How to Find Your Cart’s Voltage
When installing fans, lights, radios, or other electrical accessories on your golf cart, it is necessary to know the voltage of your system. When you know the voltage, your accessories can be correctly wired. When shopping for accessories and/or voltage reducers be sure to check out wildaboutcarts.com
Gas Golf Carts
All gas golf carts have 12 volt batteries, so by simply connecting to the positive and negative terminals, you have the correct amount of voltage for any 12 volt accessory.
Electric Golf Carts
Electric golf carts will be either 36 volt or 48 volt systems. Typically, golf carts have a quantity of 6 batteries. If they are 6 volt batteries you have a 36 volt system, and if you have 8 volt batteries you have a 48 volt system. But, how can you tell if a battery is 6 volt or 8 volt?
Just count the number of cells in your batteries! Each cell is 2 volts and has a filling hole for water. Accordingly, if you have 3 cells (or filling holes) times 2 volts per cell, you have a 6 volt battery. If you have 4 cells (or filling holes) times 2 volts per cell, you have an 8 volt battery.
3 Cells = 6 Volts
4 Cells = 8 Volts
Once you know the voltage of your individual batteries, simply count the number of batteries and you have the system voltage!
6 Batteries with 3 Cells each = 36 Volts
6 Batteries with 4 Cells each = 48 Volts
Installing 12 volt Accessories in Electric Golf Carts
There are various options for wiring 12 volt electrical accessories on your electric golf cart. Your options also vary upon having a 36 volt system or a 48 volt system.
36 volt Systems
With a 36 volt system, 2 batteries can be utilized to create the 12 volts needed to power your accessories. With a voltage tester, locate a positive and negative terminal on two adjacent batteries that will provide 12 volts. Although this option of wiring your accessories will work, be aware that the two batteries providing the power to your accessory will have a tendency to wear out quicker. When the batteries eventually begin to fail, these two batteries will most likely be the ones failing sooner.
48 volt Systems
One 8 volt battery is not sufficient to power a 12 volt accessory. And, using two 8 volt batteries (16 volts) will provide too much power to your accessory. This option will sometimes work for a short period of time, but your accessory will typically burn out from excessive voltage. This situation makes it necessary to install a voltage reducer.
As mentioned above, there can be problems associated with installing accessories utilizing only two batteries from your six battery pack. The answer to the problem is to draw from all six of your batteries. Of course, this gives you 36 or 48 volts, which is too much for any accessories.However, a voltage reducer effectively reduces the voltage from your whole battery pack down to 12 volts.