Panels deliver solar power in vehicle lineup (with related video)
The panels reduce emissions, cut charging costs and increase range on several Club Car vehicle models. They also reduce the need for grid-generated energy.
The firm’s 100-watt Solar Drive Charging Panel Assembly enables owners of 48-volt electric Club Car Precedent golf cars, Carryall utility vehicles and Villager low-speed vehicle (LSVs) to capture, store and use solar power. The panels are suited for the Augusta, Ga.-based Club Car’s golf, consumer and commercial models.
As a yearly average, the system generates 29 percent of the total energy required to drive eight miles per day in West Palm Beach, Fla. That reduces the energy needed to recharge the battery by 29 percent. Results may vary depending on area and usage.
By continually transferring energy to the batteries, the panels limit how deep into the battery reserve a vehicle must go during a typical use.
The panels are based on technology developed for the U.S. Marine Corps, which uses it to run communications equipment in the Middle East. The panels are made in the U.S. of a lightweight, impact-resistant, photo-voltaic material with a Teflon-like coating that protects the cells.
Measuring 40 by 26 inches, the panels fit snuggly on the canopies or cabs of Club Car vehicles. They weigh less than six pounds and are just 0.20 inches thick.
Traditional solar panels are made in China, framed in tempered glass and weigh approximately 24 pounds, creating drag on the vehicle and limiting the benefits. What’s more, service and warranty issues can be a big problem with panels made abroad, according to the company.
The panels are designed with power-harvesting technology that optimizes solar power during various weather conditions and rapidly converts it into electricity to recharge the batteries and power vehicles. The system also features an intelligent microprocessor that allows a high rate of charge and reduces charge time, without overheating.
The panels come complete with a controller, connector to the vehicle’s power supply, all necessary hardware and installation instructions. They can be user- or dealer-installed in about 20 minutes.
In addition to the standard 100-watt panel for the above-mentioned vehicles, Club Car can configure solar panels for other types of vehicles through its Custom Solutions Department.
Club Car vehicles and accessories are sold through Authorized Club Car Dealers. To find a dealer, visit this site. Club Car is a manufacturer of small-wheel, zero-emissions electric vehicles.
In the video, Scott Handback of Tri-Cities Golf Club talks about features of the Precedent I3 cart.