1998 Solar-Powered Golf Cart

 

This concept vehicle is an easy way to venture into a post-petro-fuel sustainable future.  Like the other projects on this website, it represents a viable, convenient path to transportation independence from centralized, commercial power sources and petro-fuels.


          The 15 mph top speed is incompatible with petro-fueled vehicles but fun, clean, and far better than walking, riding a bike, or keeping a horse, especially for transporting two or three people plus a small load.


          The on-board, 2500-watt,120 VAC inverter makes this vehicle a mobile power plant.  Any number of conventional tools, appliances, and residential or farming needs from pumps to lights to a chain saw can be powered on-the-spot.



Golf Cart Specifications:

Any 48-volt golf cart can be used.  Just add two 2 ½ by 5 foot standard 24-volt panels connected in series to provide 6-amps input in the sun.


Battery Pack: can be the usual six 8-volt golf cart batteries, or any series of four, 12-volt batteries.  DEKA 9C12 220 Ah batteries will provide about 9 kwh or energy, enough for 75 to 90 miles at a 30 ampere rate and 15 mph without incoming solar.   With six amperes coming in from sunlight, this range could increase to almost 100 miles.  If you start to run low, just stop and recharge.


The electric golf cart with a trailer can be used for minimal hauling needs.


When parked in direct sunlight, the 2500-watt, solar-powered inverter provides almost enough energy to continuously operate (fell, winch, cut-to-length, split) a quiet, non-polluting firewood operation.  Try that with a work horse.  One cord output in a day would heat an energy-efficient home for a year.


Weight: Without batteries the cart weighs 550 pounds. Batteries add an additional 500 pounds.


Cost: $1000 to $2000 for a good used cart plus $1500 for two 150 to 175 watt panels.  The cart usually comes with a plug-in battery charger (for utility-grid recharging when available).

 

Personal Transportation and Portable Electric Power