Charging a golf cart with a solar panel using a Genasun charge controller

Hi this is Amy from the altE Store. I wanted
to take a minute to show you a really cool product from Genasun. It’s the GV-Boost. Now
what it does is it allows you to take the power from a low voltage solar panel and charge
a higher voltage battery bank. Now most MPPT charge controllers will let you go from a
higher voltage solar panel to charge a lower voltage battery bank, this is the opposite.
This lets you use, say a 12V solar panel to charge a 36 or 48 volt battery bank in like
a golf cart. So if you have access to a 12 or 20 volt solar panel, but you don’t have
enough room on say the golf cart’s roof to fit multiple panels to add it up to 36 volts,
all you need to do is put the single solar panel on, use the GV-Boost, and it will actually
charge your 36 or 48V battery bank. And it’s available in either one, you would make sure
you order the right one. So you could take just a 140W solar panel, put it on the roof
of the electric cart. So you can see here I’ve got two amp meters. I’ve got one going
from the solar panel going to the charge controller, and one going from the charge controller to
the battery. So you see you are getting 1.6 amps in from the solar panel, it’s dropping
that current down to .58, so it’s basically 1/3 of the output, because this is a 12V panel
that’s going in, it is dropping the current by 1/3 because it’s raising the voltage by
3 times. Because watts equals volts times amps, whatever you do to the volts, you’ve
got to do the opposite to the amps, and that allows you to use the full power of the solar
panel. So again any time you see any variation you are going to see if the solar panel’s
output goes down, the output to the battery will go down, if the panel goes up, it’ll
go up to the battery. So it’s going to be about 1.3 of the current going in, because
it’s 3 times the volts. Really nice. It’s in a water proof enclosure, so you could just
mount it right inside your golf cart, and keep that solar panel topping off your battery.
It probably won’t give you enough power to be riding around 8 hours a day with just a
small 140W solar panel, but it’ll keep you topped off and it will extend the length and
the amount of time that you can actually be out there on the golf course. I hope this
was helpful, if so, give us a like and a share, and be sure to subscribe to our altE Store
channel. And make sure to go to our website at, where we’ve been making
renewable do-able since 1999.

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15 thoughts on “Charging a golf cart with a solar panel using a Genasun charge controller

  1. Great video and love your channel!
    That would probably work if the carts weren't hit with the balls from time to time. Or can your regular solar panel withstand a direct hit with a golf ball?

  2. Totally great. Solar locomotion via electric golf cart…at least charging the batteries. Or, use the panels to keep an electric ice chest going…keep the beer/pop cold. Betting one could feasibly mount three 12v panels and get 10 amps (@ 36vDC). That is quite a bit of juice in sustained sun.

  3. what if you put a piece of hardware cloth in a arc over the panel to protect the glass, would that reduce the output power of the panel?

  4. That is something I have suspected all along: It's possible to make an MPPT charge controller using a boost converter rather than the usual buck converter. Sure, you lose some of the advantages such as being able to use smaller gauge cables from the panel to the controller. But for those who wish to build their own MPPT controllers, in my experience I have found it much easier to produce home made boost converters that work efficiently.

  5. awesome. i just got your 36v solar charge controller for my solar golf cart. works AWESOME and MADE IN USA!!! peace to you. my second blue sky solar controller. de n0war ham radio!

  6. I worked for about five years total as a customer service person and troubleshooter for a company that makes solar canopies for golf carts. This is a very good explanation of how they do it as well, using an MPPT charge controller that is able to "boost" the voltage up to the golf car series of batteries, either 36V or 48V (actually we had one up to 72V). Genasun, an American company, really knows what it is doing in the MPPT controller niche. Smart people.

    Range was in fact increased using one of these. But you can, like anything, use your cart to the point that the amount of current being used as it drives far exceeds what the panel is putting back into the battery bank. It is important for people to understand the solar charger does not really charge like the grid-charger at all. The grid-charger has, at the start, kind of a rush of amperage (up to 15-18 amperes for a few minutes) to warm up the bottom of the batteries, and then the amperage of the grid-charger senses the batteries have reached an ideal charging temp and it settles down into a cozy, consistent lower amperage (about 5-7 amperes) per hour until it senses the battery is fully charged. The solar charger can't do this and it is merely slow charging the battery, topping it off or trying to, by throwing a fluctuating 0-1 amp per hour in the peak sun or more into the battery set. The solar panel is in a flat, horizontal position for the most part and therefore also the performance is no quite as good as it would be.

  7. Hey I have Genasun on my 48V UTV along with other goodies from Alte, like the Magnum MS4448PAE.
    Check out the video

  8. alte rules they got some good math, i did something similar years ago with 3 – 12 volt trickle 0.1 MHA amp solar chargers, but had to breakdown the 36 volt bank in to 3 individual 12 volt banks, charge all day…then re banking the pack to 36 volt , it performed as she said on this vid i got 2 to 3 miles a day out of it, different system and charge method got same numbers , this sounds like a good system but i want to push for 24 hour run time, it is possible with some work

  9. What is the point of this? I used to have a 36V golf cart and "oversized" the batteries to Trojan T-145 and I would purposely drive it around for an hour after a full charge at night, with the headlights on, to try to drain it, and it would only drop to about 85-90% State of Charge (SoC) after an hour. The thing would probably do 72 holes on a single charge so I would wear out long before the batteries would even reach 50% SoC.

    Also, golf cart batteries are usually in the 200-260Ah range and those like to be charged at about 0.1C (20A-26A). You will never get a solar system on a golf cart capable of that much charge current using panels, so it is debatable whether solar on a golf cart will have any significant difference in range.

    What I used to do is play 9 holes, then take a break for lunch, while plugging in to the local free courtesy outlets at the club. Some of them even have 20A AC outlets. I would use a 36V 25A onboard charger which could put more charge into those batteries than a solar setup would do the entire 4 hours + 1 hour lunch = 5 hours for the golf outing. To get 25Ah of charge with solar in 5 hours, you would need a true 5A of charge which means a true 210 watts (42V * 5A). Accounting for losses in solar, you would more likely need a true 250W which means you would need an advertised 300W system. However, I don't see any point other than just to monkey around or maybe as emergency backup power for a house, such as keeping the golf cart in the shed at night and then bring it out in the sun during the daytime. You could even take it a step farther and have solar panels on the shed too and have the shed oriented so that the sloped roof on both sides would catch the morning and evening sun so you would use the morning solar array only for the morning sun, then optionally use both sets of panels in the midday sun, then use only the evening array in the evening. Not very cost effective but might be fun to monkey around with.

  10. Ok so if I buy one of these and put a solar panel on it like the one you have in vid. Would it completely charge it if it were drained? I have a 36v and I use it about 2 or 3 times a week to run up and down my drive to take the trash out or get the mail. My drive is about 200ft w a steep hill at the top. So in not using it much would it keep it charged from week to week?

  11. ok i am currently deigning a solar car (engineering student ) i have a motor of about 2554.6 W and four batteries of 48v 20 Ah how many of the booster(Charge controller ) will i need ? i am a mechanical student
    plz help me !!!

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