Solar golf cart
Solar golf carts are golf carts powered by mounting a photovoltaic (PV) or thin film panel on top of the existing roof or using a PV panel as the roof itself. A controller converts the sun's energy to charge the golf cart's 36-volt or 48-volt battery bank. Not only does the solar power take the cart off the electric grid, it also increases the driving distance and extends the life of the batteries.
Solar conversion kits have been available for golf carts and Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) for several years. These kits range from low wattage solar battery chargers to a 410-watt array on an 8-passenger transport cart. Kits utilizing flexible solar panels are often preferred on golf carts due to their light weight and ability to conform to the shape of the cart roof. Buyers can take a solar tax credit of 30% of the purchase price on their US Federal Income Tax.
Solar-powered golf carts are popular with owners who drive long distances, such as maintenance workers, golf course fleets, staff at the Detroit Zoo, transportation vehicles in resorts and cities, and drivers of VIP carts on college campuses. High schools have used them as teaching tools for solar power. For the environmentally-conscious and campers and hunters who are away from electrical power, the solar-powered golf cart reduces or eliminates the need to plug in. Converting a golf cart to solar power creates a true solar electric vehicle.
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- United States Internal Revenue Service. "IRS Form 2368" (PDF). United States Government. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
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- Detroit Zoo (July 23, 2009). "Clean Green Solar-Powered Machine Replaces Gas Guzzler at Detroit Zoo". Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- "Sun Powered Golf Carts to Ride in Cocoa". August 17, 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- St. Petersburg Times (September 24, 2010). "USF Taps into Solar Energy with Special Golf Cart". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- Lockheed Martin Engineering Exploring Post (May 2010). "Gallery". Solar Golf Cart Project. Retrieved 21 January 2011.