Harnessing Solar Energy: A Bright Idea for Your Electricity Bill
It’s no secret that the world is shifting towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources, and Australia is no exception. The average Australian has become more conscious about reducing their carbon footprint, and one impactful way to do this is by harnessing solar energy.
Using solar panels to power your home can significantly decrease your electricity bill, while also benefiting the environment.
Powering Electric Vehicles (EVs) with Solar Energy: Double the Benefits
With the surge in popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), and more and more brands adding their own version of an EV, one thing that doesn’t get talked about is how to keep them running once you do own one.
If you’re in Perth, we definitely recommend considering charging your electric car with solar energy, allowing you to really maximise the benefits of your photovoltaic system. The combination of solar power and electric cars is a game-changer in the fight against climate change. Not only can you power your home with clean energy, but you can also charge your car in an environmentally friendly manner.
How Does It Work? The Role of Solar Inverter and Battery Storage
The process of using solar energy to charge your electric vehicle involves converting the sun’s energy into usable electricity through a solar inverter. The energy harnessed during the day is stored in a solar battery storage system, which can then be used to charge your EV at night.
And this is the important part to remember. If you’re like most working Australians, the majority of your time at home will be spent when your PV system isn’t generating a lot, if any, power at all so coupling your solar panels with a battery storage will ensure you’re not charging your car from the expensive grid.
With adequate battery storage, you can fast charge your EV at any time, even when the sun isn’t shining. The size of your solar battery will determine how quickly you can charge your electric car. A larger battery will offer more capacity for a fast charge.
Charge Your EV and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
By choosing to charge your EV with solar energy, you’re making a considerable impact on reducing your carbon footprint. Electric vehicles already produce lower emissions compared to their gas-powered counterparts. When you power your EV with solar energy, you’re essentially running your vehicle on sunshine, making it even more environmentally friendly.
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need to Support an Electric Vehicle?
The number of solar panels required to support your electric vehicle (EV) will depend on several factors, including your EV’s energy consumption, your driving habits, and the efficiency of your solar panels. Typically, an electric vehicle requires around 30 kilowatt-hours (kWh) for every 100 miles. If you drive 30 miles per day, you would need about 10 kWh of energy daily to charge your electric vehicle.
Given that an average solar panel produces around 250-300 watts in peak sunlight, you’d need approximately 30-40 panels for solely EV charging if considering worst-case scenarios and variations in sunlight. However, this is a high estimation and the actual number could be much lower due to a variety of factors including panel efficiency, daily driving distance, and local sunlight hours.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t account for other household energy use, so the total number of panels your home needs could be higher. When we sit down with you, we can conduct an analysis of your energy needs to recommend the right size of PV and battery systems for your home and EV.
EV Chargers: An Essential Part of Your Solar Power System
To charge an electric car with solar energy, you will probably want an EV charger, also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). This equipment acts as a safety device between the electric grid and the EV battery, regulating the charge to your EV and preventing overcharging. This will also help you charger your car faster than just plugging it into your 240v power outlet.
Understanding the Three Levels of EV Charging
Level 1 Charging: The Basics
Level 1 charging uses a standard household outlet of 240 volts, common in Australia. Although this level of charging is the slowest, it is a practical and cost-effective option for home users. Depending on the EV’s battery size and vehicle model, a full charge might take anywhere from 8-24 hours, making it a suitable option for overnight charging. For households with average commuting distances and charging capacity overnight, Level 1 charging offers a simple, plug-in solution.
Level 2 Charging: The Middle Ground
Level 2 charging requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit, similar to a home clothes dryer or oven. This is the most common charging level for home charging stations and can take between 4-6 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. The advantage of Level 2 charging is that it can efficiently handle daily charging needs, and when paired with a solar power system, it can provide significant savings on your electricity bill.
Level 3 Charging: The Fast Charge
Level 3 charging, also known as DC fast charging, is the fastest available charging option. These chargers use direct current (DC) rather than the alternating current (AC) used by Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. Level 3 chargers can recharge a depleted EV battery to 80% in about 30-60 minutes. However, continuous use of fast charging can reduce the lifespan of an EV’s battery over time. These chargers are usually found in commercial or public settings, rather than residential, due to their higher cost and power requirements.
By understanding the different levels of EV charging, you can make an informed decision about what best fits your lifestyle and charging needs. If you need assistance, we can help you choose and install the right charger for your home solar power system and electric vehicle.
The Duration to Fully Charge an Electric Vehicle: A Key Consideration
The length of time it takes to fully charge an electric vehicle (EV) can vary widely based on several factors. These include the type of EV, the capacity of its battery, the power of the charger used, and the energy source.
For instance, if you’re using a conventional home outlet (Level 1 charger), it could take upwards of 12 hours or even a full day to charge an EV from zero to full. However, if you’re using a Level 2 charger, which is the kind most often installed in homes with solar power systems, the charge time can be significantly reduced, often to just a few hours.
With solar energy, the charging time can also depend on the amount of sunlight your solar panels receive and the capacity of your solar battery storage. It’s important to note that even on less sunny days, your solar battery system can provide stored power to charge your EV.
Moreover, if your solar system includes a fast-charge feature, it can enable even quicker charging times. While fast charging can occasionally lead to a decrease in the battery lifespan if used continuously, it can be a convenient option for those needing a quick top-up.
Solar Panels and Electric Cars: The Perfect Pair for the Average Australian
Using solar panels to power your home and charge your EV can offer substantial savings on your electricity bill. As the price of solar panels continues to decrease, this becomes an even more attractive option for the average Australian.
In addition, government incentives and rebates for installing solar panels and purchasing electric vehicles are also available, making this a financially sound decision. You can reduce your carbon footprint, save on your electricity bill, and contribute to a greener Australia – all by combining the power of solar energy and electric vehicles.
Embracing an Environmentally Friendly Future
Charging your electric vehicle from your solar panels is a forward-thinking solution that empowers Australians to reduce their reliance on traditional energy sources, cut down on their electricity bills, and play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Whether you’re interested in installing a solar power system, purchasing an electric vehicle, or both, Solar Panels Perth is here to help you navigate this exciting and sustainable journey. Our dedicated team will walk you through the entire process, ensuring that you are well-informed and confident in your decision. We believe in creating a brighter, cleaner, and more sustainable future for everyone, and it starts with harnessing the power of the sun to charge your electric vehicle.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to schedule a consultation. At Solar Panels Perth, we’re ready to help you take the next step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.