Solar Panels and Electric Vehicles: a Match Made in Heaven

Solar Panels and Electric Vehicles: a Match Made in Heaven

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Solar vitality and electric vehicles (EVs) are a successful mixture. If you drive an EV, however cost with energy that has a number of coal in the energy mix, it boosts the local weather impression of driving. Thus, charging your EV with renewable energy is a good selection. Also, charging with photo voltaic panels is a wonderful strategy to cut back your gas prices and get the best worth out of your photo voltaic PV system.

Most solar panels in the marketplace are round 15%-20% environment friendly in changing daylight into electrical energy. This signifies that fewer photo voltaic panels are wanted to supply the identical quantity of vitality in comparison with photo voltaic panels from a decade in the past. Because PV modules are extra environment friendly than ever, many homes have sufficient roof area to supply energy for the house and cost a automobile.

Whether your roof is ready to absolutely energy each your private home and your EV is dependent upon the next components.

  • Solar tools effectivity: The photo voltaic panels, inverter, and non-obligatory batteries are all components
  • Solar potential of the property: If there’s shade from buildings, timber, home options, and many others.
  • Size of the south-facing roof: Most photo voltaic panels are put in dealing with south and generally put in dealing with east or west
  • Energy use of the house: Look for data in your utility payments of kilowatt-hour (kWh) utilization
  • Efficiency of the EV: The common EV wants 30 kWh per 100 miles
  • How a lot you drive: The common EV proprietor drives 5,300 miles per year
  • Where you cost: If there’s a strong charging infrastructure in your space otherwise you solely cost at dwelling
  • Your native local weather: The quantity of obtainable daylight the place you reside all year long

Before putting in a photo voltaic vitality system on your private home, it’s good to look at vitality effectivity. Do you’ve energy-hogging home equipment or electronics that ought to be changed? Do you’ve energy-efficient lighting? Can you make minor changes to eat much less vitality, corresponding to rinsing dishes in chilly water, putting in an energy-saving showerhead, or decreasing the usage of your air con?

How a lot energy does your electrical automobile eat?

In basic, EVs can eat about 25 to 35 kWh per 100 miles. The precise effectivity of an EV relies upon a bit in your driving type, the outside temperature, and the kind of driving you might be doing. Unfortunately, effectivity declines in chilly climate. Also, the mannequin of the automobile you drive is a giant consider how a lot electrical energy your EV will use. The U.S. Department of Energy has data on the effectivity of particular fashions.

Where do you cost your EV?

Another huge consider sizing your photo voltaic system is contemplating the place you cost your automobile. Do you solely cost at home or do you charge on the go lots? As the community of electrical automobile charging stations will increase, you would possibly begin charging on the go extra typically, in procuring malls, buddies’ properties, or at work. How interesting this feature is may additionally depend upon the price of charging and if the vitality comes from renewable sources of vitality.

How many photo voltaic panels will it’s good to cost your automobile?

Once you recognize roughly how a lot you drive, the place you cost, and the effectivity of your automobile, you may start plugging in some numbers. Let’s assume you drive about 10,000 miles a yr, solely cost at dwelling, have a sunny south-facing roof, and stay in Chicago or Portland, Maine. Then, you’ll want about eight 350-watt photo voltaic panels to cost your EV.

Let’s say you drive simply 5,000 miles, solely cost at dwelling, and you reside in San Diego, California, with none shade. Then, you’ll solely want about 3 photo voltaic panels to maintain your automobile charged. If you had the identical set-up however the house is situated in Seattle, you would want an additional panel or so.

What for those who don’t have sufficient roof area for photo voltaic panels?

Some properties are shaded or don’t have a lot south-facing roof area. Other EV homeowners might hire, so it doesn’t make sense to go photo voltaic. Another choice is to affix a community solar farm. Although fashions differ, most neighborhood photo voltaic farms observe a subscription mannequin. This means that you could purchase discounted energy from a photo voltaic farm and pay no upfront funding.

The neighborhood photo voltaic market varies broadly by state and its insurance policies. Currently, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, MA, MD, ME, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OR, RI, SC, VT, and WA are the best states for community solar installations.