Unlock the Sun's Power: Supercharge Your EV with Solar Energy

5 July 2024 Peblar

In the global push towards cleaner and renewable energy, the use of solar power across the world is increasing, and according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “Solar PV’s installed power capacity is poised to surpass that of coal by 2027, becoming the largest in the world.” 

While we’re still some years away from renewables being the largest source of energy, we’ve seen some expedited growth in the past few years. The Netherlands is now thought to have more than two million households using solar panels, in the UK the number is around 1.7 million and growing, and in Germany, the “total number of photovoltaic systems in the country now stands at around 3.7 million.” (Clean Energy Wire, 2024)

The benefits of solar are clear: cheaper energy, less reliance on the grid and in some cases, the option to sell excess energy back to the grid. Plus, if you own an EV, then you can charge your car using solar energy, further reducing the cost of ownership. 

The Cost Of Excess Solar Energy

Without going into too much detail on the cost of ownership of solar panels, there are considerations to be made. 

While in some countries, it’s possible to ‘get paid’ for exporting energy back to the grid through net metering and export guarantees, some energy companies in the Netherlands have started charging fees for energy being exported to the grid. 

The measurement equipment provides digital insights into the power usage in the household. Optionally, an additional stationary battery can ensure that the vehicle can be charged with solar power, even when the clouds are temporarily blocking the sun.

Koen explains: “For now, stationary batteries aren’t the norm in households with solar charging capabilities, so we’ve developed a solution that focuses on how the EV charger utilises solar energy.” 

Laadpaalen Paterberg solar image square

Image credit Laadpaalen Paterberg

Essential Equipment To Get Started With Solar EV Charging

Getting started means having the right tools:

  1. Solar Panels: The heart of a solar charging setup are solar panels to capture the sun's energy
  2. EV Charger: The EV charger distributes the energy from the solar panels to the electric vehicle. Peblar chargers come with a web interface that puts the user in control
  3. Electric Vehicle: An electric vehicle to charge
  4. Measurement equipment: The instantaneous power of the household is measured and sent to the charger. Measurement equipment could consist of a smart meter with a P1 dongle/extender, an in-line energy meter, or via a Modbus meter.


What Are Peblar Doing To Enhance The Use Of Solar?

You said, and we've listened: solar power in Peblar EV chargers is a reality. We've witnessed a growing number of customers requesting this technology and as electric vehicle adoption increases, it's only logical to merge these two eco-conscious trends. 

Koen Elands, product manager at Peblar by Prodrive Technologies, reflects that in the Netherlands: “They really urge people to use or save the energy you generate at the moment you generate it, because then you have the least impact on the grid.” And this trend is becoming more prevalent in other countries too.

The popularity of solar charging is no surprise. It's affordable, and acts as a pathway to cost-free charging - once you've made the initial investment in the equipment.