Automatic charging of a proANT 436
The fleet management system sends its vehicles to charge at charging stations whenever they do not currently have transportation orders to fulfill or when their battery management reports it as necessary.
The proANT AGV maneuvers into its correct position for driving onto the charging station and docking there with its contact points using the triangle plate behind the station for orientation. There are several contacts installed on the proANT AGV which must all be in correct contact with the charging station. Only then, when the hardware has confirmed that all is correctly in place, will the charging current flow.
After the AGV has automatically docked at its charging station, the charging process takes place automatically as well. Whether charging is in process is indicated by the yellow status-LED at the charging station, the yellow glowing switch on the vehicle and the blinking blue illumination of the vehicle’s bottom (unless configurated differently).
The charging process is terminated as soon as battery management reports that the battery is either fully charged or, if such a situation should occur, has run too hot to charge for the moment.
The loading station can also be integrated into load passing stations. This allows vehicles to charge while waiting to receive or pass on their loads. This continuous charging has no negative impact on the battery’s quality, in fact, it helps keep it long-living. We call these short charging intervals of 40-60 seconds at a time Opportunity Charging.
It is possible to charge the AGV manually as well. This may be possible in case it completely runs out of battery and stops driving. If this should happen, one simply releases its breaks and pushes it onto the charging station, where the charging process can be started manually.
Safety while charging
The contact points 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 uses a pulsed current in the low, two-figured millivolt-range on its contact surfaces. It will only start passing on the full charging current if the vehicle’s battery is successfully identified.
Battery management reports on whether a battery is fully charged or has run too hot to charge. If this occurs, the charging process is immediately terminated.