How often should I charge my electric golf cart? We get this question often. And you probably need an answer too. That’s a good thing. Charging your golf cart correctly is one of the cares and maintenance actions you should take. That being said, you want to ensure that you charge it accurately to avoid damaging the power reserves.
Should I Charge My Golf Cart Every Night?
However, what does charging it correctly actually mean. In this article, we explore the recommended rules that you need to observe when charging your battery.
Time It Takes For A Battery To Use All Its Power
To help us decide on how frequently we need to charge the golf cart, we first need to lay out the period it takes for a golf cart to use all its power when the battery is full.
How Different Battery Types Perform
We are going to focus on the two major battery types that are commonly found in golf carts, lithium-based batteries, and lead-based batteries.
First of all, lead-based batteries perform differently from lithium-based ones. It is recommended that you do not use over 50% of the charge in a lead-based golf cart battery. Lead-based cells use what’s called Constant Current Constant Voltage (CCCV) ; this charging method takes place in three stages.
- Constant current charge – This applies the bulk charge and takes up half of the charging time (between 12-48 hours)
- Topping charge – Continues charging up to a saturation point. This charge is good for the health of the battery.
- Float charge – Fills in by compensating for charge loss caused by self-discharge. This will maintain the battery at full load.
Factors To Consider When Charging Lead-Based Batteries
Depending on factors such as manufactures specifications, different battery brands will require different approaches when charging them. These factors include.
- Choose the appropriate for flooded, gel, and AGM batteries.
- Recharge battery charge level after using the golf cart, never store a lead-based battery at a charge below 50% of State Of Charge (SOC).
- Avoid charging at temperatures above 49 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Be keen on filling the water to the desired level to avoid over spilling of acid when low on charge during charging.
Lithium-based are undoubtedly the best batteries you need to use on your golf cart. However, for all the benefits and praise they have, they are also vulnerable to damage if not handled with care. With that, here are some practices you need to consider while charging them.
- Do not fully charge a lithium-based battery, unlike a lead-based one.
- Charge the battery when the cart is turned off – this will ensure the cart reaches saturation point as expected
- Do not charge the cart under extreme temperatures, either too cold or too hot.
- Follow manufacturers’ instructions on charging the battery
What Consumes Your Carts Battery Power?
A report done by a Toronto-based Authority showed that electric golf carts consumed up to 3.3 kWh daily for its stored energy. This is on average. Meaning that this consumption can go even higher depending on usage.
So, what determines the usage, you ask? Just like any other motor vehicle, golf carts need the energy to power almost all its components. The brakes, propulsion, and even other elements such as cooler systems require energy. Therefore, whenever you are using more than one aspect of your golf cart, you automatically expect it to deplete its SOC fast.
Having many energy-consuming parts on the cart will hasten the depletion rate by increasing the intake rates.
So, Should You Charge The Batteries Every Night?
We have already established that different batteries have different requirements and specifications that you need to observe to maintain battery life. For instance, the time it takes to fill the battery with power varies from one to the other. Also, we have seen that a lead-based battery will need to stay with at least 50% power unlike lithium-based.
That said, the frequency of charging your battery depends on the battery type and with the usage of the golf cart.