Mounting systems for photovoltaic systems are the speciality of S:FLEX GmbH. The company also relies on self-generated solar power. A unique combination of inverters and battery chargers from Fronius ensures that S:FLEX can use the majority of this energy to supply its electric forklift trucks – and therefore significantly reduce its operating costs.
A specialist in their field, S Flex GmbH develops and manufactures frame technology for rooftop and ground-mounted plants, supplying wholesalers, project planners and installers worldwide.
Five electrically driven forklift trucks take care of the fast, emission-free and low-noise transport of goods at their site in Bad Krozingen, Germany. “As a company that is concerned with sustainability, we have configured our intralogistics processes to be as energy-efficient as possible.” explains Managing Director Ralf Müller-Maerz
The existing battery charging technology used outdated 50Hz technology which causes high energy losses thus increasing power consumption, operating costs and reduces the performance of the batteries. “We rely on self-generated solar power at our own sites which should be used to supply our forklift fleet” adds Müller-Maerz. Fronius were able to combine their expertise in both battery charging and solar energy technology to complete this vision.
Fronius calculated that switching to their charging technology could reduce energy consumption by around 20%, meeting S Flex’s sustainability requirements with a short payback time. Fronius also offered to equip the planned photovoltaic system with inverters and to connect it directly to the charging technology for the highest possible degree of self-consumption. “We were immediately impressed by this overall package,” adds Müller-Maerz.
Five Fronius Symo inverters convert the energy from the panels on the roof into usable energy. The devices are connected to the internet and show clear energy production and usage data via their free online monitoring tool.
The photovoltaic system generates around 100 kilowatts of power at peak times. A large part of this is fed directly to the Fronius Selectiva battery chargers. Six of these are available in different power categories, depending on whether the forklift trucks have larger or smaller traction batteries. With the innovative Ri charging process, the charging process adapts to the age, capacity and condition of the battery allowing flexible charging of the different battery types, lower energy consumption and longer service life.
S:FLEX is highly satisfied with the overall package from Fronius. The battery chargers are easy to use – all our staff need to do is plug in the charging plug. “This combination of photovoltaic and battery charging technology is certainly unique on the market,” enthuses Müller-Maerz. “With Fronius, we have been able to significantly reduce our electricity requirements and operating costs, while at the same time making our intralogistics more sustainable.”