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Solar Panel Golf Buggies

We have previously reported on solar panels being fitted to ambulances and the roofs of car parking areas to allow electric cars to be charged. Well, now you can drive around certain golf courses in a golf buggy that is powered by a solar panel.

Golf course
(image credit: eutrophication&hypoxia)

These are currently being manufactured by a company in Windsor, Ontario called Unconquered Sun and, from the sound of things, could prove very popular additions to the golf buggy fleets of many golf courses. This would be another way of golf courses supporting environmentally friendly projects with many clubs reducing chemical and water usage.

The company claim that considerable savings can be made by utilising golf buggies powered by solar panels. They believe that a golf course with a fleet of 80 buggies can reduce electrical grid consumption by anything between 50% to 75% saving as much as $374 per annum in the running costs of each golf buggy. Furthermore, these vehicles do not pollute the air and their location can be monitored at any time.

Quite simply, a solar panel provides not only the power generation but also acts as the roof to the golf buggy. Double-coated black foam taping is used to attach the solar panel that is made of a series of polycrystalline cells to the frame of the golf buggy. Being 275 watts, it was an interesting challenge to charge the battery but this was achieved by utilising an induction procedure that increased the voltage on the panel from 31 to 56 volts. Around 7 to 8 amps of energy are provided throughout the day with the exception of when the buggy is in motion.

The golf buggy has a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth smart gauge plus a monitoring system. These enable the golf club staff to monitor where the buggies are, the speed they are being driven and the amount of charge. The golfer can also see how much charge is being used.  Whilst the golf buggy remains at a standstill on the golf course the sunlight will be charging the battery but in inclement weather the buggy can be charged electrically as a back up.

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