Navitas Systems Forges Unique Offering in Lithium-Ion Battery Development for Class 1 and Class 2 Forklift Trucks

From: Navitas Systems, LLC

From: Navitas Systems, LLC

Contact: Amanda Tomasek   (630) 755-7920

atomasek@navitassys.com


Navitas Systems Forges Unique Offering in Lithium-Ion Battery Development for Class 1 and Class 2 Forklift Trucks

Sophisticated StarlifterTM Deep Cycle Lithium Battery Systems Under Evaluation

by Three of Top Five Global Forklift Manufacturers

Woodridge, IL –September 15, 2015 – Navitas Systems LLC (www.navitassys.com), a leading provider of energy-enabled system solutions, energy storage products, and power electronics for commercial, industrial and government/military customers, announced today at the annual “The Battery Show in Novi, Michigan that it is the first battery company to have developed a family of qualified heavy-duty lithium-ion batteries for Class I and Class II forklifts.

Navitas’ StarlifterTM comprises  a series of deep cycle lithium battery systems spanning multiple voltages from 36 up to 80 volts, as well as a spanning a range of kilowatt hour capacities from 10kWh to 30kWh.  Starlifter lithium battery systems hold a number of advantages over similarly-sized lead acid battery packs. The Starlifter pack requires zero maintenance for the life of the pack.  The Starlifter battery family has been designed with an advanced, proprietary battery management system to use any existing charging systems in place such that no facility modifications will be needed.    The Starlifter lithium pack accepts fast charging more efficiently than lead acid and requires no cool-down period, and therefore it can easily be opportunity-charged throughout a three-shift operation, meaning that only one Starlifter lithium battery is needed per truck compared to needing three lead acid battery packs to operate in a multi-shift customer environment.

Starlifter maintains a 40% runtime advantage under cold temperatures compared to lead acid, making it the perfect battery for forklifts operating in cold temperatures such as food warehouses.  The lifetime of the Starlifter packs is up to 10 years depending on duty cycle, compared with a typical three to five year life of regular lead acid forklift batteries.  All together, the benefits of the Starlifter pack make it a more cost-effective solution than lead acid in three shift and cold storage applications, which together comprise approximately 20 percent of the overall forklift market.

“Our engineering team has taken the same comprehensive set of electronic and mechanical design approaches we’ve utilized in designing robust lithium batteries for military tanks, and applied them to the Starlifter forklift battery design” said Navitas System’s Chairman and Founder, Alan ElShafei.  “While other battery companies have developed lithium battery solutions for the simpler Class III walk behind pallet jack category, the demands of Class I and Class II stand on/sit on forklifts are an order of magnitude greater.  Customers will be delighted by the new level of performance afforded by the Starlifter deep cycle lithium system.”

The Starlifter battery pack is of a kilowatt hour capacity size like those found in hybrid automotive vehicles. Unlike hybrid vehicles, forklift applications run at a much lower voltage.  Therefore, Navitas had to develop a high capacity/low voltage battery management systems which is unique in the industry.  One of the greatest technical breakthroughs of the Starlifter forklift battery is Navitas’ proprietary custom-designed-and-manufactured low voltage battery management system (BMS).

The “Active Balancing” cell balancing feature shuttles the power between cells within the overall pack, keeping the overall pack’s charge and discharge capabilities operating at each individual cell’s highest performance without the weakest cell in the pack drawing down overall performance.   The high current active balancing of Navitas’ proprietary BMS enables the lithium cells to last longer and have larger available discharge windows as they age.  In contrast to a lead acid pack, the Starlifter BMS offers CAN communications, enabling new user features to be designed by the forklift manufacturers.  All of this adds up to a robust BMS that offers combined control, balancing and communication in one unit.

“Navitas’ Starlifter is not just an ultra-long cycle life battery, it eliminates the battery room, explained Navitas System’s President, Mil Ovan. “Starlifter will charge to 100% in one hour with no negative ‘memory effects’, no need for watering, and it is impervious to damage from being partially charged. There is no battery cool-down period required, and this breakthrough vastly reduces the need to keep charged spare batteries or extra lift trucks to maintain operations.  The cost savings will speak for themselves.”

The Starlifter pack is currently being tested by three of the top five global forklift manufacturers.  One project previously announced by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), was that Navitas was awarded a sub-contract in October 2014 from Raymond Corporation.  This project will develop an interface specification for communication between lithium-ion batteries and forklifts (to be publically available when complete). As part of the project, Navitas has been contracted to deliver its Starlifter lithium forklift battery for a cold storage environment demonstration to be carried out by Raymond Corporation. The goal of the field test is to demonstrate projected improvements in run time and productivity.

About Navitas Systems, LLC

Navitas Systems is a leader in integrated design, technology development, and manufacturing of innovative energy-enabled system solutions and energy storage products for commercial, industrial and government agency customers.  Navitas Systems products range from customized energy storage solutions for motive, idle-reduction and defense related applications, along with custom renewable energy integrated power systems, to standard products like lithium based lead-acid replacement batteries.  Our ruggedized lithium energy storage products are the perfect choice for any high-performance multi-cell battery application that requires lower weight, reduced volume, massively increased cycle life, higher efficiency, and environmental durability.

Navitas is headquartered in a state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot facility in Woodridge, Illinois.   In early 2012, the company acquired the Government Solutions Group of lithium battery manufacturer A123 Systems.  With this acquired major research facility located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, along with strong local and offshore partners and solid financial stability, Navitas is well positioned to continue serving the energy products and power electronics needs of major worldwide customers.

From advanced R&D, safe/high energy cell design, in-house electronics manufacturing and cable assemblies, to sophisticated battery pack assembly, Navitas Systems is your one-stop shop for comprehensive energy and power electronics solutions.  For more information on how to partner with Navitas Electronics please contact Amanda Tomasek via email at atomasek@navitassys.com. For more information on Navitas Systems please visit www.navitassys.com and follow @Navitas_Systems on Twitter.