Fast and direct vehicle charging with solar energy
At the TU Delft Research Exhibition on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 June, the DCE&S group demonstrated a system for charging electric vehicles directly with power from solar panels.
Electric cars can only really be referred to as sustainable if the car is actually charged using power that has been generated sustainably. TU Delft joined forces with the company Power Research Electronics to develop a high-speed charger that enables cars to be charged directly with power from solar panels (e.g. on your roof). This means that the electricity grid is no longer needed as an interim stage in charging. In addition, the system works two ways: not only can you charge your electric car with solar power, the energy from the charged car battery can also be used to supply your house with electricity.
‘Solar panels generate direct current and this normally needed to be converted to alternating current before you could use it to charge an electric car,’ says TU Delft’s Prof. Pavol Bauer. ‘With our charger (10 kW), that is no longer necessary, which marks a major step forward.’
‘In the Vehicle-to-Grid-system, you can also go in any direction, depending on which is preferable at the time,’ continues Bauer. ‘This means you can also supply your home with power from the car battery.’ In addition, it is also possible to deliver electricity back to the grid, but that first requires conversion into alternating current.
The system can be expanded by connecting several chargers and solar panels together. In the future, this would enable business parks and residential districts to supply electricity in a new way, partly separate from the electricity grid. Another key advantage, according to Bauer, is that the system is smart. ‘We take information and predictions about the current situation on the electricity market into account. To a certain extent, it is possible to predict the supply of solar energy. If there is an oversupply of solar power, the price will fall (and vice versa). Based on that, you can opt for the smartest energy-consumption strategy.’
Twenty high-speed chargers
Power Research Electronics has now produced twenty high-speed chargers of this type. The company expects the system to be available commercially by the end of the year.