The first explosion-proof (ATEX) truck with lithium battery technology

18 May 2018

Forklift trucks powered by a lithium iron-phoshate battery ensure high performance operation with maximum power and are ideal for multi shift applications. The lithium battery integrated into each truck is maintenance-free, enabling opportunity charging, and eliminating the handling and charging problems associated with lead acid batteries. The lithium battery is emission-free making the trucks environmentally friendly. These features enable customers to have full flexibility of use whatever the operating conditions.

However, until today no forklift truck manufacturer had been known to offer these advantages to companies requiring their trucks to be operated in potentially explosive atmospheres. The BYD counterbalance truck is certified according to ATEX 2014/34/EU and European Standard EN 1755:2015 for operation in areas classified as Zones 1 and 2 and Zones 21 and 22. It is ideally suited for almost all hazardous areas and designed for some of the most demanding of applications. The model ECB20C BYD Truck converted by Miretti to ATEX/EN 1755:2015 has been exhibited and announced at CeMAT 2018 (Hannover, 23-27/4).

Following repeated requests from customers to offer such trucks into hazardous areas BYD, a global supplier of lithium-powered forklifts, chose to entrust Miretti Group, a company with an international reputation for the explosion protection of material handling equipment, to convert its counterbalance trucks to explosion proof according to European and international regulations. 

By working together combining the latest in research and development, and innovative technologies, BYD and Miretti Group believe these most reliable and highly efficient explosion-proof Trucks with lithium iron-phosphate technology are particularly suited for use within the coatings, chemical, food/flavours and bottled gases industries.

In this field, the first priority is to ensure safety for the truck operator, the site and the environment. Guaranteeing safety becomes a requirement which cannot be compromised but equally Miretti seeks to retain all of the original truck design features and to ensure the converted trucks require a minimum level of service maintenance.

Working in environments that are potentially at risk of explosion, where flammable or potentially flammable materials are stored and handled, necessitates the highest safety standards. Miretti Group’s highly experienced engineers, working with the Miretti production and aftermarket teams, understand the risks and their inherent responsibilities and together explosion proof annually over 1,000 forklift trucks, tractors, vehicles and access equipment.

The BYD forklift trucks, converted by Miretti, have all arcing and sparking components modified or replaced and all surface temperatures are limited as required. Static surfaces are addressed including the driver seat and trucks are supplied with all electrically conductive tyres. The trucks forks are also clad in stainless steel anti-sparking material. Trucks are supplied with explosion proof working lights and reverse siren with other options available on demand. The truck conversion includes Miretti advanced technologies to help simplify maintenance and maximise uptime. Details of the explosion protection conversion are as follows:

The BYD truck Ex converted by Miretti (II 2G IIB T4 - II 2D IIIC T200°C) is in compliance with the new EN 1755:2015 standard, mandatory from November 2017.

  • Lithium battery “Ex d”
  • Traction motor and pump motor “Ex e”
  • Inverter “Ex q”
  • Solenoid valves / sensors / fan / horn “Ex m”
  • Working lights “Ex d”
  • Lights “Ex m”
  • Antistatic wheels and antistatic seats.

The original BYD lithium battery has been Ex converted in a “Ex d” enclosure in compliance with EN60079 0:2012/A11:2013 / EN60079-1:2014 / EN60079-31:2014 without compromising the footprint of the BYD unit nor altering its operation.

“The reliability of our Company’s explosion-proof conversions," states Mr Angelo Miretti, managing director of Miretti, "comes from the experience acquired over the years. Our headquarters are in Italy but over the years we have opened locations all over the world to guarantee the widest possible cover of intervention, combined with an international vision that has always characterised us. The cooperation doesn’t end with the supply of the EX vehicles.  We ensure we also a reliable after-sales service, qualified technicians, quality and fast maintenance”.

Miretti factories are fully certified with numerous certifications (ISO 9001, ISO 14001) and its products are certified in according to Atex, CNEx, IECEx, NEC. The group is an approved supplier for the most important global manufacturers. Since April 2017 Miretti Group also has been in compliance with the new EN1755:2015 standard.

"As a key driver of innovation, we are constantly working to establish BYD Lithium Iron Phosphate battery technology in more and more applications and industries. We are therefore very pleased and proud to partner with Miretti a leading specialist in explosion protection and ATEX conforming conversions to make this project a success. By pooling their expertise, Miretti and BYD have once again demonstrated their outstanding development capabilities. In extreme and demanding applications particularly, the new BYD forklift trucks with LiFePo batteries can fully exploit their unique advantages such as ease of handling, performance and energy efficiency. We are further looking forward to a promising cooperation with Miretti in the new market segment", said Javier Contijoch, director industrial vehicles, BYD Europe.

Miretti and BYD have started a profitable cooperation that offers its customers cost effective and highly efficient explosion-proof trucks. The next stage will be for BYD and Miretti to supply the trucks according to other national standards including for use in the North America and China markets.



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