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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone

Looking to build a set of hybrid karts for use by teenagers on go kart tracks. I'll use a standard track race kart chassis. Target performance is
  • 4km of track driving (not racing yet, just driving) in full sun.
  • average speed of 35kmh

The objective is for the kids to learn about electrical systems, not looking for race performance yet.

2 karts with 2000w motors, 500w of PV on car body, 576wh of lead acid (nominal)
2 karts with 3000w motors, 500w of PV on car body, 864wh of lead acid (nominal)

I have already built an 800w battery powered version, which does a solid 23kmh and runs for about 1km on a 252wh (nominal) pack (estimated - I haven't taken it that far).

This time I am putting solar panels on it. I don't have any experience with matching solar charge controllers, pv and lead acid. Any input welcome.

My main question is around the wiring diagram. I don't think I need to add diodes to protect the controllers as there is no regen in this system.
 

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Instead of connecting three solar panels with separate controllers each to one third of the battery, and hoping (which will be futile) that the three battery sections get equally charged, why not connect them in series to one controller to charge the whole pack?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Brian. The karts with 72v pack would need a 72v solar charge controller I think. I can't find one apart from very expensive high current models.

I could use just one controller for the 48v karts though. I'm not expecting these batteries to spend much time being charged by the panels, if they're in the sun they'd be driving so I didn't worry too much about balancing, though I know there will losses in overall capacity. If I can get 200 cycles out of this setup I'd be happy. The 12v batteries would normally be charged separately to full capacity using a bmax or turnigy intelligent charger, then the pv would function as a range extender more than a bulk charger.
 
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