Battery Powered Floor Cleaning Equipment
– lean green and mean machines!
There is increasing concern about climate change and damage to our environment, with general agreement that it’s time for all of us to adapt to ensure a greener future. The increasing demand to reduce emissions is leading manufacturers of all types of equipment to look at using battery power or electricity, in preference to diesel or petrol.
How good is battery technology?
Battery technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, so they can now be charged much more quickly using a standard electricity supply and, once charged, have a much longer active life before they need re-charging.
There is now a wide range of battery powered floor cleaning equipment available, and if you’re wondering whether it is really feasible for a battery to power an industrial floor scrubber for example, take a look at the JCB mini-digger, a 1.9 tonne machine which was launched in 2018 and uses lithium-ion batteries to deliver an equivalent level of power to a diesel powered machine. So if batteries can power a machine like this, they can certainly be used for a range of industrial grade cleaning equipment.
There’s also a lot of research going into improving the battery technology for electric cars, so we can expect to see more powerful and even longer lasting batteries emerging over the next few years.
At B&G, we’re seeing increasing demand for battery powered floor cleaning equipment, and in our experience it is a safe, reliable and practical option for many cleaning needs.
To see our battery powered cleaning equipment, type “battery” in the search box at the top of the screen
Benefits of Battery Powered Floor Cleaning Machines
No trailing cables
The absence of trailing cables with battery powered floor cleaning machines also makes them easier for the operator to use, whilst also reducing the risk of trips and falls. According to the HSE, slips and trips remain the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces, which reinforces the need to keep floors clean and dry and also to clean them without introducing new hazards in the cleaning process.
Here is the HSE’s latest guidance on slips and trips.
Use without a power supply
Aside from the health and safety benefits, battery powered machines can of course be used in areas where there is no power supply close by. Even where there is power available, battery powered machines enable operators to keep moving around a large area without needing to stop, unplug and find a new power outlet. This helps them to get the job done more quickly as a continuous process.
Everyone who operates equipment has a duty to manage noise, both for the protection of operators and also members of the public who may be in close contact with cleaning equipment, e.g. in shopping centres, hotels and in outdoor public areas.
There is a lot of detailed guidance from the HSE about noise induced hearing loss; and one of their main recommendations is to choose quieter machinery. Battery powered machines are the quietest you can get and vibration is usually much reduced too, another advantage for operators.
The Viper AS530R Ride-on Scrubber for example, can be used to clean large floor areas, up to 5000m2, has an integrated on-board charger, enabling easy battery charging, and a noise level of only 69 dBA – well within the Noise Regulation action levels, and comfortable for operators and passers-by.
Lithium-ion (or Li-ion) batteries produce zero emissions and, because the power they can produce is now at the same level as traditional fuels, they are becoming widely accepted as the power behind everything from mobile phones to electric cars. Because they are lighter than traditional lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion battery powered cleaning equipment is easy to manoeuvre and store when not in use or being charged. They can be part charged without causing any damage and you can have one battery on charge whilst the other one is in use, for continuous operation.
Some cleaning equipment, ride-on floor scrubbers for example, use lead-acid batteries which product no emissions in use, although they need to be disposed of (or ideally recycled) carefully, to avoid the release of toxic chemicals. Whilst, over time, we expect more and more cleaning equipment to move over to new technology batteries, the existing machines will continue in use for some years yet, and can take advantage of developments in battery charger technology too, to maximise their efficiency and reduce charging times.
See lead acid battery chargers here >>
Key points about battery powered floor cleaning machines
- They are easy and convenient to operate and store
- You do need a power supply somewhere – in a convenient location, and not too close to a heat source, for re-charging
- Consider having an extra battery so you can have one in use and the other on charge
- Neither Li-ion batteries or sealed lead-acid batteries require maintenance. They do have a limited life, typically 3-5 years, so you should plan on replacing the battery when it starts to take longer to charge or when the charge doesn’t last as long
- You can prolong the life of your battery by always retaining some charge on it, and some floor cleaning machines feature low battery cut-out devices to prevent the operator from completely discharging the battery
To see a selection of battery powered vacuums, floor sweepers and scrubber dryers, just type “battery” in our search box, or for more information, please give us a call.
Original blog posted 27/4/18. Expanded and updated by Ian Hodkinson 24th September 2020.