Celectric receives an award for BELATRON High efficiency charging systems
The KEMA test centre (Keuring van Elektrotechnische Materialen at Arnhem or ‘electrical inspection establishment at Arnhem’ in English) is well-known in the Netherlands. It has advised and assisted government organizations, manufacturers, suppliers and consumers in the electrical industry since as far back as 1927. The KEMA KEUR label, issued by KEMA, lets the consumer know that the product has been tested and is safe - just like the standard seal of approval issued by the VDE Testing and Certification Institute. As one of the first providers of storage solutions in the Netherlands, Celetric received a KEMA-KEUR certification for the BELATRON high-efficiency charging system developed by BENNING.
The complete product line was subjected to a comprehensive test by KEMA at the BENNING plant in Bocholt, which resulted in its being rated energy efficiency class I. This makes the BELATRON one of the few charging systems in the Netherlands which scores the best of the six energy classes of the BMWT efficiency labels. BMWT is a specialist Dutch association for manufacturers and importers of construction machinery, storage facilities, road construction and traffic engineering. One of several prerequisites for the certification was the detection of a sinusoidal current consumption with a power factor of almost 1, which generates no reactive power consumption and means peak current values can be considerably reduced. Likewise, the BELATRON EMC values for industrial areas also meet the significantly lower limits for residential and commercial areas and has a very low total input distortion (THDi).
POWER News (Pn) discussed the high energy efficiency in terms of CO2 emissions and the other quality characteristics of the Celectric products with Mr. Bas Tabor, Celectric's sales manager. View an extract from that interview below:
Pn: Mr. Tabor, the BENNING company is one of your powerful long-standing partners. To what extent does the BELATRON traction charging system, for which you have received the KEMA-KEUR certification, differ from conventional chargers
Tabor: We offer our products and services in a wide range of market segments. For this reason, we need a BELATRON series charging device from BENNING, which meets EMC limits for all areas. An important and special feature of the BELATRON charging system is that it uses a controlled charging curve which prevents any short charging or overloading caused by fluctuating mains voltages. Compared with conventional chargers, this reduces power consumption during the charging process by 25% - resulting in a significant reduction in energy costs and significantly lower CO2 emissions. Energy-efficient products such as the BELATRON are subsidised in the Netherlands by the Energy Investerings Aftrek (in English: Energy investment allowance), to add yet another advantage.
Pn: How does the CO2 reduction associated with the BELATRON translate into kilowatt hours?
Tabor: If we assume that a conventional 48 V to 500 Ah drive battery is charged 240 days a year with a BELATRON High Efficiency Charger, then the electrical energy saved compared with a conventional charger is about 1900 kWh. When generating the electrical energy required to charge a battery, approximately one-half kilogram of CO2 is released per kilowatt hour. Every kilowatt hour saved reduces CO2 emissions and is therefore a contribution to climate protection. The energy saved reduces CO2 emissions by 980 kg and is comparable to the CO2 emissions from a diesel vehicle, which covers more than 7000 kilometres.
Pn: This is indeed an impressive amount. Let us briefly remain on the topic of environmental protection. When we think of batteries, we think mainly about their chemistry, lead and acid, but less about how environmentally friendly they are. How do you deal with that?
Tabor: That may be true, but I can assure you that the products we offer are highly environmentally-friendly. We are convinced electrical energy is a green alternative to natural resources. So we offer these with a very clear objective: We aim to be the best supplier of innovative and future-oriented energy storage solutions such as lithium-ion systems or fuel cells. To achieve this and offer maximum quality and emission-reducing products, we work together companies like BENNING, which complies with the specified ISO standards.
Pn: How do you assess the use of lithiumion systems in ecological and economic terms?
Tabor: The use of lithium-ion systems is proving to be rational and profitable. In many cases, we already rely on these systems when planning new installations. They reduce the energy costs required by another 30% or so - the same also applies to CO2 emissions. And being able to charge batteries midway through their lives compared with lead-acid batteries offers considerably more flexibility in practice.
Pn: Let's go back once again to the chargers you offer. How far does their quality affect the aging of lead-acid batteries?
Tabor: With highly-efficient chargers such as the BELATRON already mentioned, special emphasis is placed on optimizing the charging factor in the characteristics provided for wet batteries. In addition, the acid mixing required in these batteries in the recharge phase is carried out by a very effective pulse charge. As a result, the gassing phase can be shortened so that the water consumption and the temperature rise in the battery is reduced. Reducing the re-charging time reduces maintenance costs, leads to a reduced electrical energy consumption and boosts the working life of the drive battery. The charging electronics also optimize the charging factor when recharging partially-discharged batteries and ensure full charging, generating little heat and reducing water consumption.
Pn: Your company is not only responsible for the sale or leasing of high-quality and futureoriented products from the field of energy supply, but also as an innovative service provider. What exactly is your service philosophy?
Tabor: More than 70% of our employees work in customer-oriented roles. In other words, they deal directly with our customers, advise them in choosing the right energy system, or operation, installation and maintenance directly on site. Transparency is absolutely vital here. Our customers always receive a complete overview of costs and services. benefit from a high level of flexibility. We always carry out repairs and maintenance work quickly and reliably and guarantee a flexible contract design, which is perfectly tailored to individual customer requirements. Our contract services are based
on the special requirements profiles of our customers at the time the contract is signed - and if customer requirements change during the contract period, we can adjust the contract retrospectively.
Pn: You said when we started that you are developing your services to be progressively more customer-oriented. Can you give an example?
Tabor: With pleasure. Because of our many years of experience with the servicing and maintenance of traction batteries and charging rectification, we have developed the Celectric Secure program - a complete service package that offers an all-inclusive fault rectification with up to 1500 charging cycles. During this time, the customer is provided with a complete overview of the costs and services required for the maintenance of his energy supply, e.g. for the electric truck. This makes Celectric Secure a major contribution to maximizing deployment, combined with efficient cost management for all electrical
vehicles used in the company. This way, the customer saves money and can always see what is happening.
Pn: You also need to factor your own costs into servicing effectively, of course. How can you reconcile this with evaluating each battery within the fleet?
Tabor: We use BENNING traction monitoring. For smaller installations, we can simply access the protocols stored in the chargers via a laptop and a USB port and evaluate them for each battery. This is an option that can even be implemented online at larger charging stations – so batteries can be maintained preventively, i.e. before they fail or shut down.
Pn: Assuming you plan and install a complete charging station, to what extent does space efficiency play a role?
Tabor: Many of our customers would naturally rather not provide space for this - but this is only possible with decentralized charging as with the LIONIC systems, so it cannot yet be used everywhere in practice. BENNING also offers an optimal solution with the BELATRON UC. This is modularly expandable and can accommodate twelve charging modules in a footprint of only 80 x 80 cm with up to 24 V and 80 A or 48 V and 60 A - or three charger modules with up to 80 V and 240 A.
Pn: You work with a fixed price. Isn’t that a risk to some extent?
Tabor: No, I don’t think so. Celectric Secure tariffs are based on a purchase or performance- dependent lease of the batteries or rectifiers. So, we rely exclusively on quality products - and in conjunction with the monitoring solutions already mentioned, errors can be detected early on, even before a problem, e.g. the damage to a battery, occurs.
Pn: Is this not particularly important in the leasing business?
Tabor: You’re absolutely right, we guarantee long working lives. That’s why we use BATCOM Plus battery controllers to monitor batteries. They detect and analyse the load and the state of the battery fleet. The LEDs also help engineers on site to assess the battery electrolyte status immediately and whether it needs to be topped up. This saves us a lot of time in on-site service.
Pn: What other benefits and opportunities does using a BATCOM battery controller provide?
Tabor: Large forklift fleet operators receive a variety of operational data on their forklifts, but not on their battery fleet. But the battery is an important aspect of the truck. Using the BATCOM battery controller you now see what the battery status is as well as a great deal of other relevant battery data. The BATCOM measures, records and displays relevant application data via a stacker and traction battery. Data can then be retrieved e.g. by means of notebook or PC. Lithium batteries could be another interesting aspect in the coming years - also in this case we are in close contact with the developments in the BENNING enterprise.
Pn: Mr Tabor, thank you for this very informative interview.
Celectric is an internationally-oriented energy storage group based in the Netherlands. Specializing in modern and innovative storage solutions, especially in the field of intralogistics, the company supplies its customers with a wide range of batteries, chargers, corresponding accessories and services: products and services that enable motors, machines and other applications to deliver the highest standards of performance. To achieve this, a team of approximately 75 people is on hand, keen to develop high-quality products with maximum reliability, while at the same time, meeting and maximum economic and ecological requirements as far as possible.
With Celectric, quality is also a very important factor in its choice of business and cooperation partners. A claim which was particularly honoured with the assignment of the KEMA-KEUR award. The company is also certified to DIN EN ISO 9001 and 14001 as well as VCA ** (Veiligkeit Check Aannehmers, contractor safety check).