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Solar-powered EV Charging Station to Enable Greater EV Adoption

Photo Credit: CSIRO

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, has developed new technology that will link rooftop solar and batteries to support electric vehicle (EV) charging, even in the height of summer.

According to a recent press release, the new solar-powered EV charging stations will maximise use of renewable energy, with the potential to alleviate stress on the grid during peak periods.

About Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations Australia

  • These stations were developed with the Australian household in mind in order to overcome challenges associated with EV charging, including managing temperatures on even the hottest days.
  • In addition, the technology supports the charging of multiple vehicles in areas with limited access to grid power like home garages and public carparks, where the charge rate would otherwise be limited.
  • Demand for infrastructure is growing and placing stress on grid-powered charging stations because more EVs are on Australian roads.
  • The project is funded by the Victorian Government and in collaboration with an electronics manufacturing company and an automobile company.
  • CSIRO researchers developed and tested the system, incorporating a range of heat management strategies to ensure batteries are charged and discharged efficiently.
  • The lead researcher from the agency’s Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems explained that up to 90% of EV charging was likely to take place in the home.
  • However, a normal household battery system is typically not powerful enough to charge a car on a hot day as it can overheat and slow down.

Benefits of the Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations Technology

  • To address this, they have devised a way to manage the temperature of the battery, minimising the amount of power required from the grid.
  • In a multi-EV home, this system will automatically monitor each car, spreading the load between the battery, solar PV and the rest of the home.
  • Because of this, the cars will be able to charge as quickly as possible, using as much sun, without the need to upgrade grid connection.
  • This technology could accelerate the widespread rollout of EV’s across the country.
  • Three solar charging modules have been installed at the car company’s headquarters in Dandenong, with each module capable of charging four vehicles.
  • They will be tested and evaluated over 200 days, including the peak summer period.
  • The car company expressed how proud they are of being a part of this initiative, which will deliver an innovative trial.
  • The Managing Director shared that a study of this nature will enable greater EV adoption both locally and around the world, thereby reducing impact on the grid.
  • Following the test period, project partners will evaluate data collected throughout the trial, with the intention of confirming associated environmental and cost benefits.
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