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Old 03-06-2017, 09:52 AM   #1
2050z
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Question Solar panel for a 48v golf cart

Anybody out there have one on their cart?

Seems like a great idea. Several videos out there about it. Would be nice to have when you are really using your cart all day.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:57 AM   #2
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I'm no solar expert, but I have several solar panels for different applications. I would think you would need quiet a big panel to keep a 48v golf cart charged up.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:58 AM   #3
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About the size of the cart roof. No cheap either, but lot of people have them.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
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About the size of the cart roof. No cheap either, but lot of people have them.
Lol! I was going to say about the size of the roof. No lie!
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:15 PM   #5
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You could wire 4 12V panels together and save some $. Just a thought.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:44 PM   #6
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Watching
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:07 PM   #7
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Never found it to be a real plausible idea. Say you wire 4 each, 20 watts (20"x17" each) for 48vdc. You'd only be putting back around 2.25 amps back into the battery bank per peak sun hour. Are you ever in the rough? Well, you cannot charge under the trees. Better try the links
Couple that with poor angle to the sun, clouds, early morning/late evening and it sounds better than it really is. It would be a really slow trickle charge. Best to plug that sucker in every night at the clubhouse.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:33 PM   #8
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I think it would depend a lot on how you use the cart as to whether this would make good sense or not. The way we use our Polaris Ranger EV is mostly for working around our property. So a full day of use is probably only 1-3 hours of actual drive time. In our case, leaving it on a BatteryMinder 48v, 2amp maintainter/desulfator/trickle charger overnight is all we need. We don't even use the main Polaris charger because slower is better for the batteries when it comes to charging. But if you're needing to extend the run time between charges, the solar panel might be the ticket. I doubt it would keep up, but it might at least make the cart discharge the batteries more slowly.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakelover View Post
I think it would depend a lot on how you use the cart as to whether this would make good sense or not. The way we use our Polaris Ranger EV is mostly for working around our property. So a full day of use is probably only 1-3 hours of actual drive time. In our case, leaving it on a BatteryMinder 48v, 2amp maintainter/desulfator/trickle charger overnight is all we need. We don't even use the main Polaris charger because slower is better for the batteries when it comes to charging. But if you're needing to extend the run time between charges, the solar panel might be the ticket. I doubt it would keep up, but it might at least make the cart discharge the batteries more slowly.
This will decrease the life of your batteries. They need to go through stages in order to reach their potential.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:41 PM   #10
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Another option would be to get two 24 volt panels and wire them in series to get 48 volts. I have a Sharp 245 watt panel that in the real world puts out 8 amps in good sunlight. 2 of these panels would be slightly larger than the roof but 8 amps of current would help better than just 2 amps in the example above.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:58 PM   #11
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This will decrease the life of your batteries. They need to go through stages in order to reach their potential.
According to my cart guru, your batts need to be "broken in" by discharging almost down for the first 4/5 times you charge. After that, charging your batts when they are just down somewhat, say half or a quarter, is nothing to worry about.
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Old 03-06-2017, 02:30 PM   #12
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This will decrease the life of your batteries. They need to go through stages in order to reach their potential.
With all respect, I've learned the hard way that using the Polaris's Delta-Q charger (as it is set by the factory on algorithm #73) will decrease the life of batteries. It simply charges them way too fast. Anyone using the Delta-Q on a Ranger EV really needs to change the charger's algorithm to either #71 or #11 (slower charging) to keep from shortening the battery life. This has been proven time and again by Ranger EV users on the Ranger EV forums.

Since replacing the batteries, bulk charging them a few times and then switching to the BatteryMinder, I haven't had one bit of trouble. Perhaps if I ever discharged them more deeply, I would need to use the onboard Delta-Q charger for bulk stage charging. (I have switched the algorithm to one of the settings recommended on the forums.) But since my batteries normally stay at a relatively high charge, that's never been an issue and the BatteryMinder works as both a float stage charger and pulse desulfator.

This approach was recommended to me based on my particular way of using the Ranger EV by someone who specifically works on golf carts and other similar battery systems. Your results may vary and that's why I said I think a lot of it depends on how you use your cart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
According to my cart guru, your batts need to be "broken in" by discharging almost down for the first 4/5 times you charge. After that, charging your batts when they are just down somewhat, say half or a quarter, is nothing to worry about.
That is exactly what I was told as well.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:53 PM   #13
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not sure how well a panel would do .. but if you have power , i have a suggestion i used on my cart ... i kept showing up to the ranch and the cart would be dead ... after a while , the batteries took a hit and they became very unbalanced and running out quickly ... so i did 2 things ... 1 i got a battery desulfator additive ... 2 i added a battery maintainer.

now , when i get to the ranch , the cart is always ready to go and the batteries have recovered quite a bit of range ...

here are the 2 things i used

https://www.amazon.com/Charge-CH-77Q...ords=charge-it


https://www.amazon.com/Save-Battery-.../dp/B002HGFRNU
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:22 PM   #14
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Noob question
What's a battery desulfator?
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:15 PM   #15
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Noob question
What's a battery desulfator?
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Noob question
What's a battery desulfator?
See this link for an explanation: http://www.batteryminders.com/avoid-battery-sulfation/
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:07 PM   #17
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Thank You!
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pushbutton2 View Post
Noob question
What's a battery desulfator?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakelover View Post
after this review that i read, not sure ill be getting it...

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Old 12-25-2017, 07:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2050z View Post
Anybody out there have one on their cart?



Seems like a great idea. Several videos out there about it. Would be nice to have when you are really using your cart all day.


Sure Iíve had a couple for years. One is (3) 230 watt panels at around 120vdc going to a mppt charge controller that reduces it to 36 volts.





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Old 12-25-2017, 07:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2050z View Post
Anybody out there have one on their cart?



Seems like a great idea. Several videos out there about it. Would be nice to have when you are really using your cart all day.


The other is a 48v EZ-GO Express S4 HO, (2) 320 w panels for a total of 640 watts. Also has a Morningstar MPPT charge controller converting about 90vdc off the roof to the voltage required to charge a 48vdc battery bank.

The MPPT chargers cost more but they can find the sweet spot between voltage and amperage and have 3 stage charging (bulk, absorb and float).

I never plug in either of these carts and drive them around on 15 acres, sometimes pulling heavy loads.

The mistake most people make is not putting enough solar up there. Although on my next one (kind of a hobby) Iím going to use about 300 watts of the flexible modules and see how that does.

With the larger arrays I use roll cages as you can see to provide a sturdy enough frame. The frames that hold up the plastic roofs are too flimsy. They should work with the flexible panels tho.





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Old 12-25-2017, 08:16 PM   #21
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I had forgotten all about this post. Cool looking carts
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjohnsun View Post
The other is a 48v EZ-GO Express S4 HO, (2) 320 w panels for a total of 640 watts. Also has a Morningstar MPPT charge controller converting about 90vdc off the roof to the voltage required to charge a 48vdc battery bank.

The MPPT chargers cost more but they can find the sweet spot between voltage and amperage and have 3 stage charging (bulk, absorb and float).

I never plug in either of these carts and drive them around on 15 acres, sometimes pulling heavy loads.

The mistake most people make is not putting enough solar up there. Although on my next one (kind of a hobby) Iím going to use about 300 watts of the flexible modules and see how that does.

With the larger arrays I use roll cages as you can see to provide a sturdy enough frame. The frames that hold up the plastic roofs are too flimsy. They should work with the flexible panels tho.





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How much $$ would you typically have tied up in one of these setups?


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Old 12-25-2017, 09:47 PM   #23
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Full disclaimer I have not used this product but I have a couple of their smaller 12 watt panels to charge batteries for portable ham radio operations. They are very flexible and durable even if punctured due to their series/parallel configuration.


http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/produc...tegoryIDs=6569



Last edited by LWolken; 12-25-2017 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:37 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
How much $$ would you typically have tied up in one of these setups?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro


Around $1500 depending on where you start.
MPPT Charger w remote display, so it can be mounted where you can easily see it, $500 (PWM Charger is $50-$100), Panels $350 to $750
Wire, fuses, Unirac, etc, $50-$75.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:14 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
How much $$ would you typically have tied up in one of these setups?


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Mike,

Update on cost. Iím designing a more affordable system that could hopefully be down around $500 (Just my target). Instead of using a MPPT charger Iíll use a PWM (pulse wave modulated) Charger which is much less expensive. Also there are a lot of surplus modules around now.


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Old 07-08-2018, 10:42 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjohnsun View Post
The other is a 48v EZ-GO Express S4 HO, (2) 320 w panels for a total of 640 watts. Also has a Morningstar MPPT charge controller converting about 90vdc off the roof to the voltage required to charge a 48vdc battery bank.

The MPPT chargers cost more but they can find the sweet spot between voltage and amperage and have 3 stage charging (bulk, absorb and float).

I never plug in either of these carts and drive them around on 15 acres, sometimes pulling heavy loads.

The mistake most people make is not putting enough solar up there. Although on my next one (kind of a hobby) Iím going to use about 300 watts of the flexible modules and see how that does.

With the larger arrays I use roll cages as you can see to provide a sturdy enough frame. The frames that hold up the plastic roofs are too flimsy. They should work with the flexible panels tho.





Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I am currently running flexible panels on our RV. They look awesome (canít see them from the ground) but I only realize @ 50% now in year two. The only drawback is that they cannot breathe and cool properly thus it degrades that much quicker.





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Old 07-08-2018, 11:18 AM   #27
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Thanks for post. Yes thatís the problem with those type. What brand module is it?


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Old 07-08-2018, 02:19 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Thanks for post. Yes thatís the problem with those type. What brand module is it?


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Missouri Wind and Solar. I have found they are not the least expensive but they have everything I need in one place and their customer service is great. Our next RV will run the same panels but I will go with a charge controller-inverter in one and use our MidNite Classic on a wind turbine at the coast. Quality lithium ion batteries are the biggest expense in any DC platform though but thatís worthy of a thread in and of itself.




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Old 07-08-2018, 02:33 PM   #29
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If you’re running out of battery that often you might consider getting away from electric. We have one one battery powered and one gasoline. Use the gas vehicle when we runnin all day long or hauling heavy loads.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:07 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by BolilloLoco View Post
If youíre running out of battery that often you might consider getting away from electric. We have one one battery powered and one gasoline. Use the gas vehicle when we runnin all day long or hauling heavy loads.


Iíve never run mine down, but I have 640 watts on top charging at up to 11 amps. Gauge is always full as it charges every day. Full battery is good for 18 miles (says ezgo), Iím going to test it soon. Mine is governed at 12 mph, instead of 18-20 mph because all use is off road and get more torque. I have 2 trailers for work around 15 acres. Haul rock, dirt, firewood etc.


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Old 07-13-2018, 06:01 PM   #31
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Default Solar panel for a 48v golf cart

Hmm, canít delete double post
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