48V DC to 120V AC inverter for Polaris Ranger EV

Our family has a Polaris Ranger EV which we seem to use all the time. “Evy” as we sometimes call her is an extremely capable off road vehicle and the performance, torque and ride are all outstanding. I prefer it over any gas powered UTV (utility vehicle) or ATV (all-terrain-vehicle) that I’ve driven, that includes: John Deere Gators, Kawasaki Mules, Yamahas, Hondas… the list goes on!

It is absolutely splendid to be able to drive around the farm and on trails without using ANY gas. We charge the EV using solar power so that makes it even nicer IMHO. One feature that would make the EV more useful for work and play would be an AC outlet for power tools or any other standard AC electrical devices.

The EV has a nice set of eight batteries, setup for 48V DC:

1. The main power batteries on the EV & LSV are 12v deep cycle, 4 on each side.
2. Each side ( 4 12 v batteries) is connected in series to equal 48 v.
3. Then the 2 sides (48 v banks) are connected in parallel, still resulting in 48 v net

(Thanks to commenter DJ for the 1-3 info)

It also has a 12V “cigarette lighter” style outlet, but that 12V outlet has very limited output capabilities. So, in order to add AC output capability to the EV, a 48V DC to 120V AC inverter is in order!

Sadly, the options for 48V inverters are fairly limited compared to 12V or 24V inverters. Outback makes some nice high-end 48V inverters with 2kW+ output, but they are big and expensive. They are also a bit of overkill for my purposes. So I’ve been searching for a nice 48V DC to 120V AC inverter. There are a number of cheap low-end Chinese made options out there, but from my research a lot of them don’t put out anywhere near their rated # of watts.

Finally, I found a nice 48V inverter at a decent price, a 1500W NOVA Electronics model:

(more info can be found at the manufacturer’s product page)

1500W 48VDC Pure Sinewave DC-AC Inverter

1500W 48VDC Pure Sinewave DC-AC Inverterhttp://www.novaelectric.com/dc_ac_inverters/1500_watt_cgl_series/nova48_purwsinew.php

Last night I placed an order for the inverter and once it arrives I’ll post installation photos and info. :-)

UPDATE: the installation went well! We went with a quick disconnect connector so the AC inverter can be used when desired and stored when not in use. It has worked admirably for power tools, shopvacs and anything else we have thrown at it! Photos to be added soon…

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18 comments

  • Hi! we have just bought the Polaris Ranger EV , we live on a small off shore Island in the uk so it is perfect for us as we only have a couple of miles of track, I would really like to set up a solar charger but havnt a clue how to start, can you help me with this or point me in the direction of someone who can?
    cheers

  • I will be buying a Polaris EV in the near future and was disappointed to find out that it is limited to 120W output. I note that you have bought an inverter, but I was not able to find any entries about how the installation went and whether you were happy with the system. I look forward to seeing an update about this issue.

    • Hi Brad,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry it took me so long to reply. I too am a bit disappointed about the limited 12V DC output that the EV provides via the cigarette lighter, however, the dedicated inverter setup has proven very capable. :-)

      If you would like to see some photos and more info about how we installed an inverter in our Ranger EV, please comment back here and I will put some photos up.

      Best regards,
      -JD

      • Brad brooks

        Thanks for your reply. I would like to see photos as I have bought the EV and am looking at ways to provide interim power for lights and other light load items when the electricity goes out and run only the generator to charge the EV and run heavy duty loads for a few hours a day.

        • Hi Brad,
          Thank you for your comment. Those sound like great backup power uses for your EV!

          I will try to take some photos this week and post them for you.

          Have a good one,
          -J.D.

  • Will

    I’m also very interested in how you set up the solar charger for your Polaris EV. A description of your setup and any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • DJ Williams

    Just a slight correction here:
    1. The main power batteries on the EV & LSV are 12v deep cycle, 4 on each side.
    2. Each side ( 4 12 v batteries) is connected in series to equal 48 v.
    3. Then the 2 sides (48 v banks) are connected in parallel, still resulting in 48 v net.

  • Jeff

    JD, what kind of solar power are you using to charge your Ranger? We just got a Ranger EV, and we’re looking into solar charging, especially for those times when it will be stored for the season. I’m not clear as to whether we need a 48V DC solar charger, or whether we can use a 120V AC (inverter) system.

    • Hi Jeff,
      Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the extreme delay in my response.

      You can read about the solar setup we are using in my response to Matt’s comment.

      As for what you need for an off grid charging setup, either way will work:

      #1 Dedicated System
      Solar (2KW would be a nice setup) -> Charge Controller -> Separate Batteries (your choice of 12V, 24V, 48V etc. DC) -> Inverter (110V AC) -> Ranger EV charger (48V DC) -> Ranger EV Batteries (48V DC)

      #2 Directly Charging EV
      Solar (array of panels will need to produce > 48V will help charge) -> Dedicated 48V DC Charge Controller (not the EV’s built in charger) -> Ranger EV Batteries (48VDC)

      Now a couple of notes:
      For #1 I list a separate set of batteries, this is because if you have a cloudy day (say your panels are putting out 400 watts) and you want to charge your nearly empty EV (say the charger would normally use 1500 watts) then you will have deficit of -1100 watts and it is questionable whether it is wise to try to power the EV’s charger with less power than it needs. With dedicated batteries then even on a cloudy day the EV can charge with the full 1500 watts that its charger needs (you would roughly be using the 400 watts of solar power in conjunction with 1100 watts from your dedicated batteries).

      For #2 this is obviously much more efficient it is all DC -> DC without the inefficient DC to AC back to DC conversion that takes place in #1. With this your panels, regardless of output, will be able to put charge into the EV’s batteries (i.e. you don’t need 1500 watts, even 100 watts will in effect trickle charge the batteries).

      I hope some of this info has been useful to you and I apologize if it got a bit confusing!

      Best regards,
      -JD

      • John F.

        Hi – great site! Thinking of getting the EV and I already have this solar setup for my camper RV battery (one 12v deep cycle) – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CIADLG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000CIADLG&linkCode=as2&tag=pixensity-20

        can I simply mount a couple of these panels on the roof and then run the wire thru the controller and clamp to the main battery terminals or do I need something else? Just wanting to trickle charge while its running or parked – controller says its 7 amps – any info is appreciated – thanks!

        • Hi John,
          Thank you for your question. That is awesome that you are considering getting a Ranger EV and charging it with solar!

          Unfortunately, the Sunforce kit will not directly charge the EV. The panels and controller are wired for charging 12V batteries (and also for powering a c12V DC to 110V AC 200 watt inverter). Whereas the EV has a 48V battery setup.

          To mount panels on the EV and charge directly via DC, you would need a setup for charging a 48V battery setup. This will require the panels to have an operating voltage of > 48V and your charger would need to be capable of charging a 48V battery setup.

          Let me know if you want more specifics, but the basic answer is that most off the shelf solar kit configurations will not work as the will generally be 12V (or 24V) setups.

          The other option is to charge via AC using the EV’s built in charger, but with solar this would be fairly inefficient as you have multiple conversions going on: DC solar input -> AC inverter -> EV’s AC charger -> EV’s DC batteries

          Best regards,
          -JD

  • alan

    j d, we are currently testing out a polaris ev with a solar panel on the roof and and inverter, would be interested in your opinion on this one. Have you heard anything negative on the chargers on these units? Take care alan

    • Hi Alan!
      Thank you for your comment, sorry it too me a while to get back to you!

      I have not heard anything bad about the Polaris EV chargers, and we have never had any trouble with ours. However, I do know the max draw of the charger is approx 1500 watts (rough 14 amps at 110v) when plugged into an AC outlet, and then as the battery approaches full the draw lowers to around 600 watts, finally finishing with virtually no draw when the charge is complete.

      So if you are using a single panel with an inverter, I imagine output would be less than 200 watts in which case I believe you would be underpowering your EV’s charge controller. I have not read whether the EV’s charge controller is capable of effectively charging at lower than normal amperage/wattage, but it might be detrimental to either your EV charger or your inverter…

      Sorry to not have more helpful info, please let me know if you have questions about my answer or anything else. :-)

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Matt

    Very cool, JD. Just found this searching for solar power solutions for the Ranger EV. Adding a high capacity inverter for 110v power tools is a great idea; definitely going to install one in the near future!

    We have the Ranger EV too (we’re also located in Missouri, down near Rolla) — totally agree the performance is much better than a gasoline UTV— and looking seriously at solar charging. Like some of the other commenters, I’d be really interested to learn more about your charging setup.

    Do you have a dedicated array just for the EV? Or is your EV charging outlet simply part of a whole-house solar system? Are you feeding 110v into the factory charger/charge controller — or bypassing that and charging the (DC) EV batteries directly? *Do you know offhand how many watts of PV panels I’d need to produce 110v @ 20 Amps?

    Thanks again for the inverter tips. Please do share anything you can about your solar charger :)

    • Hi Matt,
      Thank you for your nice comment, it is good to hear from a fellow Missourian!

      The 110v inverter has been working nicely and it adds a lot of utility to the already very capable Ranger EV. :-)

      As for the charging setup, we are using small ‘whole-house’ solar system: (9) 200-watt sharp solar panels, a large bank of lead-acid batteries, and an Outback 3500 watt inverter, and the EV plugs into a regular wall outlet via extension cord and its normal AC charge cable. It is a bit overkill for just charging the EV, and it is not the most efficient setup (since it goes from DC solar power, to 110v AC, to DC charging via the EV’s charger) but it does the job and provides solar power for other uses as well.

      *To answer your question about PV array size, for 110V @ 20Aamps (2200 watts) you would need approx 11 large panels (200 watts each) and of course an appropriately sized inverter. You can get even bigger panels, and of course you can get smaller panels, but 200-watt panels seem to be the near sweet spot in bang-for-the-buck.

      Eventually we still plan to mount panels on the EV and use a solar charge controller (such as a Flexmax 60 MPPT solar charge controller) to directly charge the EV batteries… but as of now we have not done so.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions and good luck with your endeavors!

      Best regards,
      -JD

      PS Matt you don’t happen to play disc golf do you? I just ask because Rolla has a great disc golf course there that my buddies and I are big fans of :-)

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