How fast can you charge an electric cart?

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How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby uncle sticky » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:55 pm

Seems like electric golf carts are a lot cheaper and more available than gas ones. 30 mile range seems kind of typical, so I'm guessing about 4 hours on playa. Question is, if I have a generator, can I charge the battery fast enough to extend the range? With all the start and stop, hop and dance, I wonder if I'd get maybe 8 hours or so? Is this a viable solution, or am I thinking about building an ass kicking machine?
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:42 am

Of course it depends on how big your charger and generator are, but I think with an onboard generator and strong charger you could run pretty much indefinitely - as you said, there's a lot of start/stop, pause for dancing, looking at stuff etc. so your "duty cycle" isn't continuous.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby uncle sticky » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:24 am

Thanks Captain! I need a generator most likely for lights (if I run a gas cart, I don't imagine I could go the big alternator route), so at least 1000 watt gennie for that and charging.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Major Krash » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:33 am

a rule of thumb for charging is 1/10th the total capacity as a max charging rate....faster and you risk damaging your batteries. So if you have 200 amp-hours of total batteries, you should not exceed 20 amp charging rate...this also implies ~10 hours for a full charge...so if your genny is running all the time, and you do not exceed more than 10% of your drive distance in an hour, you should be good.

btw - 1000 watts = 8-9 amps (you will need all of this, and more, more charging....and then some more yet for lights). Calculate your total power needs before you buy the genny.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:36 am

You are so fucking doomed. Based on the Romanoff and the electric carts that ESD used to use, you will spend half your day fussing over the cart, one way or another. And you won't have enough weight allowance to do any serious mutation.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:48 pm

Yeah gotta agree with Crypto, I know your question wasn't whether to use an electric cart or not... but if you have the option, I wouldn't use one for exactly the reasons she said.
However, if you do, I'd go 2000 watts on the generator.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:20 pm

Another possible concideration: I cannot charge and run the systum at the same time. I'm not certain how different the animals are, but you might have to have two banks and switch off between them.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Sync » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:13 pm

Have to concur with the fuck electric camp. I built three electric based MVs over the years trying to be green and cool. They suck. For a bunch of reasons.
Charge time. 4 hours if you’re lucky and have lots of power. 1000w gen is very inadequate for a golf cart.
Low capacity. You never get the range you hope for. Think 15-20 mi if you’re lucky vs 300 for gas.
Tech issues; like having one battery in a series that doesn’t hold as much charge as the others, and when it depletes it stops the rest of them till it charges. Most people with electric MVs are futzing with them all the time.
Money. By the time you get the generator, chargers, and misc crap all together, probably costs 5x using a cheap gas engine.
To answer a different question, yes, you can rig it to recharge with a portable gen while you ride around. Thing is, you could just use the gas to run the MV, and cut out the electric middle man. You always lose energy in conversion.
That said, I loved building the electrics I used, and do not regret them. Just decided to make it easier out on the playa.

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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby smittydc » Fri May 03, 2013 8:13 am

Or use something more sturdy. I built my MV based on an electric Cushman Titan baggage truck. I was cautious at first, but soon realized that if I plugged it in when back at camp, and ran the 2000w genny when parked somewhere for a while (off dancing, etc) - I could pretty much drive it as much as I wanted - with 8-10 people on board. Of course, that's with 8x220ah batteries and a 25amp charger.

It also depends on how much driving you want to do. Do you expect to go out to the fence 4+ times each night or circumnavigate the city? Then you should probably go gas.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby lemur » Fri May 03, 2013 9:16 am

the reason that electrics are more available is because nobody wants them.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri May 03, 2013 10:09 am

lemur wrote:the reason that electrics are more available is because nobody wants them.


Ain't that the truth.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri May 03, 2013 10:51 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:
lemur wrote:the reason that electrics are more available is because nobody wants them.


Ain't that the truth.

It's certainly the truth I was tap-dancing around.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri May 03, 2013 11:23 am

You're the finest tap-dancer I know!
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri May 03, 2013 12:26 pm

Thank you. Lots of practice.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Mojojita » Fri May 03, 2013 12:46 pm

One more vote for gas power v. electric cart. Have not-so-fond memories of pushing the Zebra cart back from deep playa, hours of noisy generator just to make it work, etc... Have not brought it to the playa for years due to the PITA quotient.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri May 03, 2013 6:18 pm

I wouldn't charge using a electric cart. I'd rather use a horse.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri May 03, 2013 6:46 pm

They don't allow horses at Burning Man. Unless you mutate them...
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri May 03, 2013 8:08 pm

There's always the Sparkle Pony rider...
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby trilobyte » Fri May 03, 2013 10:19 pm

I'm nudging this over to the Transportation board, as it's a better fit for general project preparation questions.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby maladroit » Fri May 03, 2013 11:45 pm

I'm involved with an electric mutant vehicle that has been on playa for several years, but it's no golf cart. Formerly a Chinese milk truck, with more batteries added. It glides all day and night running lots of lights and music, but it gets charged in camp with an EU6500iS.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby EspressoDude » Sat May 04, 2013 10:07 am

if you do use an electric, make sure you put in new batteries. They weigh a lot 6 volt 220 AH are about 75 pounds a piece. If you have a 48 volt system, that is 600 pounds of batteries. Make sure the controller is variable PWM solid state, not a power wasting resistor type. The motors are about 2 - 3 horsepower. Same as a Honda EU2000, if you use that to power the charger. Every hour driving will take at least an hour on the charger assuming you can put power into the battery as fast as you take it out. BUT that does not happen, and Major Krash's comments about 10% recharge rate are correct for good battery life.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby dragonpilot » Sat May 04, 2013 12:15 pm

Makes me want to run right out and buy a Chevy Volt.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby lemur » Sat May 04, 2013 1:11 pm

how fast can you refill a petrol powered cart ?
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby BBadger » Sat May 04, 2013 1:23 pm

Praise fossil fuels!
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat May 04, 2013 7:40 pm

Chinese milk truck or Chinese melamine truck?
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun May 05, 2013 9:49 am

lemur wrote:how fast can you refill a petrol powered cart ?


Depends on how much practice with a beer bong you've had!
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby unjonharley » Sun May 05, 2013 10:31 am

lemur wrote:how fast can you refill a petrol powered cart ?


Ever watch NASCAR :?:
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby BBadger » Sun May 05, 2013 2:10 pm

unjonharley wrote:
lemur wrote:how fast can you refill a petrol powered cart ?


Ever watch NASCAR :?:


I've never seen them filling up a car during a crash (which is the only watchable part of that event).
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby gyre » Sun May 05, 2013 3:08 pm

if you can pass enough power to the system, you wouldn't be charging, so much as driving off the generator in the same way as an alternator runs the car and only charges the battery when it is depleted.

I think it is easier to find a reliable electric cart, than it is to find a reliable gas one.
There are a lot of different models though.

Some people I know run two banks.
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Re: How fast can you charge an electric cart?

Postby mdmf007 » Wed May 08, 2013 9:29 am

Id go gas -

Everytime you convert from one form to another your going to lose efficiency. Like Sync said - burning gas to make electricity to store in a battery to later turn an electric motor is not the most efficient. Simply burn the gas o turn the wheels in the first step.

Golf carts are all over the place, call rental outfits, look at CL. You can even buy used riding lawn mowers for like 200 bucks, drop the blades off in 10 minutes and do what you want with it. They can be sped up by changing drive pulley ratios around and are ridiculously simple to fix and work on. Make a trailer to hitch to it.

just another of the many free ideas on eplaya.
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