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Take Your Autonomous Floor Cleaning Further With Lithium-Ion Batteries

March 30, 2022 10:00 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Cleaning Solutions Innovation & Technology Cleaning Challenges

T16AMR with Lithium-Ion Batteries

The beauty of robotic floor scrubbing machines is that they free up your employees to focus on other tasks and boost labor efficiency. But as you think about the shift from people-powered floor cleaning to new cleaning technologies like fully autonomous, machine-powered floor cleaning, here’s one important thing to consider: The quality of the battery powering that autonomous machine will play a big role in how much value your business realizes from autonomous floor cleaning. Tennant Company continues to push new innovation in autonomous robotic technologies — and that’s led us toward the undeniable advantages of rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-on) batteries as a power option versus flooded lead acid batteries (also known as “wet” batteries). Their advantages fall into five broad categories: maintenance, longevity, charging speed, safety and ease of charging.

Weighing Your Choices: Flooded Lead Acid Batteries Vs. Lithium Batteries

When considering what type of battery to use in your robotic floor scrubber, it’s not just another line item in your capital expenditure budget. The choice you make can have a trickle-down effect on labor and upkeep costs for years to come.

Flooded lead acid batteries require a lower initial investment — but do come with some big drawbacks. First of all, wet batteries aren’t just “plug-and-play” devices. They require hefty maintenance: The battery water level must be checked regularly and watered as necessary. This isn’t just tedious; it also requires a skilled worker to take on the task — and the risk of being exposed to potentially harmful chemicals in the process.

The biggest benefit of Li-ion batteries over lead acid batteries is that they don’t require painstaking maintenance and dedicated skill sets like wet batteries. This is a differentiator — especially as the labor shortage affects nearly every industry. By switching to a Li-ion battery, you’re thereby reducing the amount of training necessary for a worker to operate and maintain your robotic floor scrubber. But more than that, Li-ion batteries can increase machine runtime, lower maintenance costs and lengthen battery lifespan, which reduces your total cost of ownership (TCO). 

Benefits of Lithium-ion Batteries

The benefits of Li-ion batteries are clear — not just for sustainability and facility health, but also for your business’s bottom line:

  • Less energy for charging. Li-ion batteries don’t require over-charging to mix the electrolyte. That means they use significantly less energy to charge.
  • Faster charging speeds. Li-ion batteries charge up to 30% faster than lead acid batteries.
  • Longer runtime between charges. Li-ion batteries can deliver up to a 40% improvement in machine runtime between charges.
  • Opportunity charging. Batteries don’t need to be on empty to take a charge. With opportunity charging, you can charge the battery whenever it’s convenient – so your floor scrubber can be fully charged when needed.
  • Longer battery lifespan. Li-ion batteries have a 2,000+ charge cycle lifespan. Your business ultimately saves money by reducing the number of wet batteries that must be purchased over the lifetime of your floor-scrubbing machine.
  • Improved safety. Li-ion batteries eliminate the risk of operators coming into contact with battery acid (and the burns and inhalation injuries that can result). There’s also no risk of harmful gases that can be the byproduct of charging lead acid batteries.
  • Reduced need for specialized skills. Employees don’t need a specialized skill set to charge a Li-ion battery – a big plus during the ongoing labor shortage.
  • Greater sustainability. Switching to Li-ion batteries eliminates reliance on non-renewable resources and reduces carbon emissions associated with operating fuel powered floor scrubbing machines.
Lithium-Ion Battery

Making the switch to a robotic floor scrubbing machine is a forward-looking decision for your organization. Maximize that strategic thinking by ensuring that you have the best power source to meet cleaning needs — today and for years to come.

Li-ion batteries maximize business value & ROI of autonomous floor cleaning

Organizations across all sectors are increasingly recognizing that tremendous potential of autonomous robotic floor cleaning machines — driving consistent cleaning performance while freeing up labor at a time when every business is facing higher cleaning expectations and higher labor costs.

Learn more about the benefits of Lithium-ion batteries from Tennant Company.


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