The increasing demand to reduce emissions is leading manufacturers of all types of equipment to look at using battery power in preference to diesel or petrol. Battery powered machines have another advantage over cable powered equipment of course – there are no trailing cables to worry about and little noise – particularly important for machines used in public areas.
Advances in battery technology in recent years mean that they can be charged much more quickly, using a standard electricity supply, and once charged, have a much longer active life before they need re-charging.
JCB have recently announced the launch of their new battery powered digger, a 1.9 tonne machine which 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.
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.
Here are some of the reasons why we recommend battery powered machines for floor cleaning:
No trailing cables
The absence of cables reduces the risk of trips and falls and also making things easier for the operator. 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.
You can read the HSE’s recently updated guidance here.
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, so operators can keep progressing from area to area without need to stop, unplug and find a new power outlet, which 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 here 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.
The Nilfisk Floortec 760 battery powered floor sweeper for example, can be used for indoor and outdoor sweeping and, powered by a 12v battery, with its own on board charger, has a noise level of only 70 dB – well within the Noise Regulation action levels, and comfortable for operators and passers-by.
Lithium-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.
What are the key things we tell people about battery powered floor cleaning machines?
- They are easy and convenient to operate and store
- You do need a power supply in a convenient location, and not too close to a heat source, for re-charging
- Consider having an extra battery to so can have one in use and the other on charge
- Lithium-ion batteries do not require maintenance. They do have a limited life, 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
- Depending on usage, batteries can last for 3-5 years
- Its best not to completely discharge the battery 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.