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Take Charge of Sweeping Environmental Changes

How battery and charging solutions are driving sustainability in floor cleaning

Take Charge of Sweeping Environmental Changes

Sustainability has become an urgent priority across industries. Companies worldwide are establishing bold commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions and operate more sustainably.

In line with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, leading equipment manufacturers and their partnering fleet operators aim to make considerable contributions to a more sustainable planet.

For the floor care industry, driving these ambitions starts at the source—with better battery and charger solutions.

The rise of electrification

Recently, floor cleaning and maintenance industries have seen a significant shift toward electrification. Grand View Research cites electrified machines as a key driving force behind the global floor cleaning equipment market’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% since 2019. And with modern advances in artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous mobile robotics, and cloud-based fleet management systems, the importance of electrification is anticipated to grow.

The transition is not about replacing one power source with another; it’s about rethinking the entire approach to how cleaning equipment is powered and managed. For many forward-thinking manufacturers and cleaning industry professionals, electrification on its own is nothing new. The transition toward sustainability doesn’t end with adopting an electrified fleet. The real challenge lies in optimizing the efficiency and longevity of these electric machines.

Central to this optimization is the management and maintenance of batteries and chargers. Together, these components play a crucial role in the overall environmental impact of cleaning operations.

Equipment manufacturers, fleet managers, and operators can take three foundational steps to ensure their electric machines drive sustainability from the ground (or, in this case, the floor) up.

1. Maintain batteries for efficiency

Battery condition is an easily overlooked aspect of sustainable operations. Batteries in poor condition reduce the efficiency of cleaning equipment, waste energy as excess heat during use, and result in lost energy while charging. These inefficiencies can quickly compound, leading to increased electricity consumption and a higher indirect carbon footprint.

The key to breaking this downward spiral is to ensure regular battery checkups and maintenance. Consider implementing the following best practices:

  • Clean the battery and cable components to remove any debris that could lead to charging resistance and heat buildup.
  • Store unused batteries at room temperature, avoiding extreme heat or cold.
  • Keep lead-acid batteries charged and check their water level frequently, adding water as needed. Use a battery management system with a low current draw for lithium batteries that are not in use.

2. Choose a reliable charger

Many modern battery chargers offer complex switch-mode, high-frequency designs, making them difficult to repair and more likely to end up as electronic waste.

Not only is the rise in e-waste a burden on disposal systems it also represents a wasteful expenditure of the energy and resources invested in manufacturing these products.

To mitigate this issue, choose long-life chargers that can be repaired rather than replaced. Consider floor-cleaning equipment with modular components, including a charger designed for simplicity and ease of repair. Doing so delivers better operational flexibility while simultaneously meeting sustainability goals.

3. Ensure battery-charger compatibility

In addition to choosing a quality charger, verify its compatibility with your goals of maximizing reliability and efficiency in floor cleaning equipment. Ask your battery and charging solution partners the following questions:

  • What is the battery’s chemistry type, and is the charger specifically designed to support it? Different chemistries (e.g., lead-acid, lithium-ion) require different charging profiles for their best performance.
  • Does the charger support the battery’s voltage and capacity requirements? Ensuring the charger adequately matches the battery in these areas is essential to avoid over- or under-charging.
  • Are there any regulatory or compliance standards that the battery and charger need to meet? For example, verifying that chargers have low standby draw (consuming minimal energy when not in use) contributes toward compliance with California Energy Commission (CEC) standards for energy efficiency.

Indirect impact on carbon footprint

While batteries and chargers do not directly emit carbon, they do play a role in the overall electricity consumption of floor-cleaning operations.

Electrified machinery falls under Scope 2 and Scope 3 indirect carbon emissions, as defined by entities such as the World Economic Forum and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The energy required to power cleaning equipment batteries falls under Scope 2 emissions. By enhancing battery and charger efficiency, companies can diminish electricity demand, effectively reducing these indirect emissions.

The production and disposal of batteries and chargers contribute to Scope 3 emissions. Prolonging the lifespan of these components with proper maintenance and by prioritizing durability and repairability in product selection can help mitigate environmental impact.

Smart choices in battery and charger technologies can substantially reduce the indirect carbon footprint of these operations. Through strategic improvements in efficiency and longevity, businesses can ensure their cleaning operations are as sustainable as possible.

Future of eco-friendly floor cleaning

The path to sustainability in floor cleaning equipment is not just about switching to electric models, but also about powering and maintaining these models.

Businesses can make significant strides in their sustainability efforts by focusing on battery maintenance, choosing reliable and efficient chargers, and understanding the indirect impact these components have on their carbon footprint.

By laying the foundation of reliable battery and charging solutions, cleaning operations can build on their goals for better performance, reduced operating costs, and improved longevity in their
equipment.

As the world continues to move toward a greener, more sustainable future, the role of advanced battery and charging solutions in the cleaning and maintenance industry will continue to lead the charge.

Conway Hui

Director of Sales Application, Engineering, Customer Support, Delta-Q Technologies

Conway Hui is the director of sales application, engineering, and customer support at Delta-Q Technologies, which collaboratively designs, tests, and manufactures robust battery chargers that improve the performance of floor care machines and other equipment. For more information, visit delta-q.com or follow company updates on LinkedIn.

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