Owners of 48-volt electric Club Car Precedent golf cars, Carryall utility vehicles and Villager LSVs can now capture, store and use solar power with the addition of Club Car’s new 100-watt Solar Drive Charging Panel Assembly.
“As the world’s largest manufacturer of small four-wheel electric vehicles, Club Car is offering this new accessory to help our consumer, golf and commercial customers decrease grid charging and increase range on these vehicles,” said Randall Crook, Club Car’s interim aftermarket marketing manager.
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 United States of a lightweight, impact-resistant, photo-voltaic material with a Teflon-like coating that protects the cells.
Measuring 40 inches by 26 inches, the panels fit snuggly on the canopies or cabs of Precedent golf cars, Carryall utility vehicles and Villager LSVs. They weigh less than six pounds and are just .20 inches thick.
Most 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.
“The Club Car panels are designed with advanced power-harvesting technology that optimizes solar power during various weather conditions and rapidly converts it into electricity to recharge the batteries and power vehicles,” Crook said. “The system also features an intelligent microprocessor that allows a higher 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.