Toshiba’s latest addition to its SCiB line of lithium-ion batteries, the SIP series of modules for automated guided vehicles (AGVs), will be available in April.
AGVs are mobile robots used to transport materials around factory floors, warehouses, hospitals and offices. Most current AGVs use lead batteries, which suffer from long charge times and short lifecycles.
SIP series modules integrate a battery management unit that manages voltage and internal temperature, which is designed to facilitate the replacement of lead batteries.
According to Toshiba, typical lead batteries have a charging time of 8 to 10 hours, but SIP series modules charge in just 20 minutes. Lead batteries need to be replaced in roughly 2-year cycles, but SIP series modules maintain over 80% capacity for about 10 years.
Toshiba’s new modules are about a quarter the weight of lead batteries, and they can be used in temperatures as low as -30° C, making them suitable for low-temperature environments such as cold storage and refrigerated warehouses.
“Our SCiB is lighter than a lead battery, has a rapid charge time, good charge and discharge characteristics and longer life performance,” said Toshiba VP Isao Aoki. “It is ideal for AGV and other industrial applications. Building on these technological strengths, we are continuing to develop the SCiB business in multiple directions, including automotive, home use, public and industrial applications, and large-scale energy storage systems.”