Charging Golf Carts

heynow999 Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
I know a custom solar panel manufacturer who can make panels that fit on golf carts. What I want to calculate is how big of a panel would be needed to keep a golf cart charged all summer without having to plug it in. So I am going to throw out some numbers.

Lets say a golf cart takes 150 watts per mile and once around the course is 2 miles so we need to replace 300 watts.

We can put a panel up that can produce 200 watts/hr and in the summer in my area even laying flat it should produce about 860 watts/day, May through Sept.

It would seem to me that even if charging is %50 efficient, it should be able to keep the batteries charged for one round of golf each day.

Am I missing anything?



  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,477 admin
    Re: Charging Golf Carts

    Just to clear up units... 150 Watt*Hours per mile, two miles 300 Watt*Hours

    Assume the panels+charge controller is 77% efficient, and the deep cycle battery is 80% efficient. The Derating factor for PV Watts program is 0.77*0.80=0.62

    Assuming you are in Toronto Ontario. Array mounted flat. May thru September (use 1kW worth of panel--smallest number program will take):
    Solar Radiation (kWh/m2/day)     
    AC Energy(kWh)     
    Energy Value (Can$)
    1      1.47          25     2.15 
    2      2.27          37     3.19 
    3      3.19          60     5.17 
    4      4.36          78     6.72 
    [B]5      5.60          101     8.71 [/B]
    6      6.14          103     8.88 
    7      6.02          102     8.79 
    8      5.15          87     7.50 
    [B]9      4.08          68     5.86 [/B]
    10      2.55          44     3.79 
    11      1.30          19     1.64 
    12      1.07          17     1.47 
    Year      3.61          742     63.96 
    For September, average 68 kWhrs per month or 2.67 kWhrs per day per 1kW of solar panel.

    300 WH / 2,670 WH per day * 1kW of panel (ref)= 112 Watts of solar panel required for Toronto area.

    Sounds like it will easily meet your basic requirements... Somewhat of an issue is optimal sun vs when you drive the cart... Drive during noon time and lots of trees/shade would reduce energy capture.

    Only thing to verify--is the actual energy used--and that the panel will not be hit by golf balls on the course (or you have the panel mounted at the "charging station" to avoid losing your $800+ panel to damage to save a couple dollars per month in electricity).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Charging Golf Carts
    heynow999 wrote: »
    Lets say a golf cart takes 150 watts per mile and once around the course is 2 miles so we need to replace 300 watts.

    I want that golf cart, it consumes nearly nothing !! I think you are off your est quite a bit.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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