Saturday, November 5, 2016

Your Golf Carts Voltage & Accessories

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

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.

Voltage Reducers

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.

History of the Golf Cart

 Originally made for golfers with disabilities, the first golf carts were introduced in the 1940’s. By the early 50’s they had caught on with the entire golf community as well as retirement communities.
 By 1951 the first mass-produced golf carts were being made. These early electric golf cars made history by being the first electric vehicles that private consumers could buy. This allowed for whole communities, schools, and towns alike to embrace the efficiency of the golf cart as a whole.

 Some small town communities really embraced the golf cart. One of the first was a town called The Villages in Florida, which was a large retirement community with a very extensive golf cart trail system. The golf cart was especially useful in retirement communities, because it was a safe and effective way for the elderly to keep their independence and still be able to get around. Another golf cart enthused town is Peach Tree City in Florida, where golf carts are a major form of transit for the old and young. The local high school even has a student golf cart parking lot.

 While most people prefer the electric golf cart over gas, these vehicles do certain advantages. Electric golf carts are perfect for the golf course or cruising close to home, but when they run out of power you may not be near a place to re-charge. When going further from home, a gas powered golf cart makes much more sense, as you can bring additional gasoline along with you and refuel anytime you want.

 The golf cart is thought to have led on to other types of small transport devices, such as indoor power scooters and NEVs (neighborhood electric vehicles). The low speed capacity, affordability, and easy maintenance of golf carts make them very popular, and who wouldn’t want to play off of that idea?

 Over the years, new technology and interest in design have offered newer and more advanced golf cart models every year. Branching out to include golf carts with 4-wheel drive and utility tires, new golf cart utility vehicles were created. They were made to drive on all sorts of terrain, from movie sets to warehouses to gardening stores.