Danish researchers have shown that adding 250 W solar panels to all the buggies in a fleet of 50 trolleys is a worthwhile investment. With an initial investment of around € 75,000, annual profits of around € 15,000 are possible, they say.
Scientists at the Danish University of Aarhus have concluded that a fleet of 50 golf cart carts could help reduce grid power consumption if each electric vehicle includes a 250 W panel.
According to their techno-economic analysis – which examined the deployment of solar-powered strollers at Los Naranjos Golf Club in Marbella, southern Spain – the return on investment could be achieved within five years. Annual savings of € 15,607 would be possible with an initial investment of € 75,000, the researchers added.
Typical electric golf carts have a range of 27 holes after being loaded onto the network. “The main problem is matching the charging time while the buggy is stopped at the main house,” the research group said.
Usually, it takes about four hours before the vehicles are recharged. Typically, they are not constantly available for use by club members.
The academics placed a pyranometer above the golf club’s canopy to measure its specific irradiance in different places. Thanks to a second pyranometer, they also obtained the irradiance in W / m2.
A pack of four batteries was located under the seat of the cart. “The choice of placing the batteries under the seat of the stroller was chosen not only because of the limited size of the stroller, but also for safety reasons,” the researchers said, adding that the voltage of the batteries was being measured. to check the state of charge and assess the benefits of adding a solar module to the vehicle. “The batteries are 12 V each, totaling 48 buggy voltage.”
The study looked at the deployment of three different types of solar panels: a conventional crystalline silicon module, a thin film panel, and a solar module designed exclusively for golf carts.
“Adding a solar system above the buggy should be mandatory for every golf club, even if the weather is not as good as in Marbella,” the researchers concluded. Even the most expensive of the three options, the ROI for custom modules has been estimated to be five years. “The next 11 years – the period over which the investment is planned – will only add up to savings for the investor,” the researchers said.
Solar panels can extend the total range of golf carts, while making more strollers available due to reduced charging times from the grid. The scientists presented their findings in “Solar powered golf carts charging on the road», Recently published in Sources of energy.
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