Solar arrayMechanical s: notice the high tech Melit
OwnerJohn McManus
LocationOxford, Nova Scotia Canada map
Email email image
Vehicle Ariens Riding Mower
An old Ariens RM27.
Motor Etek Permanent Magnet DC
Drivetrain9 hp B&S that wouldn't start. V belts to the gearbox and mower deck.
None needed. Ground speed is controlled by the gearbox.
Batteries3, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Gel
The batteries were cycled out of a Freightliner sleeper cab and sold for @$6 by my local Recycling Depot. They have been cycled about 40 times in the past year.
System Voltage36 Volts
ChargerLester Golf cart Lestermatic.
I had to take the old golf cart to get the charger , but it works fine. I made a solar array this spring and have just moved with a solar charge; a savings of about 30 cents. Two days of sun charges the battery pack.
HeaterSometimes it's hot and sometimes it's cold.
DC/DC Converter
Coming. Using a 12 volt tap upsets battery balance and range.
InstrumentationDigital combination amp volt meter. This is a Chinese panel meter from Ebay at a good price.
Top SpeedIt goes too fast for my rough lawn.
RangeI can mow for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours and do 1/2 my lawn on a charge. This is about 1/2 acre per charge.
Seating Capacity1 adult
Conversion TimeMore time spent web surfing than actually working. It only took a couple of days after my MTD broke.
Conversion CostEtek $400
Contactor $50
Meter $40
Wiring and fuse $75
Old mower $100.
This mower is narrow enough to pull a load of wood into my basement. Moving 7 1/2 cord with a hand cart was not good for my back.

The deck can be lifted higher than one on an MTD. I no longer hit rocks, stumps etc.

The motor is stronger than the transmission which slips when pulling a lawn roller uphill.

I developed a wiring system with safety switches using 2 seat switches ( 1 NO , 1 NC ) and a single relay. After breaking both switches twice, I gave up on a seat switch: my lawn is too rough and too steep. Now I just try not to fall off.

The Etek goes 70 rpm per volt. 2550 rpm seems good with a 30 inch blade. I don't really want a higher tip speed.

Everyone here I contacted for advice was great. Thanks for the help.

code by jerry