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12V vs 6V Batteries


NCMau's Avatar
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10-15-15, 02:28 PM   #1  
12V vs 6V Batteries

I am restoring a 36V golf cart. Previously it had a bank of 6V batteries. I was thinking about using (3)12V. Is there an advantage or disadvantage using 12V vs 6V.

 
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10-15-15, 05:02 PM   #2  
For any physical size the 6 volt batteries will generally have double the ampere-hour capacity of the same physical size 12 volt battery. Since it is ampere-hour capacity that determines how long the cart will run it is best to use the 6 volt batteries.

 
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10-16-15, 06:05 AM   #3  
Like Furd mentioned it's all about capacity or the "size of the gas tank". Three 12v car or deep cycle batteries will make the cart run but with significantly less run time/range. Just look at the batteries and think of them as the gas tank for the cart. You'd be replacing six full size batteries with three. You'd notice the huge bit of empty space in the cart and then it's pretty obvious that there is a whole lot less battery to power the cart.

Another thing is most 6v batteries are deep cycle and designed specifically for golf carts and forklifts. Most 12v batteries are designed for engine starting. Great at short bursts of a lot of power but not good for a long drain. 12v deep cycle batteries are more designed for the long drain but again you'd have half the battery and half the range.

 
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10-16-15, 06:34 AM   #4  
When you go to buy those battery's check out the prices at Sams Club.
That's where we found the cheapest prices and they had a pallet load of all three sizes of golf cart battery's in stock.

 
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10-17-15, 05:22 AM   #5  
My usage of this cart would be pretty limited, 2hrs/week at most in very short trips and it will be charged every night. Even though the amp-hr capacity doesn’t have to be that great for the short trips, I assume that the 12V system would also decrease the life span of the batteries vs the 6V system. Am I correct?

 
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10-18-15, 01:20 AM   #6  
Lifespan of the batteries is dependent upon several variables but the most important is to not discharge the battery below 50% of its ultimate capacity. Doing so will severely shorten its life.

 
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10-18-15, 05:25 AM   #7  
Another thing to consider is how much current your batteries can provide. A golf cart can pull several hundred amps. Most come stock with 300-400 amp controllers and if your cart has been upgraded it could pull up to 700 amps. With six batteries that load is spread over the six so each battery is discharging at a reasonable rate. With half the number of batteries each will be providing twice the amperage.

Lead batteries are not great at quickly discharging high loads. If you look at a batteries specs you'll see various capacities at different discharge rates. You'll see that the battery has more capacity if you put a long slow draw on it and less if you hit it hard. Your 3 battery cart idea can work. Just know that by going with half the batteries you may get less than half the run time. Loosing the weight of the extra batteries will help run time somewhat.

 
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10-18-15, 05:51 AM   #8  
Thanks everyone. Your good info is giving me some to think about.

 
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