Drive 10 more miles per day, for free, with the power of the Sun!
Solar seems like a great option for golf carts, but roof space is limited. This is no problem with the Genasun GVB-8-WP, our waterproof boost charge controller designed specifically for the 36V or 48V system in your golf cart. Just pick the solar panel that fits the roof best and let the our voltage boosting controller do the rest to charge your batteries.

The Genasun GVB-8-WP is a unique MPPT solar controller that boosts the voltage output of your solar panels up to 48V. It has been developed for golf carts, or any other electric vehicles, running on 36V or 48V batteries. It’s waterproof, which means total protection against rain and moisture. No need to worry about washing your golf cart—these controllers can be hosed down!

Thanks to the special Genasun Boost technology, the GVB-8-WP will work power your system from dawn to dusk, even when light isn’t optimal!

The benefits of going solar are substantial:
  • • Longer range,
  • • Lower carbon footprint,
  • • Less time plugged into the charger, and
  • • Longer battery life
When batteries are discharged to low levels, it takes a toll on their longevity and health. Deeper discharges mean fewer charging cycles and a shortened battery lifetime.

Installing solar on your golf cart with the Genasun Boost controller solves these problems. Charging while you drive means more daily range and healthier, longer life for your batteries. That’s a win-win!

The Genasun GVB-8-WP is available for 36V and 48V nominal lead acid and lithium battery systems.

Questions or need some help setting up your system? Email us to info@genasun.com.

← Back to all news.
Battery Basics: LiFePO4 Cells
LiFePo4
Chemistry Lithium Iron Phosphate
Nominal Voltage (per cell) 3.2V
Max Charge Voltage 3.65V
Charge Profile 2 Stage (CC/CV)* or Multi-Stage
The main difference between single and multistage charge profiles for LiFePO4 batteries has to do the basic chemistry of the battery. Unlike lead-acid batteries, once a LiFePO4 cell achieves its charge voltage, it is fully charged. Since various cells within the pack can charge at different speeds, a short balancing time is needed at the end of the charge cycle in order to have each cell voltage equate to charge voltage and the series pack voltage. Also since the quality of cells vary greatly, the optimal absorption/ balancing time varies, but 15-30 min daily should suffice.

There is a little debate in the community whether it is harmful to a battery to be maintained at their max voltage (3.55V - 3.65V per cell/ 14.2V - 14.6V for a 4S battery pack) indefinitely. We have had 2-stage controllers that have been successfully operating on original batteries for several years with no ill effect, but the popular opinion is that it is better not to maintain the voltage indefinitely, rather to use a multistage profile which would maintain either no current or minimal current at a voltage which equates closely to the resting voltage of a fully charges battery (once a charge cycle has been completed), extending the life of the cells.

If an application is going to be cycling a cell regularly, then, of course, it will take time daily recharge and the amount of time at the charge voltage will not be the same as an application where a fully charged battery will be maintained indefinitely at its max CV. So the benefits of multistage vs 2-stage charging could also be relevant to your application.

Given the anticipated life cycle of lithium batteries, and its more or less recent emergence into applications such as we are seeing today, it might be several years before we know if 2-stage or multistage make any appreciable difference. Genasun pre-programmed controllers for LiFePO4 have a 2-stage CC/CV charge profile and a per cell charge voltage of ~3.55V in order to minimize stress on the cells without sacrificing significant State of Charge (SOC).

Genasun controllers are also available with custom multistage charge profiles, please contact support@genasun.com for details.

4S LiFePO4 Battery Charge Profile

LiFePo4 (4S) CC/CV*
Constant Current Voltage increases
Constant Voltage 14.2V - 14.6V
LiFePo4 (4S) Multi-Stage
Absorption Voltage 14.2V - 14.6V
Absorption Time 15-30 min.
Float Voltage 13.4V-13.8V
(*)
CC: Constant Current allows the full current of the charger to flow into the battery until the power supply reaches its pre-set voltage;
CV: Constant Voltage provides only enough current to maintain a pre-set voltage, The current then reduces as the battery becomes fully charged. ← Back to all news.
Battery Basics: Li-ion Cells
Li-ion/LiPO
Chemistry Lithium-ion
Nominal Voltage (per cell) 3.6-3.7V
Max Charge Voltage 4.2V
Charge Profile 2 Stage (CC/CV)*
Li-ion/LiPO/LiCoO₂ cells generally require a 2-stage, Constant Current (CC) / Constant Voltage (CV), charge profile due to the fact that their saturation time varies.

When choosing your desired charge voltage (for Li-ion/LiPo/LiCoO₂ cells) be aware that the charge voltage (CV) has a direct relationship to the percentage State Of Charge (SOC) and the number of charge cycles you can expect from the battery pack. Read this article.

Li-ion/LiPO/LiCoO₂ cells have a max charge voltage of 4.2V per cell which equates to 100% SOC and ~300-500 charge cycles. If you charge to 4.05V per cell (80-85% SOC), you would expect around 850-1,500 charge cycles. Whichever voltage you choose, multiply it by your number of cells (in series) in your battery pack and you'll get your desired charge voltage. For example, a battery described as "4S2P" has 2 parallel sets of 4x cells combined in series.

Genasun pre-programmed controllers for Li-ion/LiPo/LiCoO₂ have a 2-stage CC/CV charge profile and a per cell charge voltage of ~4.17V in order to minimize stress on the cells without sacrificing significant State of Charge (SOC).

Genasun controllers are also available with custom multistage charge profiles, please contact support@genasun.com for details.

4S Li-ion/LiPO Battery Charge Profile

Li-ion/LiPO (4S) CC/CV*
Constant Current Voltage increases
Constant Voltage 16.6V - 16.8V
(*)
CC: Constant Current allows the full current of the charger to flow into the battery until the power supply reaches its pre-set voltage;
CV: Constant Voltage provides only enough current to maintain a pre-set voltage, The current then reduces as the battery becomes fully charged.

← Back to all news.
Solar for your boat: thoughts on efficient system design.
Modern sailboats and pleasurecraft demand a lot of power, both when they are sailing on the wind or underway by motor. The traditional way to generate that power is through the vessel’s engine or generator. But engines depend on fuel and are noisy, dirty, and often unreliable systems. It is better to meet your power needs at sea through on-board solar panels and battery storage.

Unlike most off-grid solar systems, sailboats and other watercraft are unique in the way their solar panels are deployed, which means the wiring and control systems for those panels have to be unique, as well.

In classic off-grid solar applications, such as a rural cabin or an RV, solar panels are installed on a single surface and share a common angle to the sun. This type of installation results in each panel seeing the sun in the same way as the other panels on the system, allowing for a single charge controller to efficiently manage all of the panels at once as they charge the batteries.

Solar systems for watercraft are different, and may look completely different from boat to boat. Given variation in hull design, masts, rigging, cockpit arrangement, deck angles, and aftermarket customizations, there are very few standard surfaces on any boat. Moreover, it is rare that any of these surfaces experiences the sun in precisely the same way as the others at any given moment. Each solar panel deployed across these varied surfaces will have a different angle of incidence, different shading, and even different sizing than each of the other panels in the system. No single charge controller on such a system will deliver the maximum power possible to your batteries at any time–even in the fairest of weather. The constant motion of the boat, passing clouds, and irregular shadows caused by the rigging and structures of the vessel will hamper the system’s ability to reach its potential, every time.

These unique problems require a different approach to solar system design. Since the panels will be operating under different conditions, they will have different optimum operating voltages (the “Maximum Power Point” or “Vmp”). The conventional approach of connecting all panels to the same charge controller would force them to operate at the same voltage, preventing them from reaching their potential. Instead, the optimal solution is to pair each panel with its own smaller and faster maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller. When managed by its own MPPT controller, each panel will deliver the most power possible at any given moment, even with overcast skies, intermittent partial shading, or low-angle light.

Advanced MPPT controllers like those from Genasun work by tracking the panel operating point up to fifteen times per second. Fast tracking speed allows the panel to run at its most efficient voltage in any given situation and extracts the most power possible to charge your batteries to their necessary voltage, with almost no loss. With a small, fast MPPT controller for every panel, your system will deliver more power than if it utilized a single, large MPPT controller. Against conventional PWM controllers, a well-designed MPPT system can deliver over 30% more power in suboptimal conditions.

Solar power at sea is reliable, clean, silent, and beats relying on your engine when the sails are full. So when you design your marine solar system, be sure to maximize the effectiveness of your panels by giving each of them their own controller. Your overall system size can be smaller, and you will have more efficiency, more reliability, and the freedom to sail anywhere with power at hand.

← Back to all news.