Electric driving and solar PV panels are essential. The market for electric vehicles (EVs) has grown strongly worldwide in recent years. More and more countries such as Portugal are planning to leave conventional cars, who are running on petrol and diesel.
Portugal does not have one charging point for every ten electric vehicles. That is, with the selling increasing as much as 95% to 2017 (from 4.237 to 8.241 light electric cars sold). Another increase of 118% until March of 2019 (2.174 electric vehicles). The public network of electric vehicle charging stations did not accompany this fast increase.
In Portugal, the sale could be as big, from 16.300 electric and hybrid vehicles today to 655 thousand in 2030.
At the same time, car manufacturers are diversifying their offer by adding electric vehicles to the range. Until today, the electric vehicle and solar power (PV) markets existed side by side, although their objectives and target groups significantly overlap.
By loading EVs with PV, both sectors become stronger, and the technologies concerned can deploying faster.
Many factors justify choosing energy from the sun and an electric vehicle. Such as lower energy costs, higher independence and a smaller environmental footprint at the individual and national level.
Combine an electric car with PV, and the ecological carbon footprint is reducing in a more meaningful way. Charging a car with sun power, it lowers the pressure on the electricity network and the charging time may be shorter.
With innovative technologies such as the “solar electricity boost” mode, it takes less time to charge an electric vehicle. In PV markets where higher self-consumption is the goal, charging an electric car is another way to become energy independent. EV becomes an additional tool to meet demand so that consumers can better match their electricity consumption to the supply.
There are numerous advantages in the installation phase when solar energy is combining with electric vehicles. In this way, it is a stimulation for both technologies.
With a traditional PV inverter and separate EV charger, there are typical, additional installation costs. Also, other expenses can appear, such as extra cables, power lines, circuit breakers and possibly an upgrade of the main electrical panel.
However, all of these additional costs can fall or even disappear, cost-efficient installation of EV-chargers with an integrated PV inverter. It can help homeowners prepare for the future.
Also, if a homeowner does not currently have an electric vehicle, an EV-compatible PV system can, therefore, be installed. In this way, the owner can easily upgrade the PV system to supply energy to an electric vehicle when necessary.
However, the potential of the combination of EV and PV does not stop there. Once both technologies connect, many exciting features and functions are available. Since both PV and EV batteries operate on direct current (DC), this can, for example, change the playing field for charging EVs.
Another example is that EV batteries can be given a second life as storage for the back-up of residential energy. Remove and replace to charge them or to supply electricity to the home during peak hours or when the power goes out.
Another interesting function of EV batteries integrating with PV inverters are the V2G services (vehicle to a network). The battery can supply energy to the network or control the EV charging station speed to meet the energy demand. It is especially useful because intelligent inverters and decentralized energy systems are starting to take the place of the centralized network.
An exciting consequence is that the high peaks in the electricity grid may shift. However, this is no more than the beginning.
The combination of EV and PV can make homeowners more energy-independent in the first phase and then help at the national level to increase their energy security.