Use of Solar in Electric Vehicle(EV) Charging
Solar Performance Specialist
Electric Vehicles are the future of transport. High fuel prices and air pollution are responsible for sudden surge in the demand of electric vehicles (EV). It is well acknowledged that transportation contributes to a major portion of air pollution. Hence, decarbonizing the transport sector through EVs will be beneficial. This will mitigate air pollution and also make cars' fuel cost cheaper in the long term.
But what we have to realize is that if we are moving towards a situation in which all vehicles are electric, the sustainability will depend on how the EVs are powered. Right now, the EVs are charged by plugging into the utility grid. But if everyone switches to EV and starts doing this, the utilities will have to burn more fossil fuels to power those electric vehicles. Electric vehicles charging with solar rooftop photovoltaic facilities are economically more viable and sustainable than those with grid.
In this article, we will see the basics of EV charging, different types of EV chargers and their working. We will also look at the smart EV chargers which enable solar-only charging and advanced load management.
The Solar Charged Home is designed to drastically reduce your electric bills by making your home an energy producing machine. This system will not only charge your EV but it can also eliminate your electric bill for the next 25 years.
The idea of an electric vehicle charging station is to recharge the battery of an Electric Vehicle (EV). These charging stations are installed with an AC to DC converter circuit which is known as an EV charger. The primary function of the charger is to convert the mains power from a regular wall socket and provide controlled DC power to the EV battery so that it can be charged. There are 3 levels of EV charging stations, with the Level 3 most commonly used for roadside charging stations. Home chargers are typically Level 1 or 2, depending on how much power you need for your vehicle.
Level 1- These chargers are basic portable plug-in chargers of 10A that can be used up to 2.4kW.
Level 2- We recommend the level 2 home EV chargers that come in both single-phase and three-phase options. These are wall-mounted compact chargers from 5kW-22kW.
You can further choose to integrate the charger with a combined solar inverter. Combined Solar Inverter and EV charger is one technological solution where the charger is integrated with the solar inverter. It eliminates the need for a separate EV charger along with additional wiring. This system can either charge from solar only or from solar and the grid simultaneously.
Level 3- DC fast chargers deliver DC power directly to the battery. As a result, the charging speed is increased. They are generally used for roadside EV charging stations from 50kW to 300kW.
Smart EV charger
Smart EV chargers combine a standard level-2 home charger with smart controls. Smart charging enables you to automatically charge your electric vehicle during off-peak times and when solar power is being generated. They also have Wifi and Bluetooth as to enable easy setup and monitoring using your mobile phone. Smart EV chargers are a great way to save money on charging, and increase your self-sufficiency.
The solar system size required to charge an EV can be calculated by figuring out how many miles you drive every day. If you are planning to go completely solar-powered, you need to know how much electricity your car needs. For example, if you drive about 600 miles every month or 20 miles per day, and if your car requires about 26 kWh for every 100 miles you go, then you need 4 solar panels of 290 watts each to power your EV without the help from the grid.
Time required for charging by popular EVs in India:-
- TATA Nexon EV- Recharges up to 80% in 60 minutes using a fast charger.
- TATA Tigor EV- Recharges up to 80% in 90 minutes and normal charging in 8 hours 45minutes.
- Hyundai Kona Electric- Recharges up to 80% in 60 minutes and Normal charging in 6 hours.
Rooftop solar power plants and electric vehicle charging facilities are a perfect combination, as it meets (both) energy requirements in one place. The efficient solar PV panels have a longer lifetime and need low maintenance. Electric vehicles can be charged during off peak hours and hence from a utility perspective, EVs will not lead to an increase in demand for electricity. The electricity generated from solar PV can be used to charge the vehicles without incurring costs to the vehicle owner. Hence this combination is a boon for sustainable mobility.
Our solar systems are designed to provide hassle-free and reliable power for your electric vehicle. Running on solar means zero fuel cost and no more visits to the petrol station.
Reach out to us if you require a turnkey solar solution that can provide your electric vehicle with sustainable and cost-effective power.