Charge Controller for 48v golf cart

1 Posts
Apr 8, 2010 01:01 am
Charge Controller for 48v golf cart

I have a portable 160w solar panel system with 2@ 80w panels wired in parallel for 12v charging.  I have a PWM type controller mounted on the back of the panels that I use to charge a battery bank in my RV.

I would like to use these same panels to charge a 48v battery bank in a golf cart.  Is there a controller that can accept a 12v or 24v input and "step-up" the voltage output to charge a 48 volt system?  I have found DC-DC step up converters, but I would like a PWM or similar multi-phase charge regime and not just a voltage converter. I assume that I cannot just take the output from my 12v controller and step it up to 48v as the controller will no longer sense the battery condition and phase the charge.

I found the controller SORCV12/36-4PV on this site, but it only has a 36 volt output.  Is this the type of device I need?  Can it be found in 48v output?  Does anybody make a dual voltage controller so that I can use the portable system to charge both the 12v RV and the 48v golf cart (not at the same time ...)?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Apr 13, 2010 06:13 am
Re: Charge Controller for 48v golf cart

I do not know of such a "step up" charge controller on the market but, I suppose almost anything is possible these days.
You do know that any "transformation" comes with a "price," right? As the old saying goes, "There no such things a free lunch." Its like a toll that the universe demands from us to utilize energies within this physical realm.

Will less that 160 watts provide a worthwhile amount of charge to a golf cart in just a few hours a day? Even with 5 hours of equivalent full rated charge from your PV modules, this would only amount to less than 0.8 kWhr's. How long would that 0.8 kWh's last on your golf car?

Even conventional golf cart chargers that transform 120 vac into 48 vdc exacts a price that manifests itself in the form of heat. The few I looked at, charge at a maximum of around +/- 20 amps. In just 1 hour of charging thats is less than 0.96 kWh's. How long would that 0.96 kWh's last on your golf cart? If it had 5 hours to charge?
« Last Edit: Apr 13, 2010 06:15 am by Thomas Allen Schmidt »
220 Posts
Apr 25, 2010 11:50 pm
Re: Charge Controller for 48v golf cart

hi steve

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 couple possible solutions..some better than others..some more expensive than others..the most expensive is not necessarily the best.

 solar converters does indeed make a 48 volt model of that controller. model #CV12/48-3PV rated 3amps for 48v banks. this is a constant voltage controller. ie: lets the battery come up to 56 volts (adjustable) and holds it will take quite some time for it to ever get into regulation. <-not really such a bad thing to keep our pv's running while they are able.

 i kind of admire that company (solar converters) they appear to be a small canadian company that finds a need in the market and fills it. have a feeling some of these items are made as one offs as the orders come in..they may need several weeks of lead time to set you up. altE should be able to forward your request.

 or we could do the inverter thing (plenty of losses here). with this option we would have the pv connected to the 12v rv bank (hopefully charged up and in regulation) and run a 12vdc to 120vac inverter from it hooked up to a small 48v charger.

 heres some. the 2.5 or 3.5amp model would be the go.

 consider a timer if you go that route, don't want to forget it's on and invite trouble with the rv bank! (drain it too much)

 or could do with the same 12v controller on your rig and manually configure for charging. sounds complicated but not soo bad if you get yourself set up with a reliable routine and follow it.

heres some scribbles on how it might go.

another option is to double your array and configure that for 48v output..need to invest in a 48v capable cc as well, the ts-45 or c-40 would fit the bill..can you talk yourself into it?

have fun, dave

edit: added link to data regards to that 3amp @48vdc rating.
« Last Edit: Apr 26, 2010 05:55 pm by david ames »
Apr 26, 2010 07:41 pm
Re: Charge Controller for 48v golf cart

Wow! 92 to 96% efficiency. Thats higher than I would have guessed from a *Joule thief. Stepping up 12 vdc nominal PV to charge 48 vdc battery. I am curious, would the PV power from the 12 vdc charge controller go right to the converter or would it be necessary to connect the PV modules right to the converter? If the later, what would control the charge?
I'd be interested to know what the efficiency is of a Toyota Prius NHW-20 with its 500 volt motor and 202 volt battery pack?

220 Posts
Apr 30, 2010 10:51 pm
Re: Charge Controller for 48v golf cart

 hard to argue with that efficiency, two meanings- as in that's very high and as in most of us would not have the means to be able to measure close enough to argue a case saying it's not that efficient.

 looks like that controller hooks right up to the modules. in this case (steve's) he would have to disconnect his pwm 12v controller and run this one in it's place for 48v charging.

 have not had a chance to use any of these in line series controllers/converters from "solar converters inc" but have some of their other flashy chrome or fancy lights with these! the products i have (a battery desulfator and a voltage converter) work well but are plain in appearance..photocopied label and instructions with no ul sticker in sight.

 these appear to be "voltage only" no charge stages, just comes up to the set point voltage and stays there- must be a voltage comparator set up.

 no idea at all on the efficiency of a Toyota Prius? but we still have a way to go with battery technology to have a full blown EV as a primary auto..

 all interesting stuff.

cheers, dave

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