The world’s reliance on fossil fuels has come under growing pressure in recent years, from supply concerns to supply and geopolitical ones. Many nations are working to cut back on the usage of fossil fuels to address this. The use of electric mobility has become a significant new trend in the transportation industry.
Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have soared during the past ten years as a result. Only 120,000 electric vehicles were sold globally in 2012. In 2021, more than that amount was sold per week. Although the usage of around 1.5 million barrels of oil per day is already being replaced by electric mobility, this rise also significantly raises the need for power.
Concurrently, generating enough power sustainably is a hurdle. In reality, the manufacture of EVs and the generation of the electricity required to power them have the greatest impact on the environment. Solar energy is one of the most widely used renewable sources for the house, thus there is a pressing need to increase the production of renewable energy. This article will define solar energy and describe how to use it to recharge an electric vehicle.
Can solar panels be used to recharge an EV?
In a nutshell, the answer is yes (and you do not even need smart charging features to achieve so). But first, let us take a deeper look at what solar energy is to better understand how it works and what smart charging can bring.
What is solar energy?
Most people think of solar panels mounted on rooftops when discussing solar energy, however, this is not what the term “solar energy” actually signifies from a scientific standpoint. Simply put, solar energy is the energy that the sun emits, some of which finds its way to Earth. With the help of a technique known as photovoltaics, this energy may be harnessed to create electricity.
A solar panel, also known as a photovoltaic (PV) panel, is composed of hundreds of solar cells, each of which is made up of a semiconductor (typically silicon). Through the creation of a current—an electron flow—this semiconductor absorbs sunlight and transforms it into electricity. This electricity can be put back into the grid or utilized to power a building.
In terms of generating electricity for the home, this photovoltaic process is what we typically refer to as “solar power.” In this article, we also refer to photovoltaic panels as “solar panels” to avoid confusion.
The expanding acceptance of solar panels
It is simple to see why solar energy is so appealing. It is free to use and, unlike fossil fuels, is widely accessible everywhere. It is not surprising that between 2018 and 2022, the world’s solar capacity quadrupled to reach one Terawatt (TW). Global solar capacity is anticipated to reach 2.3 TW by 2025, which, for comparison, is twice as much energy output as France and Germany put together.
Small-scale solar panels installed on roofs by people and households to become more grid-independent, reduce energy bills, and lessen their carbon footprints are a contributing factor in this growth.
Solar energy generation may also be used to provide previously without access to power with access to electricity in various regions of the world. For instance, this might be crucial in extending electricity access to millions of people in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
How do solar energy and home EV charging work together?
Even while solar panels by themselves may greatly reduce costs, combining them with an electric car can increase their advantages. Solar panels may provide electricity that you can use to charge your EV instead of relying on the grid, cutting expenses and guaranteeing that the electricity used to power your car is produced responsibly.
Even though a typical residential solar system is unlikely to fully power your EV, it can at least contribute to the production of part of the electricity required by your vehicle. For instance, a solar panel may create around 1 kWh of power per day on average in Western Europe, which means that 12 panels will produce approximately 10 kWh of electricity every day (depending on your location).
This is sufficient to provide a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range vehicle with a range of around 26 miles, which is greater than the daily mileage in the UK.
Renewable energy sources like solar will become more and more important as the globe works to move away from carbon-intensive energy sources. For homeowners, solar power offers a convenient option to save energy expenses, acquire grid independence, and ensure responsibly generated electricity.
By combining solar panels with an electric automobile, you may save even more money by charging your car with solar energy. By providing precise control over the charging process and guaranteeing efficient energy consumption, smart charging may assist you in realizing these savings.