Individuals and businesses are demonstrating an increasing interest in renewable energy sources right now. The sun is one of these sustainable sources that might power your electric vehicle. Devices that use sunlight to charge vehicles are known as solar automobile battery chargers. But can these devices keep your car’s battery charged, or are they only a gimmick?
Solar battery chargers for automobiles won’t replace conventional chargers—yet.
A solar car charger might be handy, but they’re still a relatively new product on the market and are not yet advanced enough to replace outlet chargers. So, if you’re searching for a handy device to give your car’s battery an occasional boost, a solar car battery charger may be an excellent choice.
How Much Power Does Your Electric Vehicle Need?
Before beginning, you must first determine the capacity of your solar heater. If you possess an electric vehicle but do not have a solar heater, it makes sense to calculate the energy you will require. Include the car in your calculations, even if you have no intention of recharging it with solar energy.
Before installation, determine the amount of energy your car battery will require. This information will assist you in determining the size of the solar array to purchase. You should also evaluate your appliances and the primary purpose for installing solar panels. Even still, it is uncommon for homeowners to use the system just to charge their electric vehicles.
You should also be aware of your vehicle’s fuel economy. It will help you calculate savings if you transition from a conventional to an electric car.
How many panels are required? Petrol automobiles use L/100km to determine fuel consumption. It specifies how much the vehicle will consume to drive 100 kilometers. Regarding electric cars, they consume 1 kWh every kilometer. Note that kilowatt and kilowatt-hour are not equivalent units of measurement. Therefore, it is essential to understand the distinction between the two.
It may still sound rather complicated, so let’s simplify it. Approximately 16 solar panels or 5 kW of solar capacity might supply the daily energy demands of a residence that consumes 20 kWh daily. When it comes to driving, everyday distances average 10 km and occasionally reach 60 km.
Here is a way to determine how much solar energy you need:
- If you travel between 1 and 20 km daily, you will need around 1 kW of additional solar panels to charge during the day and 4 kWh of batteries to charge at night.
- For nighttime charging, driving between 21 and 40 km will necessitate extra 2 kW panels and 8 kWh battery storage.
- If you drive between 41 and 60 km daily, you require up to 3 kW of additional charging capacity during the day. Meanwhile, you will need an additional 12 kWh battery capacity to charge overnight.
- Nevertheless, the fuel economy will depend on the vehicle itself. Some estimations indicate that driving 40 km daily will only burn around 15% of the Nissan Leaf’s battery. It would use up to 8% of a Tesla battery.
Regarding kilowatt-hours, you need to give an additional daily solar supply of roughly 6 kWh for an electric car. In contrast, an 8 kWh daily Tesla battery would be sufficient for a 40 km commute.
A 5 kW solar panel would be sufficient for most individuals to power their homes and vehicles.
Are Solar-Powered Vehicle Chargers Valuable?
Solar vehicle chargers are worthwhile if you only need a brief charge. And if you’re attempting to reduce your power consumption, solar vehicle chargers are more environmentally friendly. If you drive an EV, you may wish to store a spare in your trunk in case of an unexpected breakdown. Sometimes it is impossible to reach the charging station in time. Solar car chargers are ideal for maintaining a charge rather than entirely recharging a vehicle’s battery.
Converting our fleet of gas-powered automobiles to electric vehicles is one of human civilization’s greatest sustainability concerns. However, the sustainable powering of millions of EVs is not explored sufficiently. Installing a solar PV system particularly intended to power an electric vehicle makes economic sense for homeowners seeking to lower their total environmental impact while substantially cutting their overall carbon emissions.