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Hybrid battery–supercapacitor system for full electric forklifts

Hybrid battery–supercapacitor system for full electric forklifts

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Despite the yearly rise in the market quota of full electric vehicles, the main limitations on the deployment of electric vehicles are the real performances of the battery storage during operation. In this study, the authors focus on hybrid electrical storage systems composed of lead acid batteries and supercapacitors. Two different coupling methods are investigated: (i) the direct parallel coupling of the two storage devices and (ii) coupling by means of a step-up converter between the supercapacitor bank and direct current (DC) link of the entire power-train, where lead acid batteries are also connected. A specific control strategy is proposed and implemented in the step-up converter to guarantee the correct power management of the power train and in particular: (i) to save the power request to the lead acid battery pack, (ii) maintain an adequate state of charge of the supercapacitor bank, and (iii) guarantee an adequate voltage level on the DC link. A prototype of the hybrid battery, integrating the proposed control technique, was realised and tested on a real forklift. The performances of the entire power-train were experimentally measured in a warehouse test cycle emulating a typical daily working cycle.

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