Are solar-powered cars still just a dream? You tell me. We did however manage to make a golf cart that is completely regenerative. We never plug it in. The solar panel acts as a roof and is attached with Unistrut. Watch our build video below and read more details about how to make your own!
- 300W Solar Panel
- 15 ft MC4 Whip (cut in half)
- 10 Ft. Unistrut
- Strut nuts and 1/4 20 bolts for mounting the panel to the Unistrut
- GVB-8-WP Charge Controller
- Bolts for mounting the controller to cart
- Butt splices
How to Mount the Solar Panel
This is a pretty simple setup as you can see from the video. You can see how everything is connected at around the 7 minute mark. The size of the solar panel just needs to be large enough to act as a roof for your golf cart. For our Cushman Hauler 800 and EZ Go Golf carts, we used 60 cell solar panels. They can be any brand. The average size of a 60 cell panel is 5.4 ft by 3.25 ft. Just make sure it’s wide enough for your cart.
Because we’re using Unistrut for mounting the solar panel, the edges of the panel don’t have to line up exactly with the holes in your metal roof mount. Make sure you orient the panel in a way that gives you access to the wires so that you can run them down the metal racking and to the battery compartment in your cart. The wires can be secured with zip ties once it’s all connected.
Here’s a simple wiring diagram from Genasun. Make sure you get the right voltage for your batteries. Most golf carts are 48v. You can use the MC4 whip to connect to the panel so that you can splice the wires directly to the Genasun controller.
The connections on the water proof version of the GVB-8 are all exterior wires. You can splice into them with standard butt splices and you shouldn’t have to water proof them since they are covered inside the battery compartment. The Genasun controller can be mounted with standard bolts, washers and nuts.
One other modification I made to my golf carts was the addition of a 400 amp controller. This actually allows us to go up any hill on our property. Obviously these carts aren’t as rugged as a Polaris, but we’ve made ours a pretty great alternative to a 4 wheeler or UTV. If you’re considering a cart for a rugged property like ours, make sure you pick up a 400 amp controller so you can have more power!