Sanyo Trialling Solar Power For Golf Buggies

A Sanyo feasibility study is under way in Singapore to trial the effectiveness and cost savings involved with using solar panels on golf buggies.

Along with study partners Singapore Polytechnic and Marina Bay Golf Course, the three-month trial seeks to understand the charging and discharging characteristics of the solar buggy in daily use.

Dr Hiroyuki Kuriyama, Division President, Energy Systems & Solutions Sales H.Q., Sanyo Asia says the panels will reduce the need for frequent at-the-wall charging and also lengthen the life of the deep cycle batteries.

A deep cycle battery can be discharged more often than regular car batteries; but each discharge cycle does shorten its life – and the deeper the discharge, the bigger the impact.

A buggy with 420 watts of Sanyo solar panels installed can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 280kg/year says  Dr Jiang Fan, Manager of Centre for Clean Energy, Singapore Polytechnic.

Sanyo says the solar panels will save each buggy S$129 a year in electricity costs and extend the serviceable life of the batteries from two and a half to five years. Additionally, the buggy’s modules should generate enough solar power for three rounds of the green without returning to the charging station, compared to two rounds for a buggy without solar panels.

The study is providing Singapore Polytechnic final year Diploma in Clean Energy students with a fantastic hands-on solar power learning and experimentation opportunity in real-world conditions. The students are also experimenting with wind turbines, to convert wind energy into an alternative source of power for buggies.

Sanyo plans to roll out the solar buggies to other golf courses in Singapore and across Asia after the feasibility study.

(Image credit: Singapore Polytechnic)