This summer, Samsung Electronics announced new developments in batteries, specifically lithium battery technology, that may have major ramifications for the future of cleaning and jan/san equipment. While many of these new batteries are designed specifically for smartphones and smaller electronics, they have already found their way into commercial cleaning equipment, most specifically backpack vacuums.

According to Alan Day, design engineer for Powr-Flite, which currently uses Samsung lithium batteries for its new Comfort Pro Freedom cordless backpacks, among the benefits of the new technology is that the batteries have greater capacity.  Essentially this means they last longer, a key goal in battery research and development. 

But Day adds other benefits of these new batteries include the following:

 • They are smaller and lighter. "This will likely be crucial for all cordless jan/san equipment in the future; manufacturers do not want to add weight or bulk to their equipment."

 • They can be designed and customized to meet product specifications.  "This means manufacturers do not have to design their equipment around the battery but the battery can be designed specifically for the machine."

 • Despite the initial expense, over time the new batteries pay for themselves through savings in time and labor costs.

 • Suction power is much more consistent.  Older batteries can start to lose effectiveness as they are used, but this is less of a problem with lithium battery technology.

"None of the mobile devices we take for granted today would be possible without advances in battery technology," says Day.  "Now those same advances are going to have a big impact on the equipment manufactured today and in the future for the professional cleaning industry."