Solar Powered Golf Cart
Been cruising the the forums researching ways to fine tune my recent e-scooter acquisition. I figured I might as well post a picture of our Lido. 2x 175w AEE panels, 48v 3000w brushed motor w/ 'turbo button'.
I have scavenged some vintage panels from the Carrizo install in California hoping to arrange a full time charging 'station' for my scooter so perhaps it too will qualify as a solar vehicle.
Enjoy, and thanks to the forums for all of the helpful information.
Does this recharge exclusively off the solar panels?
"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"
Sure do like the "Nano Pickup" look!
Do tell us more about it.
Hey now, it not only looks like a 'nano' pickup- it still functions as one... the space under the panels is usable, oddly enough is watertight and has a drain plug. Rumor has it, 2 cases of beer and plenty of ice fits nicely, but I wouldn't know if it were true.
There's a link 10 in the dash, on an average day of actually running errands- it burns up around 1800 watts. Spring, summer and fall, the panels are able to compensate for the usage. We do take it to trade shows, events and promos, however, and utilize the battery bank to power the booth. In that case, it takes about 3 days to fully recover the bank. The charger gets used more than it should, leaving it unattended outside these days seems to be begging to have it stolen.
We are in the solar business but not the vehicle conversion business, so bear in mind, a few things we've done might leave you shaking your head.
Currently, there's 8 T-105's(6v Trojan wet batts), a 5hp brushed motor rated at 3000w- bad math there I think, the Link 10 and the panels. Top speed SHOULD be around 40mph, but I believe 35mph is about the best we do right now(that's with 480lbs of batts and 2 adults onboard). All of the cabling is 2/0 and 4/0 where it counts. Acceleration is crisp, hills it slows but not too bad. We do drive it on the street, there's a betting pool as to who gets pulled over first. It helps to have a sign shop next door and their work lends it a sort of official/I'm-allowed-to-drive-on-the-street look.
As to specs on the motor/controller, I actually don't know! We ordered what we were told to order. I'll take a few under-the-hood pictures and get the details if you're interested.
Incidentally Dave- I have a Bridgestone CB-1 I debated converting-
This is a great conversion! Unfortunately I live in the cloudy midwest so I won't be going solar anytime soon.
I would be interested in those under-the-hood shots. Thanks for posting.
Ann Arbor, MI
Thanks for the information!
I bet it would be a blast to drive ... especially along the beach, at a tailgate party or other big event... not to mention the golf course :)
I'd definitely be interested in looking under the hood.
Re: The Bridgestone CB-1, I bet it's worth a few bucks.
I didn't make any permanent changes to my MB-1 so that I could restore it should I ever want to.
I think my next conversion, if any, will be with a bike with some suspension since I do go off-road with mine some.
Disc brakes would be a nice feature as well.
If you're just going to use it on the road the hard-tail works fine though, the CrMo frame has enough flex to give a nice ride. A 36V+ system using DeWalts or other LiIons would help keep the weight down and if you keep it under 1000 Watts it should pass as a bike (not need licensing) in most states.
Good luck in all!
Whew! Sorry it took so long to post the pics. Seems the digital camera pixies borrowed ours for a few days. It used to have a curtis controller... I wrote down the specs on the motor and alltrax controller but will have to post later as they're at home(and I'm still stuck at work). Again, this is new ground for us, and every step is a small one. If you have any questions on the details, I'll try and answer as best I can.
Pic one is the 4 rear batts and motor, pic 2 is the 'booster' for acceleration/hills and pic 3 is the forward 4 batts under the seat as well as the controller.
Incidentally, we're in the cloudy midwest too- raining on and off all day here. The solar business here in Springfield, MO is thriving.
As to my CB-1, I'd never sell it, I worked too hard fixing it up, and it really is a great bike!
Thanks for posting the pics!
That AllTrax controller looks very familiar, I'm very pleased with the AXE4824 that I have on the MB-1-E.
I don't see a fuse in the battery circuit. I know that AllTrax highly recommends one.
I believe they recommend an ANN250 Bussman or Littlefuse for 400 amps or less and an ANN400 Bussman or Littlefuse for the higher amp controllers. It's cheap insurance, you may want to check that out.
Nice clean looking build!
I'm not familiar with the use of a booster, is that just a monster capacitor?
Are those seatbelts ... if so, good plan!
Thanks again for the pics!!
Long week, whew.... another starting tomorrow!
The motor is an ES-51 Series Wound, controller- Alltrax 650.
As far as I knew/thought, there was a rather beefy fuse in there.... something on the lines of 300amp, with giant lugs. However, all I can see now is a bus-bar. I'll definitely look into it, thanks for the heads up!
The build could be cleaner, if you saw the remote solar power units we build in the shop, you'd probably recognize some of the runs of wire(copper is outrageous $$, good way to re-use the 'oops' cables).
The booster, as far as I understand... boosts voltage to the motor under load. I'm not sure if it's just a big monster capacitor, maybe just a bypass from the batteries to the motor?
We do wear the seat belts. I'm not sure how I feel about being confined to a golf cart if it were to sustain a major hit. Think I might rather be thrown. Then again, I'd rather not find out either way which I prefer.
48-volts is a common pack over at "otherpower.com" for us hermits that are typing our manifestos up in our mountain cabins. It wouldn't cost anything to add a sentence to the next batch of brochures to the effect of:
"With our optional inverter, this cart can provide 120 VAC for your TV and lights during the next power outage, much like a back-up generator but without the smell or noise!"
I don't want to sound like I'm nit-picking, I think this is great, and it is more than anything I've ever done, but...
It seems like the cab would shade some of the panel when its parked. If I bought one of these, I'd move the hinge to the right side of the bed, so when its parked the entire panel would get the max sunshine, and the drivers side would be the access to raise and lower it. Just a thought.
This car is awesome.. I would like to have one of those.
Don't want to park in the shade though.. =)