I have a small electric vehicle that currently uses 4 x 12V 8Ah SLA batteries wired in series as its 48V battery packs. I have 2 of these packs.
In order to charge the batteries, I unplug all of them, plug them into a parallel wiring harness and use a 12V battery charger, either AC powered or solar panel with 12V charge controller. Then once charged, I have to re-wire them in series (the batteries have F2 terminals and the series/parallel wiring harnesses have female spade connectors)
This works but is obviously annoying.
I'm wondering what my options are. I currently see two possibilities:
Continue this series/parallel song and dance, but use DPDT relays to easily switch between "charge" (parallel) and "run" (series) modes. Do you see any pitfalls with this idea? I really like the ubiquity of 12V chargers. I could have each of the two battery packs switched independently so one is charging while the other is being used.
Use 48V chargers. I'm not even sure I can get a compact enough solar panel system to get 48V? I'd like to mount the panels on the vehicle itself, so probably not more than 150 or 200 watts of panels. Are there inexpensive charge controllers that can boost the voltage?