Whats Next For The Solar Golf Cart
The next video will cover how to wire the solar panels to the charge controller and to the golf carts 48 volt battery bank. In the future we may even experiment with turning this solar powered golf cart into a large mobile solar generator!
Amazon Affiliate Links to many of the components used in this post:
How Solar Panel Golf Carts Work
Whether youre using a kit or a new roof with built-in panels, the general principles are the same. Photovoltaic panels and a controller team up to collect and convert energy from the sun into electricity to charge your golf carts battery system.
The PV panel is on the roof, and the controller can be placed almost anywhere on your cart. Some manufacturers have specific requirements for controller placement, so be sure to follow the instructions for your particular solar brand.
The wiring that connects the solar system to the batteries is secured to the frame so its out of the way. Its possible to install and wire your golf carts solar power system yourself, wiring the batteries, controller, and panels together can be dangerous. Authorized installers with proper equipment and experience can install your energy system for you.
Once installed, the system automatically begins collecting energy and generating electricity. The sun charges the batteries while youre golfing or otherwise using your cart. You dont have to give your batteries another thought.
Connecting Batteries In Parallel Vs In Series
Now that you know the voltage of your installation and the battery capacity you need, its almost time to start looking at batteries! In your battery system, there are two ways to connect multiple batteries together in parallel or in series:
- In Parallel: Connecting batteries in parallel simply means that each batterys positive terminal is connected to the next batterys positive terminal . Batteries that are connected in parallel add up all their amp-hours together, allowing you to increase the total capacity of your battery bank.
- In Series: Connecting batteries in series means connecting the positive terminal of the first battery to the negative terminal of the next, and so on. When connecting in series, amp-hours dont increase, but voltage adds up amongst all the batteries. Its also possible to create a system where batteries are connected both in parallel and in series to both increase voltage and amp-hours!
We need 768 amp-hours for our 12 volt solar installation. If we connect in parallel, we could have two 12-volt 400 amp-hour batteries, giving us 800 amp-hours but keeping our 12 volt system. If we connect in series, we could have 2 6-volt 800 amp-hour, giving us a 12 volt battery system with 800 amp-hour capacity. Whether to connect in series or in parallel is a matter of what batteries are available and the structure of your solar and storage installation.
Recommended Reading: When Should A Baby Start Solid Food
Mounting The Mppt Solar Controller:
The controller ideally should be mounted vertically with the four connection terminals facing downwards. This is normally mounted on under your electric vehicles seat, against the side wall using four stainless steel small pan head screw heads, washers & nyloc nuts. You may have to drill through the body.
It is most important to connect the MPPT Solar Controller to the battery terminals first, before the Solar Panel.
Run the supplied RED cable from the positive post on the battery to the supplied 30 Amp Automatic Reset Circuit Breaker, then to positive terminal on the MPPT Solar Controllers battery connection bank. The circuit breaker is to be mounted on an insulated surface. Then connect the BLACK cable from the negative post on the battery to the other end of the battery bank. Then to the negative terminal on the MPPT Solar Controllers battery connection bank. Now the MPPT Solar Controller is powered.
Once you have assembled the RED 50 Amp Heavy Duty Connector and cable length to the Solar Panel, connect the RED cable from the Solar Panel to the positive terminal of the MPPT Solar Controllers Solar connection bank. Then connect the negative BLACK cable of the solar panel to the MPPT Solar Controllers negative Solar connection bank.
20mm Nylon UV treated cable glands are supplied in the fitment kit if required to pass through two surfaces.
The Absolute Latest In Solar Cart Charging Technology
Looks Good – Increased Range – Increased Battery Life* – Tax Incentives** – Saves on Electricity – Impact Resistant – Portable attaches with Velcro –
Much Less Pollution than Gas Powered Carts – Paintable to match the Cart.
100/160/180/200/270 Watts available in 36, 48 and 72 volt applications!
100 WATT SOLAR PANEL DATA SHEET 19.5% mono crystalline solar cells only 3mm thick,
Weighs about 3.0kg –
Rated Power – 100 watts
Rated Current – 5.37 amps Short Circuit Current 5.62 amps
Rated Voltage – 18.62 volts Open Circuit Voltage – 22.30 volts
Max System Voltage – 600 DCV
Series Fuse – 15 amps
Solar Panel Size – 26 wide x 40 Long – fits most manufacturer canopies
Panel Leads – 10.5 Long
Charge Controller – Advanced MPPT with SBM performance with 36, 48 & 72 volt applications
Charge Controller Leads – 4 Long – With 1 of Panel Leads
Price for 1/100w = $850USD + Shipping – Couldnt Be Simpler – Volume DiscountsSolarGreenCompany.com – – 602-751-4193
Easy Installation Instructions Provided – *Batteries must be properly maintained.
**Priced with tax incentives the unit cost could be zero – Consult your tax professional..Imagine….. A Golf Cart With A Solar Powered Charging System That Charges Itself During Play or Work
For the first 3,000 kWh per month, per kWh 11.6320 ¢
For the next 6,000 kWh per month, per kWh 7.0904 ¢
For all over 9,000 kWh per month, per kWh 7.1702 ¢
Battery Longevity Information
Also Check: Does Solar Work When The Power Goes Out
Diy How To Convert An Electric Golf Cart To Solar Power Part 1
If you have an electric golf cart, follow along to convert it to a solar golf cart and you might not need to ever plug it back in to charge again! If you dont have one , I am finding it super handy, affordable way of getting around the property. I highly recommend one!
To kick off this new series I have another batch of free stickers to give away! Please post up in the comments if you would like one.
Learn How These Camosun College Students Built A Supplementary Battery Charger For A Golf Cart Using A Solar Panel Solar Charge Controller And A Dash
How to build a battery charger for a golf cart, using a solar panel, solar charge controller and a dash-mounted display for collected data.
How to select your solar panel
How to develop the schematic
How to choose your circuit components
How to design the PCB
LT8491 buck-boost charge controller chip from Analog Devices
PCBWay PCB assembly services
Altium Designer from Altium
In the beginning, we had a golf cart and all kinds of ideas to trick out that ride. The golf cart was supplied by our sponsor, who uses it in the summer to travel within their private campground and down the hill to the beach. The most frequent problem they faced was an unexpected dead battery, which always seemed to occur after a long day down at the ocean. We decided to solve this problem by providing the ability to solar charge the golf cart. This way, they could enjoy their time at the beach knowing they had a reliable ride back. It could also reduce their need for plug-in charging, and save a little on their electricity bill. To trick this ride even more, we added a USB charging port and a 6cm × 4.5cm LCD display to show the user all the battery and solar information.
We started with clear requirements. We had a 130W solar panel rated for 17.6V and 7.4A, and a 48V golf cart battery bank to charge. Furthermore, we wanted to perform maximum power point tracking for more efficient charging, all while collecting solar and battery data.
Read Also: How Much Sun Needed For Solar Panels
Can Solar Golf Carts Be Bought As A Complete System
Have you just started out in golf and want to take advantage of solar right from the start? Therere golf carts made explicitly for solar waiting for you.
The first golf cart fleet to run on solar in the US was the 125 E-Z-GO by Gulf City solar. The club carts are powered by thin-film panels and only need to be charged once a week.
While the initial cost of acquiring a solar golf cart is relatively higher than a solar roof or kit, therere more than enough reasons why you should acquire it if youre just starting out.
Is The Kt Solar 48v Electric Vehicle Charging System Difficult To Maintain
No, this system is very easy to maintain as it is fully automatic and will transfer to 240V Mains charging without any interference. There are no adjustments to be made what so ever. The solar panel can be cleaned periodically with a soft cloth and fresh water only. DO NOT use any form of household cleaners on your panel. The 160W 48V Solar Panel has a 25 year limited output efficiency warranty, with 3 years on build and manufacture. They are factory data logged for warranty via the barcode. See warranty details on the following page.
The Wireless Bluetooth dongle provides live data readouts on your smart-phone. Simply connect into the white female dongle port on the MPPT Solar Controller and secure the dongle in your carts battery compartment. Follow the instructions in the MPPT Solar Controller Manual and download the application from your smart phone app store. Follow the prompts.
The smart-phone application data can be checked at any-time, giving you real time readings in Amps, Volts and Watts.
Want to learn more about the KT SOLAR 48V Charging System or would like to find your nearest KT Solar Stockist? . . . Contact us below:
You May Like: How Much Power Does A Single Solar Panel Generate
When Purchasing The Kit What Is Included
When purchasing the KT SOLAR 48V Solar Charging System, you are purchasing the complete kit to fit an electric vehicle.
The fitment kit includes:
- 1 x Automatic Reset Circuit Breaker 30 Amp
- 1 x Red Circuit Breaker Cover
- 2 x Heavy Duty Connector 50 Amp, Red
- 1 x Heavy Duty Connector Handle/Removal Tool
- 2M x 5mm Twin Sheath Automotive Cable
- 2 x Insulated Ring Terminal, 6mm Yellow
- 2 x Insulated Ring Terminal, 8mm Yellow
- 3M x 10mm Corrugated Split Loom Tubing
- 2 x 20mm Nylon Cable Glands
- 25 x 200 x 4.7mm Black UV Treated Nylon Cable Ties
- 1 x EZY Mounting Rail, 1580mm Length
- Solar Controller: Victron MPPT 150-35 Solar Controller
- 1 x Wireless Dongle
- Solar Panel: KT SOLAR 160W, 48V Solar Panel
What Is The Purpose Of The Kt Solar 48v Electric Vehicle Charging System
This system had been specially designed to maintain and extend battery life, and reduce D.O.D of your batteries. It also acts by reducing sulphur buildup and assisting the performance of your batteries.
This system has unique qualities & features that are not experienced in other systems. The main principle is to deliver a trickle charge to the battery bank in all lighting conditions, whilst the vehicle is in use or not.
The KT SOLAR 48V Electric Vehicle Charging System is also designed to operate on 36V applications, however is pre-set to charge 48V battery banks. For 36V battery banks, contact KT SOLAR for further instructions on setting up your controller.
In most cases, your batteries will not be in a discharged state, however with solar assistance, a constant charge will occur in a bulk or float mode. This is automatically controlled whilst in use or at idle with no load at all.
KT SOLAR have designed & manufactured a PV solar panel of 160 Watts, with a higher than expected voltage output. When coupled with the MPPT Solar Controller, maximum curve power points are locked in. The voltage is stepped down, leveled and regulated to deliver a charge at bulk and float amperages.
The solar panel dimensions are 1280mm x 800mm x 35mm. This panel is designed for use with the most common electric vehicle models, and fits perfectly onto the vehicles roof when used in conjunction with KT SOLAR EZY Mounting Rails.
Also Check: Are Solar Panels A Good Investment
Going Green On The Greens: Why Consider A Solar Panel Golf Cart
Perhaps youve seen, or maybe even used, them: the small, solar-powered golf cart fans designed to keep you cool on the course. These little clip-on fans generate their own power straight from the sun. Its pretty amazing, but its on such a small scale that a tiny solar-powered fan isnt that significant. What is significant is a solar panel golf cart.
Perhaps someone studied those little fans on a golf course years ago and wondered about the possibility of powering a golf cart.
Golf carts are heavy, and they are meant to run for hours and miles at a time. Theyre electric vehicles that can reach speeds of approximately 15, sometimes 19 or 20, miles per hour depending on the make, model, and year of the cart. They require electricity or gasoline to run. Certainly, a solar-powered golf cart wouldnt be possible. Or would it?
A solar-powered golf cart is indeed possible. Such vehicles have been in use for several years and are gaining in popularity. They exist, and they function well. Changing the power source to solar doesnt diminish a golf carts speed or performance. In addition to continued performance power, there are reasons why you should consider a solar panel golf cart.
With that in mind, lets look at why you might want to consider a solar panel golf cart.
Photo credit to
Financial Benefits Of Solar Panel Golf Carts
While it can be costly up front to buy a solar-powered golf cart or convert your existing cart to solar, in the long run, you might save money. You might be eligible for cost incentives offered to people who go solar. Some programs include
- Federal tax credits
- State and local utility tax credits
Together, these can help make solar power an affordable option for your golf cart. Additionally, you will likely save quite a bit of money on your electricity bill without having an electric vehicle drawing from your homes electricity supply.
Individuals arent the only ones who benefit monetarily from solar power. When entire golf courses convert their fleets to solar-powered vehicles, they can slash their annual charging costs by about 20 percent.
Whether you want to enhance the performance of your golf cart, help the environment, or save money in the long-run, youre sure to benefit from changing your power to the sun.
Photo credit to BLUEBIRD MARINE SYSTEMS LT
Recommended Reading: How Much To Add Solar Panels To House
Solar For Golf Cart To Extend Range Of Batteries
|» Site Navigation|
|Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts|
Solar for golf cartsmykvalentinOriginally Posted by Hello. Has somebody installed a solar panel on top of an electric golf cart, to extend the range of existing batteries? Im interested on getting the solar roof or the bolt-on solar but wanted to know if anyone here has experience with it. Thank you, -myk
|Thanked 70 Times in 39 Posts|
jimbo2012Originally Posted by Been doing solar carts for 7 years, mine has never been plugged in, I tested mine to 70 miles.Installed several over the years, but it was an up hill battle convincing people how well it worked.My focus is in Nova water filters now and don’t have time to do solar install/retrofits.I have about 5 systems that if someone wanted to install one I will sell out right and explain how mount and wire up.
|Thanked 23 Times in 8 Posts|
sanibel40Originally Posted by If you have an e-golf cart and the typical acid/lead batteries, you probably shouldn’t use a solar panel on your cart. It takes to a lot of energy to charge those 4, 6, or 8 deep cell batteries and the trickle from the solar panel wouldn’t be measurable. It would be better to install a switch to totally disconnect the batteries when not using for a hour or more. I have noticed that on my Tomberlin e-cart, that when I turn the switch off the batters bounce back and maintain a charge longer. For some reason, the cart uses energy even when at rest.
|Thanked 106 Times in 64 Posts|
Cost Of Solar Golf Carts
Most complete system golf carts cost around $9000. A golf cart in this price range should come with 72-cells modules, a 48V rechargeable battery, and 5.5-hp. Additionally, it should go without a charge for at least 50 miles.
If youre on a budget, you can go for a used $3000-$4,500 solar golf cart, provided it does its job effectively. If you want an edge of luxury, expect to spend around $20,000.
Read Also: How Do Solar Pool Heaters Work
Can You Use Costco Golf Cart Batteries For Solar
Simply put: Absolutely!
Golf cart batteries are deep cycle batteries designed for heavy, long-term use. Unlike your cars battery, which puts out a high amount of electricity for a short period of time , deep cycle batteries are designed to give lower amounts of electricity over a longer time frame perfect for back-up power!
Golf cart batteries, marine batteries, and batteries specifically designed for renewable energy projects all have this key feature.
Costcos batteries like all golf cart batteries are 6 volt, so youll need to buy at least a pair to create a 12-volt system. This really isnt an issue, though, and is a common tactic for DIY solar enthusiasts .
For more information on voltage and connecting batteries, read over our article Wiring Solar Panels in Series vs Parallel: Which Is Better?