Automatic charging of a proANT 436
The fleet management system sends its vehicles to charge at charging stations whenever they do not have any transportation orders to fulfill or when their battery management reports it as necessary.
The proANT AGV maneuvers with the help of the triangle plates behind the charging station into its correct position and docks with the help of its contact pins to the charging station. There are several spring-loaded contact plates mounted on the proANT AGV which docks into the charging station. Only then, when the hardware has confirmed that the vehicle has docked correctly, the charging current flows.
After the AGV has automatically docked at its charging station, the charging process takes place automatically. The yellow status-LED at the charging station, the yellow glowing switch on the vehicle and the blinking blue light on the bottom of the vehicle (unless configurated differently) indicate that the AGV is charging.
The charging process terminates as soon as the battery management reports that the battery is either fully charged or has run too hot.
The loading station can also be integrated into load transfer stations. This allows vehicles to charge while waiting to pick up or drop off their loads. This continuous charging has no negative impact on the battery’s quality, in fact, it helps to increase its lifetime. We call these short charging intervals of 40-60 seconds “opportunity charging”.
It is possible to charge the AGV manually as well. This may be necessary if the vehicle completely runs out of battery and stops driving. If this happens, you simply release its breaks, and push it manually to the contact plates of the charging station, where you can start the charging process manually.
Safety while charging
The contact pins at the bottom of the vehicle touch the contact points on the station while charging. In order to identify the vehicle’s battery, the station applies a pulsed voltage in the low, two-digits millivolt-range on its contact surfaces. It will start conducting the full charging current only after the vehicle’s battery has been successfully identified.
The battery management reports whether a battery is fully charged or has run too hot to charge. If the latter occurs, the charging process stops immediately.