Parts » Battery

Figure 1. Recharging battery.
Figure 1. Recharging battery.

This section reviews the parts of batteries used in electric forklifts. For information on battery use, maintenance, recharging, and changing, see Power Sources: Electrical.

Parts of an industrial battery

Figure 2. This is a cutaway of an industrial battery showing the rugged plates, extra heavy grids and impact-resistant case.
Figure 2. This is a cutaway of an industrial battery showing the rugged plates, extra heavy grids and impact-resistant case.

Electric forklift service personnel need to know the parts of an industrial battery in order to properly and safely handle it at the end of every shift. The parts of a industrial battery include:

  • Cell: The interior of the battery is divided into cells, with each cell containing a set of alternately spaced positive and negative plates. A negative plate is contained at each end of the cell to maintain proper electrical balance. The battery's voltage is determined by the number of cells.

  • Separator: Separators are located between the plates for insulation.

  • Battery tray: The cells are in a steel container called the battery tray.

  • Electrolyte: The cell elements are fully submerged in a sulfuric acid solution called the electrolyte.

  • Element: A positive and negative terminal is visible at the top of each cell. This assembly is known as the element. It is placed in the jar, the acid-proof, high-impact resistant container. A high-impact cover seals to the jar.

    • Positive terminal. All the positive plates are connected to the positive terminal.

    • Negative terminal. All the negative plates are connected to the negative terminal.

Potential Hazards:

  • Electrical shock.

  • Explosion.

Requirements and Recommended Practices:

  • Never accidentally create an electrical current by connecting the positive to the negative terminal through any part of your body or through any other conductor.

  • Never wear metal jewelry which will conduct electricity when working around batteries.

  • Never put metal articles or tools on top of the batteries or place conductive articles across the battery posts.

  • Always shut the charger off when connecting or disconnecting the battery. An arc or spark could cause an explosion.

  • Use only non-sparking, non-conductive tools.

  • Keep the vent plugs in place at all times except when adding water to the cells or taking hydrometer readings.

  • Check the battery cables and cable connectors regularly. If the insulation is worn or connector contacts are pitted, the truck should be removed from service and repairs made immediately.

  • Follow proper lockout/tagout procedures [29 CFR 1910.147] when working on a battery in a forklift.

For more information, see Battery Charging and Changing Procedures.

Additional Information: