• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Leigh Tate
  • thomas rubino

Help please want to charge my 36 volt golf cart with solar off grid

 
Posts: 5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to charge my 36 volt golf cart with solar panels. I need to know (lots of stuff cause I am just learning this stuff lol) how many watt / voltage panels do I need I thought maybe a 36 volt mppt charge controller with a plug in connector  to hook it up to the golf cart (not exactly sure how to do that part either ) and then I plan on hooking up an inverter (how big an inverter would be best also) so I can use my cart as a solar backup generator.  Ive been doing alot of research on this and everything out there assumes you want to mount a panel on your roof and use a low watt / voltage panel. Please help Thanks for your time.
 
gardener
Posts: 3895
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
1120
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Bob;  Welcome to Permies!
What your wanting to do is completely doable!
I assume that your golf cart lives at home?  Theft of the whole cart or your goodies would be a concern in public.
Of course it might not be as simple as you were hoping.
Simply charging your cart would not be very hard, but wanting a mobile power station changes things.
I don't have time this morning to elaborate.  
I'll post back later if you haven't gotten responses.
 
master steward
Posts: 4097
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1240
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This post is from someone who added solar to their cart so some of their info might help:

https://permies.com/t/28774/permaculture-projects/Solar-Voltswagon#225053

Coralee said We have started a solar/mico hydro golf cart project. It is not finished, but all the parts have been purchased.

 
pollinator
Posts: 432
Location: North central Ontario
56
kids dog books chicken earthworks cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

bob bobo wrote:I would like to charge my 36 volt golf cart with solar panels. I need to know (lots of stuff cause I am just learning this stuff lol) how many watt / voltage panels do I need I thought maybe a 36 volt mppt charge controller with a plug in connector  to hook it up to the golf cart (not exactly sure how to do that part either ) and then I plan on hooking up an inverter (how big an inverter would be best also) so I can use my cart as a solar backup generator.  Ive been doing alot of research on this and everything out there assumes you want to mount a panel on your roof and use a low watt / voltage panel. Please help Thanks for your time.

both the outback flexmax and the midnite solar classic will support 36 volt charging directly to the cart battery bank. The outback 60 amp would do up to 2400 watts of solar. So 4 strings of 2 panels each of 60 cell 300 watt panels...
 
Bob Smith Ii
Posts: 5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just want to charge the cart off grid. I dont want to put the panels on the cart.
 
Posts: 74
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
remember that you need to put in more voltage than you have on your batteries.  So with that in mind  you will need as much as 42.5 volts to push the current into the batteries. But my actual question is how the batteries are hooked up in the golf cart.  Are you using 6 volt batteries ?  This is normal for a golf cart.    Do you have 6 batteries?  Are the negatives all connected to negative on the wires? Are the positive leads all connected to each other?  This is done this way making the batteries as 6 volt and increasing the amperage.

If this is the way your batteries are connected.. then you can use a 6 volt battery charger. and it will just need to have enough amperage to actually charge the battery bank.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/121637668418   this is a charger for golf cart that is set up for 36 volt


here is another link that you might find helpful  https://www.rmigolfcarts.com/blogs/news/how-to-properly-charge-a-golf-cart-battery   The reason for these links is you need to know how the carts work.
 
David Baillie
pollinator
Posts: 432
Location: North central Ontario
56
kids dog books chicken earthworks cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

bob bobo wrote:I just want to charge the cart off grid. I dont want to put the panels on the cart.

bob, you could mount the array on the ground, the charge controller on the cart, a disconnect swith and a connector to the solar feed. Plug into the panels when you need them. The alternative is panels, chargecontroller, seperate batteries, inverter, regular 120 volt charger... going straight to the cart batteries is easier. so a single say 270-300 watt panel on a rack, with one of these units here: https://www.solarevsystems.com/solar-kits/mppt-solar-charge-controller-36v48v

with a plug in for the panel when you are parked would do or bolt a panel to the roof which you are seeing a lot more of these days...
 
pollinator
Posts: 385
Location: Nomadic
35
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don’t recall seeing any 36 volt inverters? Has anyone seen any? Ive seen a Outback 32 volt inverter. Its from a boat but would work if the voltage is close enough. It still for sale cheap near here.  
 
Bob Smith Ii
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My ezgo golf cart has 6-6 volt batteries for a total of 36 volts Thanks again
 
Jeremy Baker
pollinator
Posts: 385
Location: Nomadic
35
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ive used golf cart batteries with inverters before. I checked and see a few 36 volt inverters on eBay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1500W-Power-Inverter-36V-to-110V-120V-60Hz-Pure-Sine-Wave-Inverter-Solar-Home-RV/192919150652?hash=item2ceae0a03c:g:s-8AAOSwcvRc3ksB
 
pollinator
Posts: 1577
Location: Victoria BC
229
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Depending on the desired loads a step-down converter to 12V or 24V might be an option to power your inverter.

While it adds a point of failure and expense, it has the advantage that it would allow for use of readily available DC items.

If you're looking at a high wattage setup, probably worth focusing on 36V inverters...
 
David Baillie
pollinator
Posts: 432
Location: North central Ontario
56
kids dog books chicken earthworks cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
bob, check to see if your particular model of cart can be upgraded to 48 volts. many golf cart are sold with controller and motors that can be upgraded... Something to consider. I just reread the beginning and I agree that there are very few 36 volt inverters out there... I have seen a 36 volt to 12 volt converter that would allow you to charge a single 12 volt battery to run a standard 12 volt inverter...

 
Posts: 826
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
115
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bob, considering how expensive solar components are, and how long they last  (a long time if taken care of) especially the panels and inverter, it might be financially worthwhile to create a charging station in a shed or a part of the garage that can be wired to run DC appliances, output AC through the inverter, and charge other batteries.   And if you really get into solar, want to have it provide power for more things, you will already have the equipment for a good starter setup.

The one thing I wish I hadn't done is pay a lot of extra money for an inverter/charger.  It would have been cheaper for my situation to just get an inverter, then use a regular AC charger.  Maybe others have found it convenient to have spent that extra money, but I just had something go wrong with the charger part of the inverter, and now the whole thing isn't working.

And if you get into solar to the point where you want to store it in deep-cycle batteries for output to an inverter, the batteries should be in a different shed next to the battery shed, because the batteries off-gas hydrogen gas that corrodes the very expensive components.
 
Bob Smith Ii
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can find a 36 volt inverter no problem there. The Problem I have is I dont know how to charge cart off grid. I dont know how to set it up. I have 6 batteries at 6 volts each for 36 volts. I really need detailed instructions on how to pull this off thanks
 
pollinator
Posts: 1328
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
315
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bob,
I am doing exactly what Christo recommended. I initially wanted to make a trailer, but weatherproofing was an issue. I have decided to make weatherproof shed that can store my vehicle (which is actually 96V) and charge the two stacks on independent 48V charge controllers. I got some el cheapo charge controllers free with the panels (that do 12/24/48V but not 36) and when they die I will upgrade. I also am making sure that all components will work with a LiFePO chemistry as I am converting over to that, and then I can have four separate 48V LiFePO stacks that can be traded out in the vehicle. That allows me to have four smaller 48V LiFePO stacks that I can independently charge, so I can use them for several applications. 96V DC scares me, so I am trying to use 48V on big stuff (96v inverters are very expensive), and 24V for the most. The charge controllers are flexible, and I think the MPPT generally are much better devices but they are more. The inverters in my current price range are not flexible in input voltage.

You could do the same with 12V LiFePO stacks in series for your 36 volts, and a 12v inverter is CHEAP, but without much Amp hours behind it if its 1/3 of your vehicle storage. And a series of three LiFePO batteries I would think need a battery management system which is more expense and learning curve.

This guy
has some really good input and is clear about requirements IMO.
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 826
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
115
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bob,  putting together an electrical system that involves panels, a controller, batteries, fuses, DC disconnect, inverter, wiring, cables big enough to handle the voltage, a grounding rod,  is something that a professional, experienced person should help you with, like the folks at Arizona Wind and Sun.  I have no connection to them, but their website is helpful, and they (or any other company that sells components) can get the right components for you.  
'
Electricity is very dangerous, you shouldn't wear rings, or have any kind of metal hanging from your neck when you are touching components or batteries.  This isn't a quick, "plug 'n play" kind of thing.

 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
322
forest garden solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Battery Bank Capacity = 6V x 240AH x 6battery = 8640WH = 8.6KWH
Solar Panels = Battery Bank Capacity / 4 = 8.6KWH/2 = 2.25KW or about 2KW solar array
Amount of solar panels = 2000W/333W = 6 solar panels (each for $250 for 350W)
Charge Controller = 60A (60A x 40V = 2500W)

Now just connect the charge controller to your output of your battery bank that connects to your vehicle

6 Solar panels rated at 2000 watts connected to a single 60A MPPT charge controller, then just use some jumper cable to connect that to your battery bank right where the golf cart connects its wires to power the motor and relays.

Make sure you have the right gauge wire for 60A.
Most charge controller can output to 12V or 24v or 36v or 48v or 96v, etc. Make sure you program/select 36V and double check that it can out put to 36V.



Another alternative is just plug a regular AC charger into your off-grid house and use that to charge your golf cart, the way how everyone does it. Just increase your solar array by 3000W (9panels)
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 826
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
115
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

S Bengi wrote:Battery Bank Capacity = 6V x 240AH x 6battery = 8640WH = 8.6KWH
Solar Panels = Battery Bank Capacity / 4 = 8.6KWH/2 = 2.25KW or about 2KW solar array
Amount of solar panels = 2000W/333W = 6 solar panels (each for $250 for 350W)
Charge Controller = 60A (60A x 40V = 2500W)

Now just connect the charge controller to your output of your battery bank that connects to your vehicle



Maybe I missed it, but I wasn't under the impression bob, who asked the original question, knows anything about a solar setup, or what "just connect" means, and that there are special gauge wires and special gauge cables necessary.  Where should he put the DC disconnects to disconnect the panels from the controller in an emergency, or disconnect the inverter from the batteries, and where's the grounding rod for all of those components?  What kind of posts and racks should he get for the panels, and how far apart should the panels be from the battery array so he won't lose voltage?   Does he hook up the panels in parallel or series?  And on and on it goes when making one's own setup.

Oh, and just the other day, April (spring in the northern hemisphere) I found another paper wasp nest under the solar panel.  They love it under there.





 
Bob Smith Ii
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes those are good questions you ask. I am so new that I didnt even know to ask them. Any help would be appreciated. thanks everyone for all the help.
 
I didn't do it. You can't prove it. Nobody saw me. The sheep are lying! This tiny ad is my witness!
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic