Jacobsen And E-Z-GO At Forefront Of Battery Power: Jacobsen and E-Z-GO have been at the forefront of battery powered equipment in the turf maintenance and golf sector for many years, from the E-Z-GO RXV golf cars to the Jacobsen Eclipse 322. Now, E-Z-GO has introduced a range of ELiTE vehicles, activated by Samsung SDI lithium technology, offering zero-maintenance batteries with a five-year unlimited amp-hour warranty and increased energy efficiency.
The E-Z-GO ELiTE vehicles are a case in point to illustrate how battery power has evolved and the benefits it can bring. Launched into the UK market at the beginning of 2017 it has represented a major step forward in golf car technology delivering exceptional value to golf course operators.
New ELiTE Series vehicles are powered by hundreds of Samsung SDI lithium cells that are loaded into a single battery pack. The battery pack is controlled by an advanced Battery Management System that monitors efficiency, temperature, state of charge and the health of the batteries. These batteries are used to safely and reliably power electric cars, e-scooters, power tools and many other electrically powered vehicles, equipment and appliances.
The vehicles are powered by zero-maintenance lithium batteries that don’t require watering, terminal post checkups and cleaning like traditional lead acid batteries do. This is good news for businesses and individuals operating golf cars, as there is less downtime and maintenance to be carried out on the vehicles.
Charging time is significantly reduced, and ELiTE vehicles allow courses to “opportunity charge,” plugging vehicles in for quick charging sessions between rounds that can rapidly restore significant levels of energy to the battery system, as opposed to the lengthy recharge cycles required by lead-acid batteries.
The batteries in ELiTE vehicles have also been developed to be lighter than traditional lead acid batteries. ELiTE Series vehicles batteries are half the size and a fraction of the weight of lead-acid batteries, with the aim of reducing turf damage and soil compaction due to vehicle weight.
Jacobsen and E-Z-GO are brands under the umbrella of Textron Specialized Vehicles, so when Jacobsen began development of its latest diesel-electric hybrid and all-electric greens mower, the Eclipse 322, it was a sensible move to consult the design engineers at E-Z-GO. Much of the technology in the battery-powered Eclipse 322 is taken from the E-Z-GO RXV, another stalwart machine in the evolution of battery powered equipment. The automatic braking system and the main drive axle of the Jacobsen Eclipse 322 are shared with the RXV in particular.
All the systems and functions on the Eclipse are powered by electricity, the only difference is whether the electricity is produced ‘on the go’ as with the diesel-electric hybrid machine or stored in a battery pack as on the all-electric version.
Once you use electricity to power the machine, you can then use reasonably sophisticated electronics to control the functions on the machine. On the Eclipse the transport speed between greens can be set, as can the cutting speed when on the green; this can be locked in by the course manager using a PIN passcode, which cannot be overridden by the operator.
Again, using electronic control, the steering in transport mode reacts much the same as a car, but when cutting mode is engaged, the ratio changes and becomes more responsive allowing the operator precise control.
However, the major benefit is the machine’s ability to control the number of cuts per metre when mowing. This ability to precisely control the frequency of cut (FOC) is unique to this mower and, like the transport and mowing speed control, it can be locked in by the course manager ensuring that every green is cut to exactly the same specification.
This is achieved because it is now possible, for the first time on a ride-on mower to control the relationship between reel speed and the forward movement of the mower. On a standard hydraulic-powered greens mower, the reels rotate at approximately 2000 rpm. The faster you move across the green, the cuts per metre reduce; conversely the slower you move, the number of cuts per metre increase, because the reels are spinning at a constant rate.
Now, with the reel motors and traction motors electrically driven, it is possible using electronic control, to slow the reels as the machine’s speed decreases and then increase reel speed as the speed across the green increases, therefore maintaining the number of cuts per metre.
Why is this important? It means that for the first time the course manager can guarantee his members that each and every green will be cut to exactly the same specification, ensuring consistency across all 18 putting surfaces.
The Eclipse also features individual reel lift and lower; the electric lift arms can be actuated individually, particularly useful when alternating the width of the clean up pass. As battery technology develops in the car industry, it will eventually cascade down into the turfcare sector and perhaps we’ll see some significant new developments in the way we maintain our outdoor environment.
To find out your local Ransomes Jacobsen dealer, visit: www.ransomesjacobsen.com
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