Municipalities are making efforts to reduce air pollution from small engines such as those found in lawnmowers, dirt bikes, and gas-powered golf carts. These engines contribute to smog and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are often more costly to operative than their electric equivalents. Some municipalities are already working with operators of “green” corporate fleets that rely on electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce emissions (TAF, 2010). There is a perception that gas carts, which can be refueled in minutes rather than the hours it takes to charge an electric cart’s battery bank, are more reliable. They can be run longer, which means less down-time. However, considerations such as the rising cost of fuel, pollution impacts, and improved real-world performance of electric vehicles have prompted a re-examination of the tradeoffs between gas and electric carts. Electricity in Ontario is generated largely from non-carbon-based fuels (hydroelectric and nuclear), and the electricity supply mix is gradually becoming greener as Ontario’s coal-fired power plants are phased out and new wind, solar, and biogas generation comes online. Electric motors are considerably more efficient than internal combustion gas engines (ICEs). Electric motors convert 80 to 90 percent of their input energy to kinetic energy (Engineering Toolbox, 2005), while ICEs convert only 16 to 37 percent (Lovins, 2004). Therefore, electric golf carts offer an undeniable opportunity to golf course operators to green their fleets. When some of the electricity for the carts is generated from the sun, there is potential for improvements in both cost and performance.
Solar-assisted golf carts recharge their batteries through...
Solar-assisted golf carts recharge their batteries through a combination of grid-electricity and solar energy from panels mounted on the roof. They were developed to save energy and money by reducing the cost of charging batteries, increasing the distance that the cart can travel on a single charge, and extending the discharge period of the golf cart batteries. Depending on the golf course, the longer travel times may reduce the number of stand-by electric carts required, which can translate into additional cost savings. This presentation examines the potential benefits of switching from alone electric-battery carts to solar-assisted electric-battery golf carts through a side-by-side field evaluation of one or two solar-assisted electric golf carts and one or two standard electric golf carts.
Golfer preference and the marketing potential of solar assisted carts would be evaluated by means of a feedback survey. In addition to comparing the overall performance of the different carts, the study proposal also considers specific claims made by manufacturers about the environmental benefits of solar-assisted golf carts over conventional electric carts. These purported benefits include saving money by drawing less electricity from the grid, extending the daily/weekly “in-service” time of the carts, reducing the need for stand-by carts, and reducing charging costs and lastly less maintenance associated with last longer range and with 30% less maintenance to the Lead-Acid batteries instead of conventional model, for the environment advantage less energy consumption means less pollution.
The sun and wind energy are free...but
But because they are not constant sources of power, renewable energy is considered “variable”— it is affected by location, weather and time of day. Utilities need to deliver reliable and steady energy by balancing supply and demand. We at Beecroft are able to handle the fluctuations that solar and wind power present to the whole system stability by adjusting their operations, as the amount of energy supplied by the hydro are constant and the renewable are variable, so, better battery storage is crucial, that’s why the uses a hybrid system becomes necessary. Our technology was developed using a cutting-edge EMS (Energy Management System) including an optional SCADA system for monitoring all Carts features and eventual failures in remote mode. As optional feature, each Golf Cart could be monitored in real-time using our developed remote WiFi solution:
- RCCP (Remote Cart Control Panel) for monitor of energy levels and location as well of each Golf Cart in the course.
- As an optional feature too we can provide an USB onboard system – (Charging facilities on the Cart for charge Laptops, Tablets and any mobile phone), so the golfers can now enjoy power outlets in the Golf Cart.
The Cart is lighter than conventional Golf Cart as much 150 pounds less including the implementation of the semi-Flexible Solar panel, Ultra-Boost and EMS modules as well. From an environmental perspective, the golf cart uses less energy for every ride, which can be drawn from our renewable energy source if you decide also for the installation of stationary Solar Panel generation plant.
The solution also provides a very interesting less maintenance period of about 30-35% of the LeadAcid batteries instead of conventional model,
Regenerative Braking included in EMS intelligent controller system:
In a Golf Cart the word “regenerative” in terms of regenerative braking and downhill, means capturing the vehicle’s momentum (kinetic energy) and turning it into electricity that recharges (regenerates) the onboard battery as the vehicle is slowing down and/or stopping or going downhill. Helping in the complex energy storage support system.
These carts are much greener than anything on the market using more range with less energy.
Proposed Features (optional):
PPS (Power Peak Shifting) technology by Beecroft: It is available within our proposition the installation of the PPS energy battery solution that charge overnight when the rate is favorable and then use the stored energy during the On-Peak hours. The PPS charging system uses Off-Peak rates to charge the more efficient batteries to store the energy for release during On-Peak hours to minimize hydro charges.
Go Completely Off the Grid: Available off grid power system which combines multiple technologies to completely minimize electricity bills and even potentially produce a surplus that can be sold back to the grid. Using Lithium Ion batteries to storage the energy for recharge the Golf Carts during the phase of renewable energy source is weak or even null.
Main advantage of use the new Solar Ultra-Boost Solution :
• Average 70 Km per charge instance of the 25 km of the conventional lead battery
• Less carts in line for recharging
• 3-5 hours Vs. 6-8 hours to charge the conventional lead battery
• Taken advantage from the recharge while your brake and/or decelerate downhill (regenerative brake system)
• Charge up to 5x the Carts in the same amount of time of old Carts needed, since the charging unit is onboard of the Cart self.
• The new solution maintenance would radically ameliorate compared to the Lead-Acid batteries conventional model, it is a virtually nil for the installed equipment.
Extending autonomy Range
• The use of 300 W solar panel on a typical golf cart at a typical golf course will create enough extra power to extend the range with an additional 36 – 50 holes. A passenger or utility vehicle will gain 35 – 70 km a day depending of the driving conditions.
Reducing Electricity Costs
• The use of 300 W solar canopy will save you up to 1.9 kWh/day also because of reducing charging time and getting less energy from the grid.
• The Staff would not be exposed to any battery acid chemicals, nor will they have to work on the batteries themselves, as the maintenance would be virtually nil.
Other important advantages:
● Uses less energy to get around
● Make less marks on the turf
● Ride smoother than traditional battery
● Pick up speed faster
● 150 pound less than the conventional lead battery pack
SOLAR ULTRA-BOOST POWER SYSTEM by BEECROFT TECHNOLOGY
The solar-assisted or Solar -Lithium with Ultra-Boost Solution configuration:
Our Solar Ultra-Booster solution is tailored depending of your actual fleet configuration in order to maximize the production and the effectiveness of the harvested energy to use, we have found the optimal combination (production / consumption) to promote the right economical solution;
Because we truly value your partnership with us and we are very serious about providing you with an exceptional best solution.
The versions presented on the following pages are 2, 4 and 6 passengers carts.
Utility carts equipped with truck beds, cargo boxes, iceboxes etc. can be also improved on request. Our factory holds great flexibility and we will be able to produce many tailored designs to meet your requirements and expectations of improvement using your existing conventional power system. Tailored Beecroft Solar Solution for any fleet configuration:
• For Carts of 2 passengers: 250Wp solar panel
• For Carts of 4 passengers: 300Wp solar panel
• For Carts of 6 passengers: 400Wp solar panel
Advantage of Beecroft power model in the use of Solar Ultra-Boost Solution in Electric Golf Carts, Utility Carts and other Low Speed Electric Vehicles. The four most important advantages of using solar power on electric carts are:
The use of 300 W solar panel on a typical golf cart at a typical golf course will create enough extra power to extend the range with an additional 36 – 50 holes. The utility vehicle will gain about 35 – 70 km a day depending of the driving conditions.
The use of 300 W solar canopy will save you up to 1.9 kWh/day also because of reducing charging time.
The produced solar power will go directly to the motor when the car is running, or recharge batteries while the car is at a standstill. Using solar means that batteries will be operated at a higher SOC (State Of Charge)
By drawing 35% to 40% less electricity from the grid, extending the daily/weekly “in-service” time of the carts. Reducing charging costs and lastly less maintenance associated with last longer range and with virtually nil maintenance compared to the Lead-Acid batteries of the conventional model.
Reducing the need of stand-by of the carts Environmental advantage due to the less energy consumption means less pollution. No special or particular equipment is required to install aside of the Carts improvement installation.
- ROI (Return of Investment)
- State of the Art Solar Panels
- Maximum stability of the Solar Ultra-Boost Solution charge system (EMS)
For Solar Ultra-Boost Solution. Based on 18 parameters our comprehensive ROI model calculates costs and benefits and quickly reaches ROI and Breakeven. Usually, the breakeven is reached within 24 months depending on driving characteristics, electricity prices, weather conditions, purchase price etc. If desired, we offer our assistance in the calculations. Another important parameter to consider as ROI is the extension of the Battery lifespan depending on several independent parameters like general maintenance, temperature conditions, as well as charge and discharge characteristics. Particularly Depth of Discharge (DOD) has a severe impact on battery lifespan time which would be improved up to 30% using our system. It is really important as batteries (especially lead acid batteries) deteriorate faster, when they are deeply discharged.
So, in according to summer period and taking other parameters such: hours of use per day, daily sunlight incidence, weather conditions, electricity prices, we evaluate the ROI in approximately 20 to 24 months for use in a Golf course meanwhile in different applications the time could vary.
The Solar Ultra-Boost Power System consists of state of the art of semi-Flexible Solar Panels made from highly efficient solar cells from our Canadian manufacturing partner.
The voltage and current produced by the solar panels fluctuates depending on temperature and insolation, and the EMS controller by Beecroft keeps constantly balancing and seeks the optimal combination to harvest the maximum power from the panels. Simultaneously the intelligent controller inverts the power from the solar panels ensuring that the output power is constantly adjusted to the needs of the battery in order to optimize the charge.
Hybrid Solar – Lithium Solution by Beecroft
The dimensioning of the ultra-capacitors system is important in order to achieve a suitable solution for the functioning in every load condition.
Environmental foot-print mitigation and benefits using the Solar-Lithium Solution
The direct benefits arising from the use of Solar Lithium solution will be significant, in particular the extended life-cycle of the Golf Cart batteries. The continuous charging cycle that the technology facilitates lengthens the Cart’s battery lifespan and considerable reduces operating costs both in terms of replacement costs and waste disposal management. We also warranty a significant reduction of the power consumption, charging time and maintenance for the entire fleet, thanks to the Solar canopies charging units, on sunny summer days the carts will return to the Golf Cart parking center fully charged even after 18 holes. Equally important, the reduced waste volume and power consumption achieved through the use of the Solar canopies would ensured that the Golf course is taking a leading role in the drive for a sustainable management in Golf. The environmental responsibility and reduction of operating costs are our leading commitment for the fully customer satisfaction.
Economic viability of LiFePo4 Golf Cart project
Meanwhile the LiFePo4 Battery manufacturing assign 7,000 Life Span cycles, in a more optimistic way we can assume 4,000 – 5,000 life spam cycles (around 10 years)
Typical Discharge Curve Comparasion
Usable Energy Comparison
Clearly Lead – AGM batteries will need to be replaced more often than Lithium. It is worth bearing this in mind as this entails time, installation and transportation costs, which further negates the higher initial capital cost of Lithium as does the lower cost of recharging Lithium. No matter what battery choice you make there is also both a capital cost and technological risk at the outset. If you are in a position of having the capital for the higher upfront costs of Lithium, you might find that life is easier and that choice is a cost effective one over time for LiFePo4. Much of this depends on the knowledge of the operator and how they treat a battery system. A good management practices are your insurance against early failure, regardless of the technology used. Lithium-ion vs Lead-AGM? The choice is yours. Personally I think the time is right to consider Lithium in the Golf Club industry as a cost effective, reliable, high performance solution. Last week (it was only out of curiosity you understand) I went for a test drive in a Lithium-ion powered Tesla Model S – and as we know, no self-respecting electric vehicle manufacturer would still use lead-acid based battery technologies today. So, Time for the Golf Club industry to catch up?