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Slightly OT: Golf cart battery conversion?

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  • Slightly OT: Golf cart battery conversion?

    It's in the title,I have a Club car golf cart that is complete except for you guessed it,the batteries.It uses 6 each 6volt deep cycle batteries to produce 36vdc and pricing them locally they add up to $650-800.

    So I went looking on Youtube for Li-on conversions and found a few folks that have done them using cells salvaged from Hybrid car battery packs,also one using cells salvaged from a Nissan Leaf,which IIRC uses NmH batteries.

    There is a Nissan Leaf in the local wrecking yard that still has it's battery intact,so there I have a possible source for an organ donor.

    All of these conversions look good on principal,but none of them offer much if any information on charging requirements or the chargers required.

    So I guess what I am looking for here is information on chargers and their construction.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  • #2
    There are available IC controllers for LI-ion chargers. My own take on it is that those batteries are so fussy that I'd not mess with homebrewing the charger. Especially not with larger batteries.

    You can get 12V deep cycle batteries, and would need only 3 to get started. You could add 3 more later if you like. Charging them is a no-brainer, and the cart is designed to use lead-acid batteries.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

    Comment


    • #3
      Im with JT on this one - your on the flats so no real need to go li-ion

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd dump it all and go gasoline engine.

        My kids drive our cart constantly! Just did an oil change two days ago on it.
        Andy

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by vpt View Post
          I'd dump it all and go gasoline engine.

          My kids drive our cart constantly! Just did an oil change two days ago on it.
          Fund the conversion by selling all the electrics to PsTechPaul.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
            Fund the conversion by selling all the electrics to PsTechPaul.
            Bada-bump, ching!
            Milton

            "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

            "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes stay with lead-acid. Your Leaf is likely high voltage (in total) so i'm not sure how that works for you unless you are literally gutting cells. NiMH is easier, but not trivial considering the amount of balanced series/parallel required. Are you sure the Leaf you are looking at is NiMh? They also make Li-Ion.

              For Li-ion:

              You can get cells (like 18650) from old laptop batteries - rarely is there more than 1 or 2 bad in the string.

              Tear into a typical "modern" laptop battery pack and you will see what's involved; no longer are all the cells simply wired in series/parallel and monitored from the end-point. Even my Matika battery packs monitor/charge each cell.

              For your project, if you really want to go Li-Ion you will need a lot of individual cells (for current), and (for safety and life) each needs to be monitored and charged separately. No one cell can ever go below 2.5v or it's ruined, charging curve is critical, and limits on the high end also. A lot can go wrong. "Off the shelf" electronics with individual cell monitoring to safely charge Li-ion are available for strings of cells, and you will then need to parallel/series those strings and control each. Heck of a lot of work to integrate all the parts to make a "pack".


              Here a good read on Leaf, Volt and Tesla packs. https://cleantechnica.com/2016/01/06...battery-packs/

              As for 6v batteries... I use "golf cart" batteries in several lake barges (propulsion). Yep.. expensive in total but they will last 7-10 years if charged correctly (use 3 or 4 stage charging), maintained (water) and not abused (over-discharged, over current etc).
              Last edited by lakeside53; 09-30-2018, 01:23 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                Fund the conversion by selling all the electrics to PsTechPaul.

                2nd best advise in this thread so far!
                Andy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Battery charger is super important to battery life. On my 36 volt GE Elektrak tractor I had a charger that charged each set of two batteries separately with 3 stages of charge. This kept the pack balanced out much better. If a battery failed I replaced the two worst with two new charged from the same charger.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You will be happier with lead acid for recreational use. The LI-ion type as said need a battery management system that keeps the charge to each balanced as well as the overall pack balance, these are designed for the specific application. If you go lead acid, the 6vdc will give you better torque and over all performance vs the 12vdc, it's depth of discharge is a bit less.
                    If you want to do some reading, this site is full of very smart people and good posts, you might have to dig to find the answer your looking for, but this would be the place I would start if you continue the LI-ion route.

                    www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/

                    TX
                    Mr fixit for the family
                    Chris

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
                      Battery charger is super important to battery life. On my 36 volt GE Elektrak tractor I had a charger that charged each set of two batteries separately with 3 stages of charge. This kept the pack balanced out much better. If a battery failed I replaced the two worst with two new charged from the same charger.
                      I wouldn't use new batteries with old ones. The old ones discharge the new ones. I have installed two sets of six 6 volt deep cycle batteries in fifth wheel trailers and always use all new ones. They last me around ten years if I keep them charged properly.
                      OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                      THINK HARDER

                      BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                      MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Costco sells deep cycle batteries for under $100 each. They aren't Trojan brand ones but if you can't afford the Trojans it might be a cheaper way to get it going again.
                        OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                        THINK HARDER

                        BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                        MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vpt View Post
                          I'd dump it all and go gasoline engine.

                          My kids drive our cart constantly! Just did an oil change two days ago on it.
                          I would like to do that actually,but would need a reverse gear.How did you handle the lack of reverse gear or did you?
                          I just need one more tool,just one!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
                            Yes stay with lead-acid. Your Leaf is likely high voltage (in total) so i'm not sure how that works for you unless you are literally gutting cells. NiMH is easier, but not trivial considering the amount of balanced series/parallel required. Are you sure the Leaf you are looking at is NiMh? They also make Li-Ion.

                            For Li-ion:

                            You can get cells (like 18650) from old laptop batteries - rarely is there more than 1 or 2 bad in the string.

                            Tear into a typical "modern" laptop battery pack and you will see what's involved; no longer are all the cells simply wired in series/parallel and monitored from the end-point. Even my Matika battery packs monitor/charge each cell.

                            For your project, if you really want to go Li-Ion you will need a lot of individual cells (for current), and (for safety and life) each needs to be monitored and charged separately. No one cell can ever go below 2.5v or it's ruined, charging curve is critical, and limits on the high end also. A lot can go wrong. "Off the shelf" electronics with individual cell monitoring to safely charge Li-ion are available for strings of cells, and you will then need to parallel/series those strings and control each. Heck of a lot of work to integrate all the parts to make a "pack".


                            Here a good read on Leaf, Volt and Tesla packs. https://cleantechnica.com/2016/01/06...battery-packs/

                            As for 6v batteries... I use "golf cart" batteries in several lake barges (propulsion). Yep.. expensive in total but they will last 7-10 years if charged correctly (use 3 or 4 stage charging), maintained (water) and not abused (over-discharged, over current etc).
                            You're right they do come in Lion also,and the one local is a 2012 model,so it probably is Li-Ion,the battery pack is made up of cells like these-

                            https://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-Nissan...ry!39466!US!-1
                            I just need one more tool,just one!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                              There are available IC controllers for LI-ion chargers. My own take on it is that those batteries are so fussy that I'd not mess with homebrewing the charger. Especially not with larger batteries.

                              You can get 12V deep cycle batteries, and would need only 3 to get started. You could add 3 more later if you like. Charging them is a no-brainer, and the cart is designed to use lead-acid batteries.
                              Probably what I will end up doing,but I was under the impression that 6 -6 volts batteries would have more storage capacity than three 12's??
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

                              Comment

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