home > solar mower
CONVERTING A GAS LAWN MOWER TO
SOLAR CHARGED ELECTRIC POWER
I enjoy mowing my rural lawn area -
weeds and all. I just resent having to use a noisy polluting machine to do it!
I learned that small gasoline engines like those in lawn mowers can
pollute up to 7 times as much as vehicles (with the exception of our 60MPG Honda
Insight and 30MPG Ford Escape Hybrid which are both Ultra Low Emission Vehicles!). Click
here to learn more about our
other sustainable living efforts.
If you have
completed a conversion and would like to share your experience, then
send me pictures and a description and I'll add you to the
Gallery of conversions!
mower conversion was featured in Popular Science Magazine's July 2008
issue on page 45. It is one of "10 Audacious Ideas To Save The
The article states that I will "convert a mower for you, for a little green of your own." I have decided that I would rather let you do the work yourself - I have plenty of other things to keep me in trouble! So that's why I put up these detailed instructions. Go for it!
The project entails replacing the gasoline engine of a used 22" gas powered mower with a 12 Volt electric motor and battery - along with gauges, circuit breaker/power switch and charging connector. Using 12 Volts keeps the design simple and relatively safe.
The solar charging system consists of solar panel(s) that are wired to a charge controller with an extension cord that connects to the mower. Optionally, a standard AC powered automatic battery charger can be used.
The noticeable difference when mowing is the quiet! The blades are spinning at about 1/2 the speed (1750RPM) of a gas mower (3450RPM) with a virtually silent motor, it sounds like a big fan! With sharp blades it cuts just as good as my retired Sears 5HP mower.
If this project is too daunting for you, here are some options:
You can buy an off-the-shelf
mower with a 19" blade for under $700. This is basically a
Black & Decker CMM100 24V rechargeable mower with a solar charging
system added on.
Lee in Florida took my idea and ran with it, and has added a self propelled motor to his 24 Volt lawnmower conversion.
Here's another option, look at restoring or buying
a used 1970's vintage GE ElekTrak all electric lawn tractor.
Click here to learn more about these machines. If you plan on
restoring one, then here are some links that will help you with controls
The Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto claims that replacing half of the nearly 1.3 million walk-behind gas mowers used in the United States with electric mowers would eliminate the equivalent hydrocarbon emissions of 2 million cars.
The old vs the new!
The retired noisy, polluting 5HP Sears Craftsman
monster next to my
|If you found the information presented on my web site to be helpful you can send me a donation to show your appreciation for the many hours I have invested in presenting my knowledge and experience. This is NOT tax deductible and will show as a consulting fee on your receipt.|