employs a high-performance team of engineers, with staff coming from Power-One, ABB and BEL Power Solutions. This facility is the center of excellence for data center and network power products, including rack-mounted Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and power conversion products. A new Production Center is located near Bratislava, Slovakia. This facility specializes in the manufacturing of battery and power conversion products for European market. Production of medium format Lithium-ion batteries for the material handling and network power market will be operational by the end of Q2, 2021.

The new European team includes industry expert Jochen Schumann as Chief Technical Officer for Green Cubes. Mr. Schumann has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

With the expansion of both North American and European operations, Green Cubes has a global footprint and now has engineering centers in the United States, India and Switzerland and production facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Slovakia. An updated brand and new website capture the essence of the company.

See the original article in Modern Materials Handling

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Logistics Management: Green Cubes Technology expands sites, operations

Green Cubes Technology today announced broad company expansion and rebranding to capture the new scope and scale of the company. Green Cubes added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the material handling and data center markets.

Increasing industrial output and e-commerce is a key factor driving global demand for material handling equipment, and there is continued demand for online data storage that started with digital globalization and is exponentially increasing with the remote workforce. At the same time, green initiatives are gaining public and private support. While the need to decrease fossil-fuel dependency gets attention, green power storage – in the form of Lithium-ion batteries – is a necessary complementary technology, Green Cubes stated in explaining the drivers behind its growth.

“Expansion of warehouses and capacity across the globe has been fundamental to the global material handling battery market trends observed in the recent years,” said Christophe Pillot, Partner and Director of AVICENNE Energy, a consulting firm that researches the battery market. “As organizations recognize the potential to reduce total cost of ownership and meet green initiatives, we will see Li-ion based systems move further into the mainstream, specifically for 24/7 operations where the value proposition of the technology is easily recognized.”

“Our vision is to design platforms to help accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies to improve enterprise customer performance,” said Keith Washington, President and CEO of Green Cubes. “In a remarkable confluence of events, the growth in both e-commerce and online data storage are timed alongside accelerated demand for green solutions.”

Green Cubes recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000 square foot facility. The existing production facility will continue provide Lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces Lithium-ion material handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes established two new facilities in Europe to better serve its growing overseas customer base. A new Technology Center is located in Zurich, Switzerland. This facility currently employs a high-performance team of engineers, with staff coming from Power-One, ABB and BEL Power Solutions. This facility is the center of excellence for data center and network power products, including rack-mounted Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and power conversion products. A new Production Center is located near Bratislava, Slovakia. This facility specializes in the manufacturing of battery and power conversion products for European market. Production of medium format Lithium-ion batteries for the material handling and network power market will be operational by the end of Q2, 2021.

The new European team includes industry expert Jochen Schumann as Chief Technical Officer for Green Cubes. Mr. Schumann has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

With the expansion of both North American and European operations, Green Cubes has a global footprint and now has engineering centers in the United States, India and Switzerland and production facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Slovakia. An updated brand and new website capture the essence of the company.

See the original article in Logistics Management

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Lift and Access: Green Power Infrastructure Demands Prompt Green Cubes Technology Expansion

Green Cubes Technology announced broad company expansion and rebranding to capture the new scope and scale of the company. Green Cubes added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the Material Handling and Data Center markets.

Increasing industrial output and e-commerce is a key factor driving global demand for material handling equipment, and there is continued demand for online data storage that started with digital globalization and is exponentially increasing with the remote workforce. At the same time, green initiatives are gaining public and private support. While the need to decrease fossil-fuel dependency gets attention, green power storage – in the form of Lithium-ion batteries – is a necessary complementary technology.

“Expansion of warehouses and capacity across the globe has been fundamental to the global material handling battery market trends observed in the recent years,” said Christophe Pillot, partner and director of AVICENNE Energy. “As organizations recognize the potential to reduce total cost of ownership and meet green initiatives, we will see Li-ion based systems move further into the mainstream, specifically for 24/7 operations where the value proposition of the technology is easily recognized.”

“Our vision is to design platforms to help accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies to improve enterprise customer performance,” said Keith Washington, president and CEO of Green Cubes. “In a remarkable confluence of events, the growth in both e-commerce and online data storage are timed alongside accelerated demand for green solutions.”

Green Cubes is responding with technology innovation and manufacturing scale to meet these needs on a global level. It recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000 sq-ft. facility. The existing production facility will continue provide Lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces Lithium-ion material handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes established two new facilities in Europe to better serve its growing overseas customer base. A new Technology Center is located in Zurich, Switzerland. This facility currently employs a high-performance team of engineers, with staff coming from Power-One, ABB, and BEL Power Solutions. This facility is the center of excellence for data center and network power products, including rack-mounted Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and power conversion products. Products for the network power market are under development at this Technology Center and will be released in mid-2021. A new Production Center is located near Bratislava, Slovakia. This facility specializes in the manufacturing of battery and power conversion products for European market. Production of medium format Lithium-ion batteries for the material handling and network power market will be operational by the end of Q2, 2021. The new European team includes industry expert Jochen Schumann as chief technical officer for Green Cubes. Mr. Schumann has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

With the expansion of both North American and European operations, Green Cubes has a global footprint and now has engineering centers in the United States, India, and Switzerland and production facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Slovakia. An updated brand and new website capture the essence of the company.

See the original article in Lift and Access

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Kokomo Tribune: Green Cubes Technology announces expansion

Green Cubes Technology this past week announced broad company expansion and rebranding to capture the new scope and scale of the company.

According to a recent news release, Green Cubes added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the Material Handling and Data Center markets.

Increasing industrial output and e-commerce is a key factor driving global demand for material handling equipment, and there is continued demand for online data storage that started with digital globalization and is exponentially increasing with the remote workforce, company officials stated in the news release. At the same time, green initiatives are gaining public and private support. While the need to decrease fossil-fuel dependency gets attention, green power storage — in the form of Lithium-ion batteries — is a necessary complementary technology.

Green Cubes recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000-square-foot facility. The existing production facility will continue to provide Lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces Lithium-ion material handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes established two new facilities in Europe with a new technology center in Zurich, Switzerland, and another near Bratislava, Slovakia. The new European team includes Jochen Schumann as chief technical officer for Green Cubes. He has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high-efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

See the original article in Kokomo Tribune

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Inside Indianna Business: Battery Maker Expanding in Kokomo and Beyond

Green Cubes Technology announced broad company expansion and rebranding to capture the new scope and scale of the company. Green Cubes added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the material handling and data center markets.

Increasing industrial output and e-commerce is a key factor driving global demand for material handling equipment, and there is continued demand for online data storage that started with digital globalization and is exponentially increasing with the remote workforce. At the same time, green initiatives are gaining public and private support. While the need to decrease fossil-fuel dependency gets attention, green power storage – in the form of Lithium-ion batteries – is a necessary complementary technology.

“Expansion of warehouses and capacity across the globe has been fundamental to the global material handling battery market trends observed in the recent years,” said Christophe Pillot, partner and director of AVICENNE Energy. “As organizations recognize the potential to reduce total cost of ownership and meet green initiatives, we will see Li-ion based systems move further into the mainstream, specifically for 24/7 operations where the value proposition of the technology is easily recognized.”

“Our vision is to design platforms to help accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies to improve enterprise customer performance,” said Keith Washington, president and CEO of Green Cubes. “In a remarkable confluence of events, the growth in both e-commerce and online data storage are timed alongside accelerated demand for green solutions.”

Green Cubes is responding with technology innovation and manufacturing scale to meet these needs on a global level. It recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000 square foot facility. The existing production facility will continue provide Lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces Lithium-ion material handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes established two new facilities in Europe to better serve its growing overseas customer base. A new Technology Center is located in Zurich, Switzerland. This facility currently employs a high-performance team of engineers, with staff coming from Power-One, ABB and BEL Power Solutions. This facility is the center of excellence for data center and network power products, including rack-mounted Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and power conversion products. Products for the network power market are under development at this Technology Center and will be released in mid-2021. A new Production Center is located near Bratislava, Slovakia. This facility specializes in the manufacturing of battery and power conversion products for European market. Production of medium format Lithium-ion batteries for the material handling and network power market will be operational by the end of Q2, 2021. The new European team includes industry expert Jochen Schumann as Chief Technical Officer for Green Cubes. Mr. Schumann has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

With the expansion of both North American and European operations, Green Cubes has a global footprint and now has engineering centers in the United States, India and Switzerland and production facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Slovakia. An updated brand and new website capture the essence of the company.

See the original article in Inside Indianna Business

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Aviation Pros: Green Cubes Technology Expands to Meet Demand for Green Power Infrastructure

Green Cubes Technology announced broad company expansion and rebranding to capture the new scope and scale of the company. Green Cubes added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the material handling and data center markets.

Increasing industrial output and e-commerce is a key factor driving global demand for material handling equipment, and there is continued demand for online data storage that started with digital globalization and is exponentially increasing with the remote workforce. At the same time, green initiatives are gaining public and private support. While the need to decrease fossil-fuel dependency gets attention, green power storage – in the form of Lithium-ion batteries – is a necessary complementary technology.

“Expansion of warehouses and capacity across the globe has been fundamental to the global material handling battery market trends observed in the recent years,” said Christophe Pillot, partner and director of AVICENNE Energy. “As organizations recognize the potential to reduce total cost of ownership and meet green initiatives, we will see Li-ion based systems move further into the mainstream, specifically for 24/7 operations where the value proposition of the technology is easily recognized.”

“Our vision is to design platforms to help accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies to improve enterprise customer performance,” said Keith Washington, president and CEO of Green Cubes. “In a remarkable confluence of events, the growth in both e-commerce and online data storage are timed alongside accelerated demand for green solutions.”

Green Cubes is responding with technology innovation and manufacturing scale to meet these needs on a global level. It recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000 square foot facility. The existing production facility will continue provide Lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces Lithium-ion material handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes established two new facilities in Europe to better serve its growing overseas customer base. A new Technology Center is located in Zurich, Switzerland. This facility currently employs a high-performance team of engineers, with staff coming from Power-One, ABB and BEL Power Solutions. This facility is the center of excellence for data center and network power products, including rack-mounted Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and power conversion products. Products for the network power market are under development at this Technology Center and will be released in mid-2021. A new Production Center is located near Bratislava, Slovakia. This facility specializes in the manufacturing of battery and power conversion products for European market. Production of medium format Lithium-ion batteries for the material handling and network power market will be operational by the end of Q2, 2021. The new European team includes industry expert Jochen Schumann as Chief Technical Officer for Green Cubes. Mr. Schumann has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

With the expansion of both North American and European operations, Green Cubes has a global footprint and now has engineering centers in the United States, India and Switzerland and production facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Slovakia. An updated brand and new website capture the essence of the company.

See the original article in Aviation Pros

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Forklift Action: Green Cubes expands

Battery maker Green Cubes has announced broad company expansion to capture the new scope and scale of the company. Green Cubes has added North American facilities, established operations in Europe and is expanding product lines for the materials handling and data centre markets.

Green Cubes recently expanded its engineering and production facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. In addition to the existing facility, Green Cubes added another 36,000 sqft. (3,300 sqm) facility. The existing production facility will continue to provide lithium-ion batteries for the mobile medical workstation market, while the new facility houses engineering staff and produces materials handling batteries.

Additionally, Green Cubes has established two new facilities in Europe to better serve its growing overseas customer base. A new technology centre is located in Zurich, Switzerland. This facility currently employs a high-performance team of engineers, with staff coming from Power-One, ABB and BEL Power Solutions.

A new production centre is located near Bratislava, Slovakia. This facility specialises in the manufacturing of battery and power conversion products for the European market. Production of medium-format lithium-ion batteries for the materials handling and network power market will be operational by the end of Q2, 2021.

The new European team includes industry expert Jochen Schumann as chief technical officer for Green Cubes. Schumann has over 25 years of demonstrated experience in designing high efficiency AC/DC and DC/DC converters, as well as the management of global engineering teams in the power industry.

With the expansion of both North American and European operations, Green Cubes has a global footprint and now has engineering centres in the United States, India and Switzerland, and production facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Slovakia.

See the original article in Forklift Action

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Data Center Industry News: Fork lift battery maker Green Cubes prepares to enter data center Li-ion market

Green Cubes hires experienced team in Switzerland and prepares manufacturing in Slovakia

Green Cubes, an established maker of lithium-ion batteries is planning a big expansion into digital infrastructure.

The US-based company, established in 1986, makes mobile batteries for markets including forklift trucks. Backed by new investment, it is expanding its US manufacturing and establishing new teams for development and manufacturing in Europe, with plans to launch “network power” products aimed at data centers later this year.

Charging into data centers

“We’re standing up production in Europe, and developing products,” Jeffrey VanZwol, chief marketing officer, told DCD. “When we develop solutions we try to facilitate migration from Old World power (lead acid and internal combustion) to New world Power. We feel the network power market is at the tipping point, with a high conversion rate to lithium-ion.”

green cubes

Green Cubes currently makes battery packs for forklift trucks, and for electric vehicles used in airports. It also makes battery-powered units for mobile medical terminals. In March 2020, the company had investment from JMC Capital Partners, and is using that money to expand its internal structure and develop new products, said VanZwol.

“Bloomberg predicts that by 2025, 40 percent of the data center market will use Li-ion batteries, and in hyperscale data centers penetration will be even higher, at 55 percent,” he said. “In new infrastructure, Li-ion is an equal footing for speccing out new builds.”

Green Cubes has hired thirty people in Europe, including an engineering team in Zurich, Switzerland, all of whom previously worked for Power-One, Bel Power, and ABB, said VanZwol: “The whole team has been in network power for over 10 years.” The products they eventually launch will be in rack-mounted battery backup, but no details are currently available, he said.

The forklift batteries won’t be standing still meanwhile: they will gain faster charging, embedded Internet of Things monitoring, and the ability to be charged wirelessly, said VanZwol.

Production facilities will be set up near Bratislava in Slovakia, where the data center products will be initially developed. The Slovakian operation will also make batteries from Green Cubes’ existing lines for the European market. The company is also expanding its existing facility in Kokomo Indiana, with 36,000 sq ft of new manufacturing space.

VanZwol said the factory will be up and running by the end of Q2, which should be in time to deliver the network power products, which are due in mid-2021.

See the orginal article in Data Center Industry News

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Electronic Design: The Lithium-Ion Cells and Chemistries You Need to Know

An industry insider’s snapshot of Li-ion battery cells, covering the most popular sizes, formats, and chemistries. Given the diversity of Li-ion cells available, the focus is on cylindrical and prismatic cells in metal cases.

See the original article

What you’ll learn:

  • The latest trends in lithium-ion cell sizes, formats, and chemistries.
  • What are the performance characteristics of popular lithium-ion cells? 
  • Who are the major cell suppliers for each lithium-ion cell chemistry?

The foundational building block of the batteries that supply power to everything from consumer electronics to electric vehicles is the lithium-ion cell.

Lithium-ion cells tend not to be standalone parts. They’re connected in series and parallel, forming a final assembly called a battery pack. But for each battery pack, the selected cell is what comes to define the lifespan and performance of the overall battery.  The cell performance characteristics determine the size, weight, voltage, current, power, and environmental capabilities of the final battery pack. 

Lithium-ion cells come in three basic form factors: cylindrical, prismatic (or brick-shaped), and the flat rectangular shape of lithium-polymer cells. The standard formats for metal-encased cylindrical cells are 18650 (18 mm in diameter × 65 mm tall), 21700 (21 × 70 mm), or 26650 (26 × 65 mm). Within cylindrical and prismatic cells, layers of battery material are rolled inside like a jelly roll. Lithium-ion cylindrical and prismatic cells are packaged in metal cans.

Prismatic, or brick-shaped, cells are often cost-effective and available in myriad sizes. One of the major features of a prismatic cell is the pressure vent with terminals on top of the metal can. The positive and negative terminals on the prismatic cell are tabs protruding from the cell. In multi-cell battery packs with space constraints, prismatics are recommended as their rectangular shape results in minimal air gaps between the cells. 

Lithium-polymer cells, sometimes called “laminate” cells, are available in custom footprints. They can be very thin or bulky depending on the required format. The primary advantage of lithium-polymer batteries is the wide range of form factors available. These types of cells are encased in inflexible aluminum-foil laminate pouches that measure only 0.1-mm thick, compared to the 0.25- to 0.40-mm thickness of the aluminum or steel cans used to enclose cylindrical or prismatic cells. Unlike cylindrical cells, there aren’t many standard footprints in the lithium-polymer category.  This results in an array of cell offerings.

Lithium-polymer cells are preferred by major manufacturers of smartphones and other portable devices because they offer more flexible footprints. Over the last decade, many personal computers have shifted from cylindrical to lithium-polymer cells, opening the door to thinner, lighter laptops and tablets.

Cell Chemistry Trends

With lithium-ion cells, the underlying chemistry determines the performance characteristics of the cells. Lots of cell chemistries have been introduced over the last decade, and clear trends have emerged from each of these formulas. The most common cell chemistries are lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA), lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC), and lithium iron phosphate (LFP). 

Ten years ago, LCO was the most common chemistry for cylindrical and prismatic cells. However, NMC has vaulted ahead with the best performance characteristics of all cell chemistries. It’s also more economical as it uses less cobalt, which is in limited supply and expensive.

Nickel and manganese enhance each other’s characteristics, and variations of the basic formula result in more advanced, higher power cells. Industry analysts estimate that NMC will account for 20% of all lithium-ion battery cells on the market by 2025. In addition, NMC is the preference for manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs). The leading NMC cell manufacturers include BYD, LG, Murata, Panasonic/Sanyo, and Samsung. 

The LFP chemistry also offers good electrochemical performance with low impedance, as it uses a phosphate material for the cathode. Key advantages are high current delivery and exceptional cycle life, good thermal stability, and superior safety against abusive conditions. These types of cells have an intrinsically safer cathode material than NMC batteries and don’t decompose at higher temperatures. Lithium-ion cells tend to contain highly flammable substances; if they’re damaged or overcharged, they can overheat uncontrollably in a thermal runaway. The overheating may result in smoke, fires, or even explosions.

LFP batteries provide the best thermal and chemical stability. In addition, because LFP has less energy density (in both volume and weight), and a higher cost per watt-hour than LCO, NCA, NMC, or LFP batteries, it’s ideal for applications that need high-power ratings, long cycle life, or elevated operating temperatures. Traditionally, there’s been very little overlap of LCO/NCA/NMC and LFP in their specific applications.  The leading LFP cell manufacturers include BAK, BYD, CALB, and CATL. 

NMC battery cells are displacing LFP cells in some applications due to increasing power ratings, high energy density, and lower cost per watt-hour. They’re also starting to replace LFP cells in high-power systems, such as power tools, batteries for material handling equipment, and powertrains for electric buses.

For each cell chemistry, segmentation exists within each category as battery manufacturers push their products to the high-energy or high-power segment of the market. We’re starting to see more overlap between high-power NMC and high-energy LFP cells. In many cases, there’s no longer a clearly superior cell chemistry for a specific set of performance requirements. 

Green Cubes Technology manufactures battery packs for many industrial applications, and the company generally uses NMC or LFP cells. The performance gap between NMC and LFP is closing. 

Cell Format Trends

To review: Lithium-ion cells packed in metal enclosures come in two shapes—cylindrical and prismatic. 

Cylindrical cells come in many formats, but traditionally, the most popular format for the LCO, NCA, and NMC battery cells has been the 18650. And when Panasonic partnered with Tesla to create a new EV battery, they developed the unique 21700 cell format.

Expanding the 18650 cell dimensions by several millimeters (Fig. 1) results in a 50% volumetric increase for the battery’s active material. This cell size is now currently supported by most leading NMC cell manufacturers. As a result, the 18650 and 21700 are the two most common formats for NMC chemistry.  If you select a 18650 or 21700 cell to construct a NMC battery pack, finding an alternate cell with similar performance is assured given the standardization.

1. The illustration compares the 18650 and 21700 cell sizes.

According to industry analysts, more than 2 billion cells based on the 21700 format were shipped in 2020, a 25% increase over the previous year. These types of cells also accounted for 24% of all cylindrical batteries shipped in 2020, other estimates show. The 26650 cell isn’t commonly paired with the NMC chemistry. Smaller prismatic NMC formats, such as the 103450 (10 × 34 × 50 mm), have fallen out of favor in recent years as lithium-polymer cells have become more popular.

For LFP cells, the 18650 and 26650 formats are common; both tend to be offered by leading LFP cell manufacturers (Fig. 2). That enables dual sourcing from competing cell manufacturers when choosing LFP cells for a battery pack. The 26650 format has been largely limited to the LFP cell chemistry. Large prismatic LFP cells, in the 50- to 100-Ah range, have risen in popularity over the last several years.

2. Performance characteristics of typical 18650 NMC and LFP cells.

Larger LFP prismatic formats are commonly used in electric vehicles or industrial equipment such as forklifts (Fig. 3). These batteries are classified as medium- or large-format, and demand very-high-power ratings. Unfortunately, standards are scarce for large-format prismatic LFP cells, so any cell selected for a battery pack will be single-sourced from a specific manufacturer.

3. This medium-format forklift battery is based on 100-Ah LFP cells.

Conclusion

When developing a mobile or portable device that uses lithium-ion batteries to supply power, it’s important to keep in mind the various cell formats and chemistries on the market. Cell selection is the most critical decision in the early design stage of not only the battery pack, but also the end device. Choosing a lithium-ion format and chemistry with market momentum can help guarantee a long lifecycle for the cell and provide a roadmap of performance and cost improvements throughout the cell’s life.

Jeffrey VanZwol

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Podcast: Powering Up with Lithium-Ion

Jeffrey VanZwol joins Kevin Lawton for Episode 137 of The New Warehouse podcast, Powering Up with Lithium-Ion. The podcast recap can be read below, or accessed in full here.

In this episode, Kevin is joined by two material handling energy experts for the Material Handling Wholesaler February 2021 Cover Story entitled “The Dollars and Sense of Lithium-Ion Battery Technology” now available at MHWmag.com. His two guests were the Chief Marketing Officer for Green Cubes Technology, Jeff VanZwol and Damon Hosmer who is the Product Manager for Energy Solutions at The Raymond Corporation. They discuss their lithium-ion solutions, justifying the cost, the chemistry, and future of lithium-ion.

Green Cubes joins Kevin Lawton for The New Warehouse Podcast Episode 147.

Key Takeaways
Damon was very excited to join the show as The Raymond Corporation just recently launched their Energy Essentials lithium-ion battery line. He discusses what their goals are for the line and why they are investing in bringing lithium-ion to the market. We also discuss how Raymond can help you to determine if lithium-ion is the right decision for your operation. Interestingly there are some additional benefits that you may not realize right away. One of these being the increased space on the machine and what you can do with that additional real estate.

Jeff joins the discussion from Green Cubes Technology which is a battery manufacturer. He gives a great perspective on how to really look at the ROI for lithium-ion and be able to justify the higher upfront costs. While lithium-ion has a higher upfront cost than traditional power sources like lead-acid, it saves more money over a longer time period. It does this because you are able to charge more efficiently and you are also moving away from battery swapping which saves on maintenance costs. He also discusses how Green Cubes will help you to do an overall power study to determine how lithium-ion can help and benefit you.

One of the questions I had for both of them was what the life of these batteries is like since we know in some lithium-ion battery applications, like a cellphone, excessive charging can cause reduced battery life. Jeff and Damon give great in-depth insights into the different types of chemistry and how they can vary but due to these chemistry makeups, there is no battery life reduction like you would experience in a cell phone or laptop. I’m not much of a chemist but Damon really breaks it down and also gives a great explanation as to why Raymond chose a certain one.

While there is still much to learn about lithium-ion, it is pretty clear that we are in the early stages of growth. We are very much in the state where electric vehicles were a few years ago and as electric vehicle popularity increases in the consumer world, we will certainly see an increase in the commercial world as well. The technology is ready and now it is up to operations to make the swap if it is a right fit. There are many benefits presented in this episode and more beyond that as well. It will be very interesting to see how to market adoption continues to grow over the next few years.

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Materials Handling Wholesaler: The Dollars and Sense of Lithium-ion Battery Technology

Jeffrey VanZwol is interviewed in an article in Materials Handling Wholesaler magazine. The full article can be read below or accessed here.

Though the material handling industry continues to see lithium-ion batteries as a greener solution to their lead-acid predecessors, switching to this battery technology can also add a little greener to your bottom line in the form of dollars.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to grasp how a technology that requires a larger upfront investment can actually result in cost savings over time.

“There’s a lot of interest and misunderstanding when it comes to lithium-ion technology,” says Frank Russo, vice president sales, marketing, dealer development at HC Forklift America. “Customers are seeking facts. There’s also cynicism in new alternative fuels because of the past offerings that never lived up to their hep. Lithium-ion batteries bring new life to our industry as they really reduce operating costs with maintenance-free batteries.”

And therein lies the crux of it: don’t judge a lithium-ion battery by its acquisition cost. Calculating the true cost requires a much more complex algorithm.

The Lithium-Ion Equation

According to Damon Hosmer, project manager – energy solutions with the Raymond Corp., this is a calculation more material handlers are doing.

“The market adaption during the past seven to eight months has been unprecedented,” he says, noting that his company is getting daily inquiries from countries internationally. “It’s the new normal with the e-comm boom.”

Hosmer says that the cost of lithium-ion batteries really includes a variety of areas beyond upfront cost, though that remains a driving factor.

“It’s really twice the cost or twice the life,” he says, noting that Raymond Corp focuses on the chemistry of its batteries to ensure top performance, which remains one of three key factors for customers trying to decide if an investment in lithium-ion batteries is in their future.

“The first is battery life and performance,” he says. “Companies are looking at maximizing their facilities – they’re getting taller – and they are really starting to look at life and performance along with the cost of the battery.”

“The efficiencies of lithium that we emphasize are roughly 20 percent more up-time for your truck with faster charging and eliminating battery swaps,” says Jeffrey VanZwol, chief marketing officer for Green Cubes Technology. “Lithium-ion batteries reduce electrical costs due to a better charger efficiency, say 97 percent vs. roughly 75-80 percent for lead-acid. That is at least a 15 percent reduction in your electrical expenses allocated to battery charging.

Secondly, Hosmer says safety has actually become a factor, particularly with the changes that have occurred with COVID-19. Procurement across the board now includes risk mitigation, and companies are looking for solutions that reduce operator risk to harmful situations as well as human error.

“Finally, we take our customers through a cost justification exercise so they can really see their return on investment over time,” he says. “When we are able to fire up a real valuation, they can see that lithium-ion batteries can provide a significant amount of value over time.”

VanZwol agrees.

“We start off with a power study to make sure the customer will benefit from lithium-ion batteries in their selected application, as lithium-ion is not a panacea solution for all applications,” he says. “The output of that power study is fed into our ROI calculator, where we compute and explain the CAPEX/OPEX efficiencies that they will experience.”

VanZwol adds that over a three-year period, the CAPEX outlay for lead-acid and lithium-ion is the same, except that you will need to make a larger CAPEX investment upfront with lithium-ion. In return for that up-front investment, VanZwol says lithium-ion really knocks down the OPEX expenses, such as truck downtime for battery swaps, electrical power costs, and motor maintenance expenses, along with supporting a green or zero-emission initiative.

The suspicion remains about the technology

It’s important to focus on solid numbers and projections, as suspicions remain about the technology.

Russo says that customer concerns are primarily focused on two areas.

“Concerns are mostly related to recycling the battery after its life span,” he says. “There’s also pessimism as it relates to working in various ambient temperatures, along with working in extreme temperatures,” he says, noting that lithium batteries supplied by Hangcha have temperature-controlled battery compartments to deal with extreme temperatures.

As the technology behind lithium-ion batteries continues to advance and evolve, many of these older concerns are being addressed. Additionally, manufacturers are more attuned to the concerns raised by the marketplace and are working to address them.

“The pace of adoption has been steady, but it still is early days from my perspective,” says VanZwol. “The adoption is more rapid, and the ROI is higher, in certain segments like cold storage or multi-shift operations.

He says that many of the early adopters have taken advantage of “very clear and unambiguous benefits.”

“As these early adopters start to evangelize and become reference sites for other industries, like non-refrigerated or single-shift operations, then I expect to see faster adoption across all markets.”

New innovation fuels the marketplace

The return customers are seeing when calculating the potential ROI on lithium-iron batteries will only continue to improve. Many manufacturers and suppliers are focused on not only improving quality but also performance.

Hosmer reports that on Dec. 1, 2020, Raymond Corp. started the distribution of its new Energy Essentials line, a fast-charging power solution housed in a denser footprint, which provides customers with a comprehensive solution supporting the company’s entire line of forklifts.

“It’s also the first UL-listed lift-truck battery available,” he notes.

Green Cubes Technology continues to expand its cloud-software application, which gives customers better control and remote management capabilities.

“We provide the data and analytics to ensure our customers have the usage information on their batteries, which enables them to verify they have their expected ROI.

In the 1Q 2021, HC Forklift America will release nine new lithium-ion models.

“With this release, we’ll have a complete line of lithium-ion product to cover classes I, II, and II up with the capacity to 10,000 pounds,” says Russo.

To listen to Chief Marketing Officer for Green Cubes Technology, Jeff VanZwol and Damon Hosmer who is the Product Manager for Energy Solutions at The Raymond Corporation about Lithium-ion batteries, Click here with moderator Kevin Lawton at The New Warehouse.

About the Author:

Laurie Arendt is an award-winning business writer based in Wisconsin. Her writing regularly appears in national trade publications in a variety of industries. To contact Laurie, email editorial@MHWmag.com.

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Forklift Action: Best Practices for Opportunity Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries

Green Cubes Technology contributed an article forkliftaction.com. The full article can be read below, or accessed here.

The article presents opportunity charging as a practice applicable to both lead acid and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for motive power systems, especially for materials handling equipment.

Opportunity charging is a practice applicable to both lead acid and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for motive power systems and especially useful for materials handling equipment. These practices can be applied to all classes of handling equipment – from small pallet jacks to four-wheel forklifts and large turret trucks.

Charging lead acid batteries
Different lead acid battery types are available for motive power including the Thin Pure Plate Lead (TPPL), Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) and the widely used, most common Flooded Lead Acid (FLA). For optimal cycle and calendar life of FLA batteries, manufacturers recommend that the daily cycle for batteries consist of:
1) using and discharging the batteries, typically over an eight-hour shift;
2) 8-10 hours of conventional charging at a C/5 rate (i.e. ~20 Amps per every 100 Amp-Hours);
3) resting for an eight-hour cool-down period.

Determine whether there are opportunities for ad hoc or scheduled charging.

Additionally, it is critical to equalise the battery on a weekly basis: charging the battery to 100% state of charge and reducing the build-up of sulphates. This conventional charge/discharge regimen is reinforced by FLA battery manufacturers through their warranties; thus each battery experiences one full charge and discharge cycle per day. Note that FLA batteries can be opportunity charged (typically 25 Amps per 100 Amp-Hour or C/4 rate) and fast charged (typically up to 50 Amps per 100 Amp-Hour or C/2 rate), but these unconventional FLA charge regimens shorten or violate the manufacturer warranties.

If an enterprise follows guidelines from the manufacturer, then they can expect to receive 500-1,000 cycles from their FLA batteries before they start to experience permanent capacity fade. The implication of this recommended charge regimen is that equipment used on a single shift may need one or two batteries for each vehicle. If the enterprise operates a multi-shift operation, then more than one battery is definitely required per vehicle. So, at a minimum, multi-shift operations dictate a battery swap when the shift changes.

Charging Li-ion batteries
Li-ion batteries are preferably charged using a constant current/constant voltage (CC/CV) charge regimen, but most materials handling equipment batteries are designed to accept both CC/CV and FLA charge regimens. One common characteristic of all Li-ion batteries is that, regardless of the state of charge of the battery when connected to the charger, the battery will efficiently accept the power and increase its state of charge. Whether the battery has been connected to the charger for 15 minutes or two hours, that battery can be immediately discharged and used by the equipment as there is no need to cool or rest a Li-ion battery after charging.

The Li-ion cell chemistry has numerous chemical variants. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) chemistry is the predominant chemistry used to power materials handling equipment. LFP chemistry is differentiated from its Li-ion cousins on several dimensions, including:
1) exceptionally long cycle life (2,000 – 4,000 cycles to reach 80% of the original capacity);
2) high power capabilities for both charge and discharge;
3) lower energy/density than other Li-ion variants.

The long cycle life means an LFP battery can be installed and remain in the equipment until it is retired (i.e. no battery swaps for the equipment life). More importantly, since LFP chemistry can accommodate high power delivered to and from the battery, a depleted LFP battery can accept a full charge in one hour. This charge does not need to be delivered in one charging session. Rather, it can be delivered throughout the shift when the operator has down-time (for example, a break or lunch). Since LFP batteries can accept partial charges between use and a depleted battery can be charged within one hour, Li-ion is the optimal chemistry for opportunity charging.

Beyond opportunity charging, some secondary benefits of adopting Li-ion batteries to power your fleet include the release of warehouse floor space, the elimination of battery handling and changing equipment, and the reduction of personnel affiliated with the charging process. Additionally, operators can eliminate the cross-area travel time from their normal work areas to the battery room to change out batteries. Finally, the potentially hazardous task of swapping heavy batteries is not necessary, thus minimising employee injuries.

Best practices to exploit opportunity charging
Listed below are the guidelines that Green Cubes Technology has developed to assist our customers in maximising their return on investment in Li-ion batteries and charging infrastructure. Opportunity charging has a multiplier effect on the positive return for adopting Li-ion batteries.

  1. Understand the existing operational workflow of the operators/equipment/batteries to assess the available time per shift to connect to a charger. This can be established through a power study where the operator/equipment/battery activity is monitored for up to four weeks, and worst-case usage models should not be ignored. Based on the data, one can determine whether there are adequate opportunities for ad hoc (eg. coffee break) or scheduled (eg. lunch) charging throughout the shift. If there is no down-time for the equipment throughout the shift, then the batteries will need to be charged for an hour before the shift. Or, the operator’s existing work flow can be modified so that there is some down-time made available for opportunity charging the equipment.
  2. Single-shift vs. multi-shift operations can determine the value of opportunity charging for an enterprise. If the enterprise operates a single-shift operation, a fully charged Li-ion (or FLA) battery should power that vehicle through the shift. However, when a second (or third) shift is needed, then opportunity charging can be used to recharge that integrated battery in increments and ensure that the equipment is powered through all the shifts.
  3. Rather than charging FLA batteries in a centralised battery maintenance room, the enterprise can distribute the Li-ion charging stations near break rooms and heavy work areas. This will encourage and enable operators to charge their equipment when the operators have down-time or are not using their equipment. Decentralised charging stations eliminate the operators’ travel time from their work area to the battery maintenance room as well.
  4. Assess existing FLA chargers to determine if they are compatible with the Li-ion batteries. There are some charging parameters, such as voltage limits, that need to be aligned between the battery and charger. But most FLA chargers are typically compatible with Li-Ion batteries, enabling the use of the existing charging infrastructure for opportunity charging.
  5. Assess the power output of the existing FLA and Li-ion charging infrastructure. As mentioned earlier, the conventional FLA battery charge regimen is a C/5 rate over an eight-hour period. With opportunity charging, the Li-ion battery should be charged throughout the shift at a 1 C rate for a total accumulated time of one hour. The implication is the power rating on the charger must be much higher when opportunity charging. As an example, a 48 Volt 500 Amp-Hour FLA battery could be charged with a 5 kW charger over an eight hour period, while a similarly-sized Li-ion battery would require a 25 kW charger for a one hour period.
  6. Consider a multi-voltage battery if opportunity charging is desired but there is not adequate down-time within a shift. A multi-voltage battery has a power switching fabric within the battery electronics. The charger’s charge voltage is set at twice the equipment’s operating voltage, and the battery electronics then steps down the received power to the equipment’s operating voltage. The charger delivers twice the amount of power when charging at twice the voltage, therefore the charge time is reduced by 50%. Multi-voltage battery options are available in 24 v (24/48), 36 v (36/72) and 48 v (48/96) battery configurations.
  7. Consider the equipment/charger ratio. The best case for operators is a 1:1 ratio, so all operators can take their lunch together and each piece of equipment can be charged during this down-time. If the enterprise can stagger coffee/lunch breaks or run the fleet between 50-100% utilisation, then they can reduce this ratio down to 2:1 and still ensure that all equipment has unfettered access to the local charger.
  8. Assess your operators’ behaviour after you have introduced opportunity charging. Some Li-ion batteries have embedded Internet of Things (IoT) computing, WiFi transceivers and cloud-based applications so the enterprise can remotely monitor their operators’ adoption and effectiveness with opportunity charging. One simple measure is monitoring the state of charge of each piece of equipment/battery throughout the day. Any operators/equipment consistently operating in the 5-20% state of charge range may need some retraining on opportunity charging.

Summary
Li-ion batteries, combined with opportunity charging, enable an enterprise to operate their fleet without productivity loss affiliated with charging or swapping batteries. Opportunity charging can increase the velocity of your business and improve the utilisation of your MH equipment fleet. Secondary benefits include the reuse of warehouse floor space allocated to battery rooms, the elimination of FLA battery handling and changing equipment, and the equipment’s travel time to the battery room to swap batteries.

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Mobile Technology Carts on the Move

Green Cubes Technology was featured in an Electronic Design “Power Management” piece. The full article can be read below, or accessed here.

This article presents the two competing architectures that provide uninterrupted power for medical and industrial mobile workstations: in-base power architectures and swappable battery systems.

Jeffrey VanZwol, Nov 23, 2020


What you’ll learn:

  • Which types of medical and industrial devices can be mobilized on workstations with integrated power sources.
  • Understand the two types of competing power architectures that are used power mobile workstations—in-base power or swappable battery systems.
  • Understand the trends with Li-ion cell chemistry used in medical and industrial workstations.
Continue reading Mobile Technology Carts on the Move
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Forklift Action: “Accessories: efficient warehouse solutions”

Green Cubes Technology was featured in Forklift Action’s warehouse efficiency piece. The full article can be read below, or accessed here.

Accessories: efficient warehouse solutions

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 ( #950 )

In part one of the warehouse efficiency featureForkliftaction looked at how materials handling equipment can improve your warehouse bottom line. In part two, Melissa Barnett examines the range of modern accessories that can give materials handling equipment an enhanced ability to boost efficiency and productivity.

Continue reading Forklift Action: “Accessories: efficient warehouse solutions”
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Aviation Pro: “Lithium Technology’s Charge into the GSE Market”

Green Cubes Technology’s Anthony Cooper was highlighted in Aviation Pro’s article by Josh Smith about how lithium batteries are changing the GSE market. Learn more about how Green Cubes Tech’s Lithium SAFEFlex batteries can help your Ground Support Equipment go green!

The maintenance-free batteries offer big power in a small footprint while powering environmentally conscious ground handling operations. The article can be read below or viewed here.

Lithium Technology’s Charge into the GSE Market

Josh Smith
Oct 17th, 2019

As ground service providers seek ways to remain efficient on the ramp while being conscious of their environmental impact, lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technology is becoming an appealing power supply option for ground support equipment (GSE).

Continue reading Aviation Pro: “Lithium Technology’s Charge into the GSE Market”
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Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance 2018 Report

Green Cubes Technology is featured in the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance 2018 Report for opening up new jobs and investing in the city of Kokomo. Green Cubes Technology was responsible for 71 new jobs and investing $1.8 million into their Kokomo based business. The majority of this was generated from “constructing a new facility to house their headquarters, research and development and assembly operations.”

This report can be found here.

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Kokomo Tribune: “Kokomo ranks 4th in nation in job growth”

Green Cubes Technology was in the Kokomo Tribune where they highlighted Green Cubes as one of the Kokomo businesses who were contributing to Kokomo’s job growth. Read the article below, or at the Kokomo Tribune site here.

Kokomo ranks 4th in nation in job growth

Findings further bolster city’s strong post-recession recovery

By George Myers Kokomo Tribune

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Inside Indiana Business: “Battery Systems Manufacturer Expanding in Kokomo”

Green Cubes Technology was in Inside Indiana Business today where they highlighted our plans to build a new facility and expand our workforce. Read the article below, or at the Inside Indiana Business site here.

Battery Systems Manufacturer Expanding in kokomo

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 8:32 AM PDT
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 11:04 AM PDT

By Alex Brown, Multimedia Journalist

Kokomo-based Green Cubes Technology has announced plans to expand its Howard County operations. The company, which manufactures advanced battery power systems, will invest $1.8 million to build a new global headquarters and create more than 70 jobs by the end of 2021.

Continue reading Inside Indiana Business: “Battery Systems Manufacturer Expanding in Kokomo”
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Kokomo Tribune: “Green Cubes Technology to build new facility, expand workforce”

Green Cubes Technology was in the Kokomo Tribune today where they highlighted our plans to build a new facility and expand our workforce. Read the article below, or at the Kokomo Tribune site here.

Green Cubes Technology to build new facility, expand workforce

Move brings to fruition officials’ goal of expanding local tech industry

By George Myers Kokomo Tribune

Apr 23, 2018

Continue reading Kokomo Tribune: “Green Cubes Technology to build new facility, expand workforce”

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