Not just another SUV

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Not just another SUV

Postby Quokka2 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:04 pm

We live on 56 acres which is cleared and only slightly undulating; I've thought about getting an ATV to move tools, pumps and other stuff around the place but it seemed like a lot of money, and small engines don't like me anyway. After a stellar golf career of less than half a dozen rounds (but including a Don Bradman trophy, no less) a golf cart was the last thing on my mind until I spotted this 48V one on Gumtree. It was well used, but the batteries seemed good and a previous owner had thoughtfully raised the suspension and fitted some lights and ATV tyres, so I was hooked and bought it.

I've added a second hand 190W solar panel, a Genasun boost solar regulator and a 90x120cm luggage basket to convert it to an SUV (Solar Utility Vehicle, that is) for about the cost of a mains charger (which wasn't supplied with it). A fifth 37kg battery (which was only running the lights) has been replaced with a 200g step-down voltage converter.

This vehicle has been in use for a month or so now and is running entirely on sunshine, asking only to be parked in the sun while I go about my chores. Apart from being solar powered, it has more carrying capacity (including a passenger) than an ATV and a lower centre of gravity, so should be a lot safer (including fire safety - important in a grassed paddock).

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Just thought I'd share that with you all.
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Re: Not just another SUV

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:07 pm

Nice conversion job :)
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Re: Not just another SUV

Postby lantern » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:33 am

Gee if it could be registered I could use one of those. Good job.
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Re: Not just another SUV

Postby Quokka2 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:32 am

I'd hate to get stuck behind you on the road ;)
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Re: Not just another SUV

Postby APR » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:08 am

Quokka2, sounds like that Genasun boost controller has met your objectives. I haven't found any other supplier of a charge controller that will boost panel voltage to meet battery voltage, so t seems they may be the only supplier to offer such a product.

I'd be interested to get your feedback on how the Genasun charge controller is performing as time goes on and you can get a handle on it's performance.
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Re: Not just another SUV

Postby Quokka2 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:00 pm

APR wrote:Quokka2, sounds like that Genasun boost controller has met your objectives. I haven't found any other supplier of a charge controller that will boost panel voltage to meet battery voltage, so t seems they may be the only supplier to offer such a product.


They're the only one I could find; this model is made expressly for golf carts and is potted. I could have used two smaller panels and a standard controller, but couldn't find a configuration that fitted the roof or wouldn't need secondary support (and I already had the 190W one).

Seems to need about 30-45 minutes charging time per minute of driving time, so wouldn't be suitable for a much larger property or frequent use. I guess it will need more recovery time in Winter; I'm thinking I might make a solar charging point in the shed so it doesn't have to be left out as much (we have a Winter rainfall regime here).
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Re: Not just another SUV

Postby APR » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:52 pm

Here is another boost charge controller I have come across.

http://www.newfrog.com/p/lcd-mppt-7210a ... 11980.html

I somehow think the USA made unit will "Trump" this unit for quality!
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Re: Not just another SUV

Postby Quokka2 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:23 pm

APR wrote:I somehow think the USA made unit will "Trump" this unit for quality!


Possibly, although the Chinese (?) unit has a much better user interface, easier connection, and is claimed suitable for lithium batteries, which the US model isn't (although they have a model made for lithium batteries). Given the 6x price differential I would have tried this one first. :(
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Re: Not just another SUV

Postby APR » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:46 pm

Quokka2 wrote:... the Chinese (?) unit has a much better user interface, easier connection, and is claimed suitable for lithium batteries, which the US model isn't (although they have a model made for lithium batteries).

Yes, it does look the part. With Lithium, I would want a high voltage cutout to stop overcharging if the controller were to spit the dummy and go haywire.

Given the 6x price differential I would have tried this one first. :(

I would also try this unit out to see what it is like. The claim of up to 600 watt of throughput has me thinking. Assuming 600 watt at 72 volt, that is 8.3 amp, which at 48 volt is around 400 watt of panel power. If I needed one I would buy it.
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