Technically Speaking

TS (MayJun15) – AC Systems

By: Matt Vallez

Over the last several years we have seen the increased use of AC systems in golf cars. The most telling development has been E-Z-GO installing an AC system as standard on their RXV golf car. In past articles I have highlighted an AC system for golf cars and discussed its advantages. Well, it is here to stay and there are some big improvements. Whether golf cars are your profitable business, your dependable local transport or your enthusiastic hobby, you want the best performance you can get. With AC induction motor technology, you can get more, much more. But that doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy the newest generation golf cars that come straight from the manufacturer with today’s latest AC motor/controller systems installed. Instead, get one of the new AC Conversion Kits that let you upgrade your existing car, and get the most out of your vehicle investment.

What’s the AC Advantage?

Just a few years back, AC motor drive systems were the new frontier in EV technology, building on a progression of Series and SepEx® motors. Today, they’ve been proven – in every usage application and environment – to deliver more performance and programming than DC generations past and present. The advantages are considerable:

Efficiency: When correctly configured, AC systems do a better job of converting electrical to mechanical energy.

Speed: Not only can an AC system achieve higher speed, it also has better power characteristics at higher speeds.

Maintenance: AC’s brushless technology puts a lot less wear and tear on the motor, thus requiring less maintenance.

Simplicity: Construction of the AC motor is much simpler, another maintenance plus.

For many fans of AC EV technology, drive quality is the overriding factor. If you’ve ever driven an AC golf car, you can’t help but notice the exceptional difference. The system is more controllable, accelerates more smoothly, transitions forward to reverse more smoothly, and overall delivers more feeling of control with less drag.

The power issue is also significant: high efficiency translates to longer battery life so the golf car goes further on the charge. And with the improved torque of today’s AC systems, these cars become faster and more rugged. They can actually be modified for all-terrain use, to go up hill and through rocky terrain. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts take note … there is definitely an increase in torque.

One more point – an uncommon occurrence but still an important advantage: In the rare event of a failure, an AC system failure mode brings vehicle safely to a stop.

Package Deal: AC Conversion Kit Contents:

Nivel Parts LLC has a new AC System Conversion Kit on the market that has everything you need to successfully implement a conversion. The comprehensive kit includes these components:

• Curtis 1236, 450 amp AC motor controller

• Advanced Motors & Drives 3.2kw AC motor

• Full car logic wiring harness

• 2 gauge motor, controller, and battery cables

• Inline 450 amp fuse

• Inline fuse holder

• Curtis / Albright SW180 Contactor (solenoid)

• Curtis Dash Display

• Turf / Street switch

• Forward / Reverse switch

• Wiring diagram& instructions

• Hardware kit

Nivel created this kit after observing how long a well-kept golf car can stay in circulation. “It’s not hard to keep the body in good condition, especially since most golf cars are not out in severe weather,” says Roger Kramer, an Engineering Manager at Nivel. “The chassis often remains in great condition even as the motor and drive system become outdated. We started thinking what we could do for our customers who want improved performance but can’t see their way clear to replacing a good, solid vehicle. This way, they don’t have to replace the whole vehicle – they can get a new high-performance electric golf car for the cost of the kit.”

Conversion 101: The Process:

You don’t need a tutorial and you don’t need to be an engineer to successfully complete a conversion; if you’re at all mechanical and like to tinker with a golf car’s “inner life”, you can handle it yourself. “I designed this kit to include all the pieces and to be plug & play,” says Tim DeWitt. To learn more about AC conversions and the Nivel AC System Conversion Kit, contact your Nivel sales staff.