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Unread 04-19-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default Are Solar golf carts reliable?

I'm not sure if this is in the right section, but I wasn't sure what would be the right area for this question either. But, my question is are solar powered golf carts reliable? Meaning, how long does it take to charge the batteries on solar? Would the cart be able to ride at a decent speed if the batteries are dead and im using energy basically as soon as it's made? How far would I be able to go before having to stop and wait for it to recharge?
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Unread 04-19-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

I've been looking into this for some time, currently the short answer is no.

You need 200 Watts on top that will fit?

You need a control that can work, it's not currently on the market.

I think it will be soon.
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Unread 04-19-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

The technology does not yet exist to run a golf cart on solar.

There is technology which will enable you to supplement and even reduce your charging time but, the technology does not exist to run a golf cart on solar unless you pulled a trainload of panels and batteries. JK I don't know what it would entail to make it possible, Big article in the Golf Car digest this month on how great solar supplementing is. The big claim was to reduce charging costs by 20%..... more info at golfcartsolar.com
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Unread 04-19-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

Considering it costs ~$.35 to charge, a 20% savings isn't a lot of return for the outlay...
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Unread 04-19-2012, 11:29 PM   #5
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Cool Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

The local shop I help out has done 2 carts with a solar panel on the roof and let the golf coarse have them. They kept them less than a month each time and sent them back. Not enough juice to get 2 rounds of golf out of them. They have to be kept in the sunlight and if they are parked over night they are in a shed it just wasn't worth it.
I have been trying to work a deal where I get one for my 12 volts though.
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Unread 04-19-2012, 11:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

Andy to say they had a solar panel without telling us the specs and saying it doesn't work is hard to figure.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 02:01 PM   #7
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Cool Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

If I knew the specs I would have. They did them when I wasn't there. They covered the whole top though. He has them in the back of the shop and I asked about them. Solar panels have to have direct sunlight no shade are it cuts them in half.

They couldn't make 2 rounds of golf a day and they couldn't just leave them sitting out all the time.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

Are solar carts reliable? They are as reliable as any golf cart. The question is how much power comes from the sun.
Give me some panel wattages and roughly what part of the country you live in and we can run some numbers for you. If you have a local weather station that gives solar radiation in watts per square meter (W/M2) we can run some real numbers and weigh that against cost.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 05:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

Say approximately 200 watts in central Florida, using a 48volt pack
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Unread 04-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Are Solar golf carts reliable?

Just for easy math lets say you get 6 hours of 200W, that's 1.2KWh of power in a day. A stock golf cart with 6 T-105 batteries is about 8KW so it would take about a week to give you a total charge worth of electricity. I don't know your electric rate but at 10 cents per KWh this would save you 8 cents a week.

With a roof mount your panels will not track the sun so your real power will be less in the morning and the evening.
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