Adding a 1500 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter To A Golf Cart

 

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I do a lot of hands on projects.  Many times they are outdoors, and I have to drag a long extension cord, or pull out the generator.  Even though this golf cart uses four 12V batteries, there's still some room under the seat to fit a large inverter.


This inverter brand had a lot of good reviews online.  A couple of major key selling points for me.  One, it's a Pure Sine Wave inverter.  The power produced is every bit as clean as what the power company supplies.  The next major point is this was designed for the 48V battery bank my golf cart uses.  Rather than draining all the power from a single battery with a 12V inverter, this one draws equally across all 4 batteries.  And because the voltage required is 4X that of a 12V inverter, the current draw is 1/4 to perform the work.  This means the power cables are much smaller.

It has several 120V outlets, and a USB outlet for charging small electronics.  The jack is for the optional control panel, which I highly recommend.

You can crimp lugs onto the wires, but these are high quality clamp type lugs.  But you will need to torque the clamping screw to the specified torque.  FWIW, this feels like way too much twist on this screw, but it's needed to prevent it from ever backing out.  I've used these type connectors on a solar setup since 2006.  Never had an issue.

I prefer welding cable.  It's very supple, making it easy to route.

The output of the inverter really is a pure sine wave, as measured with my oscilloscope.

And the output was a clean 120VAC.

To prevent the risk of a meltdown due to some catastrophic even, a resettable breaker will keep the system safe.

I made a wooden cradle to mount the inverter.  The Kreg Jig made assembly easy and strong.

Simple but effective mounting setup.

This is an overhead view of the large battery tray under the seat.  This is the available space.

With the inverter removed, the mounting plate was bolted in place through the bottom of the battery tray.  If you look closely, you can see the two lower mounting screw for the inverter, still in place.  The mounts on the inverter are slotted, so by leaving the two lower screws in the board, the inverter can be placed on the screws, then the two top screws installed.  I can't reach the two lower screws afterwards, but I'm not worried they will back out.

The two bolts holding the inverter mounting plate were some 1/4-20 x 6" stainless bolts.  Obviously too long, but I mainly used what I had on hand for this project.

I butchered the bolts with an angle grinder.  They are so far under the chassis I wasn't worried about leaving them sharp.  My OCD is kicking in, but I'm fighting it...

I used some scrap copper bus bar to make an extension for the battery terminal.

More 1/4-20 stainless hardware.

With the copper bar attached to the battery terminal, I now have an additional place to connect the various load wires.

I mounted the resettable circuit breaker on the bulkhead behind the inverter.  Easy to see and reach when the seat is lifted.

Overhead view with the inverter installed.

Now you can see how it fits besides the batteries.  The motor controller is on the opposite end.

I used an oscillating cutter to cut a hole for the remote control panel.  Used some tape to mark the hole, and prevent accidental scratching of the plastic.

The control panel finished.

Easy to reach, but also doesn't draw attention to what's onboard.

 

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Last updated 03/05/22    All rights reserved.