New charger-integrated inverters can ensure EVs are powered by the sun
In this era of high gas and increasingly severe weather events, consumers are thinking more critically about their home and vehicle energy savings and security. This evolution presents more opportunities for solar installers to expand their offerings to address the whole home energy ecosystem.
Solar marketplace EnergySage recently surveyed 1,000 consumers to find the order of adoption of various green home energy upgrades. The company found the most common entry point was Smart thermostats (22%), while solar, electric vehicles (EVs) and energy efficiency audits/retrofits all came in around 13%.
For those who started their journey with EVs, 32% later installed a home EV charger, and 25% then purchased solar power. For those who started with a solar installation, 15% later purchased EVs, and 44% then installed EV chargers.
New inverter products on the market are trending away from the step-by-step, piecemeal approach in favor of an integrated and cohesive solar EV system.
GoodWe/GE’s GEH (rolling out in Q1 2023) and SolarEdge’s EV Charging Single Phase Inverter (shipping now) both feature an integrated terminal block that can accept an AC-powered EV charger. The charging cable is inserted directly into the inverter, and a convenient bracket is mounted on the wall to stow the handle when not in use. For homeowners adding both PV and EVs to their homes, an inverter-integrated Level 2 charger could save them money and give them more control over their energy use.
The first benefit of EV-integrated inverters is simpler and cheaper installation. The main electric panel in many homes is located in the basement — far from the garage where they need to charge their vehicle.
SolarEdge’s inverter-integrated charger is installed in the garage between a battery and mount for the handle.
“What we find is when you go to install one of these chargers, the installation cost is far greater than the actual cost of the charger, because you need to run this gigantic cable from your basement, through the wall up the house, and then you need to get it to your garage,” said Chris Thompson, VP of product at SolarEdge.
This extra cost can be between 1,000 to 4,000, depending on the length of wire needed to reach the charging unit.
“People actually use this as a decision factor when they buy an electric vehicle. They find out, ‘Oh boy, to get the vehicle charger installed in my home is going to be 4,000, I think I’m just going to stick with my gas car, because that’s like two years’ worth of gas.’ So it actually discourages adoption of electric vehicles,” Thompson said.
But when the charger is integrated in the solar inverter, which is often mounted on the garage wall, that long and costly wire run can be eliminated.
Another advantage of EV-integrated inverters is the ability to avoid a main panel upgrade. Standalone EV chargers typically carry the biggest electrical load in the home — at least double the size of the load from an air conditioning unit or hot tub, Thompson said. That means there’s often not enough power available on a 100- or 150-A breaker for an EV charger.
GoodWe/GE’s inverter-integrated charger is plugged into a Tesla at RE 2022.
PV installations, on the other hand, usually fit on the main panel, depending on the other loads in the home.
“If you put this [EV charger] installation at the inverter, then you can avoid the main panel upgrade, and that saves thousands of dollars,” Thompson said.
Jock Patterson, national technical sales lead for GoodWe, said some solar EV owners may still opt for the standalone charger if they can afford a main panel upgrade and want a higher-speed charger.
“However, for the average person, it seems that this would be a good fit. And certainly, anybody who’s considering PV, and the mandate for electric vehicles, especially in California, are going to be incentivized to go down the EV route,” Patterson said. “Why force a service upgrade when you can just have one breaker added to the main service panel?”
Inverter-integrated chargers also have the unique benefit of a solar boost during sunlight hours. A standalone EV charger wired at a 40-A breaker is required to be derated to 32 A per the electrical code. But when that charger is wired at the inverter, the extra 8 A can come directly from the inverter.
“The incremental energy is coming from the other source,” Thompson said. “It’s just clever engineering.”
Whether homeowners are motivated by the desire to pull as little high-priced electricity from the grid as possible or to be the most eco-friendly residents on the block, the new inverter-integrated chargers are the best way to ensure consumers are putting solar energy into their EVs.
SolarEdge’s app displays the EV charging status, including the amount of solar PV used to charge the vehicle.
“This is a unique function, because the only way you can do that is if the charging system has visibility to PV production,” Thompson said. “The system as a whole knows what’s going on at the vehicle and knows how much solar is being produced. And it can make sure that the vehicle is only being charged from solar power. It has the entirety of information.”
All of the PV generation and solar charging preferences are centralized in each inverter manufacturer’s proprietary app.
Still, unless a person keeps the car at home during the day and plugged in during peak sun hours, they won’t be able to charge their vehicles 100% of the time from their rooftop PV. That’s why the inverter apps allow users to schedule EV charging from the grid around off-peak time-of-use rates to get the lowest-cost electricity.
“I think they like the flexibility. There are moments where I need to get this thing charged right now. But when I’m not in a rush, I like to do just clean energy,” GoodWe’s Patterson said.
Strategically using the energy produced by rooftop solar could change even more as time goes on and regulations catch up to technology. Thompson said he sees a future where the vehicle plays an interactive role within the home — providing bidirectional vehicle-to-home or even vehicle-to-vehicle energy. If one EV is at 100% and another needs 10% more energy, vehicle-to-vehicle energy transfers could help avoid grid charging during non-solar hours.
Cars will be just another piece of the home energy puzzle — instead of buying numerous stationary storage units for the home, residents will just need a couple batteries installed since they’ll be able to use their EV as another form of backup power.
“The vehicle will be in the home and will be a complete asset, meaning during the day, you can charge your vehicle from solar. At night, you could discharge your vehicle in the home. During day or night, you could transfer energy from a stationary battery to a vehicle, or vice versa,” Thompson said.
About The Author
Kelsey is managing editor of Solar Power World and host of the Contractor’s Corner podcast.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Hopefully SolarEdge releases some info on how they are getting around NEC 625.40, which states EV chargers are supposed to be on their own dedicated branch circuit. We are not able to pass inspections in some municipalities due to this. Solar Edge has not been able to provide any documentation other than their install manual which does not explain how they are getting around NEC code requirements. Also, labeling of these systems is in question.
Solaredge car charger
The worlds first solar EV charger!
Zappi is a Smart EV charger with a difference. It operates as a standard EV charger whilst also packed with optional charging modes that utilise 100% green energy generated from your solar PV generation. Increasing the ROI for both your panels and electric car, the Zappi charger is easy to install and user friendly. If you are yet to install solar on your home, there is no need to worry as the Zappi charger still operates as a standard EV charger importing power from the grid.
As the first-ever solar EV charger of its kind, Zappi’s features have been carefully designed to give you complete control of your electric vehicle charging experience. Paired with the MyEnergi app, you can set timers that utilise economy tarrifs, monitor your devices, use the boost function plus many more features!
The intelligent, future proof EV charger is manufactured in the UK.
DATA SHEETS WEBSITE
Zappi will use your self generated power to charge your EV. Everything in the Zappi range is compatible with ALL electric vehicles.
Solar Edge EV Charger and Inverter Package
2-in-1 EV Charger and Solar Inverter.
- Combines solar and grid power for faster EV charging.
- Maximises self-consumption and optimises use of renewable energy.
- An EV-ready solution, future-proofed for new EV purchase or replacement.
- Small, lightweight and easy to install in Perth indoors or outdoors.
- Supports full network connectivity and integrates seamlessly with the SolarEdge monitoring platform.
- Record-breaking 99% efficiency, powered by HD-wave technology
- Designed to work with SolarEdge power optimisers
- Built-in module-level monitoring
- Flexible selection of charger cable types and lengths.
DATA SHEETS WEBSITE
Commercial EV Chargers
DC Fast Chargers
EV batteries store what is known as (DC) direct current power, whilst the electric grid supplies (AC) alternating current power. When you use a level 1 or level 2 charging station, your EV receives AC power that must be converted to DC before it can be stored in your EV’s battery. To do this, your EV has an onboard charger.
DC fast charging provides DC power straight to your EV’s battery. The AC to DC conversion happens in the charging station before the electrons enter your vehicle. This is why DC fast charging is able to provide a much faster charge compared to level 1 or level 2 charging.
AC or DC
If you have ever wondered why it is called a DC (direct current) fast charger, the answer is quite simple. DC refers to the direct current, the type of power batteries use. And level 2 charging stations use AC otherwise known as alternating current. Which you will find in your typical household outlet. EV’s have onboard chargers inside the car that can convert AC power to DC for the battery. DC fast chargers convert AC power to DC within the charging station and deliver DC power directly to the battery which is why they can charge faster.
1 Distinction Road, Wangara
Westsun Solar were absolutely amazing from start to finish. Love my Black Q Cells panels and Huawei inverter. They answered all questions promptly and installation went smoothly. I highly recommend them!
From when I first contacted Westsun about solar energy, the consultation process was very informative right the way through. They developed a system that my roof space could accommodate which incorporated a battery for storage and off grid backup capability. The installation crew had very good communication skills from when they arrived until they left. All queries between Westsun and myself were fully addressed promptly. The workmanship was excellent and the site was left very clean after the works … were complete. I am very pleased with the system installed and look forward to the benefits I will receive from 9kW of panels and 10kW/hour battery.
From initial contact to installation of the panels and inverter the process was smooth and very efficient (within 2 weeks). Lisa was a delight to communicate with from the initial quotes to setting up the installation on the day. Chris and his apprentices were very quick and knowledgeable in installing the panels and inverters. I would highly recommend using WestSun Solar for all of your solar needs. I’m a very happy customer ️
We’ve had our system installed two months ago and it’s working flawlessly so far. The sales and installation teams were professional and very nice to deal with. Sales people were not pushy and did not aggressively follow up as some solar companies do. The only reason for 4 stars is that not all panels quoted for could be fitted on what is a small roof area. We did get a discount, but it was far from what a solar panel should cost. All in all, I would recommend Westsun Energy.
Highly recommend WestSun! They installed a solar system and heat pump water tank for us earlier this month, and from initial contact to installation they were fantastic to deal with. Our sales person, Elias, was extremely helpful and very knowledgeable. He answered all the many questions we had in a very timely manner, without being pushy at all, and provided quotes without hesitation. The installation team were also faultless, and also a pleasure to deal with. We would definitely recommend Elias … and the team at WestSun! Thank you for a smooth process.
SolarEdge EV charger – an integrated electric car charger solar inverter for your home
SolarEdge is the most popular inverter manufacturer on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace – in the second half of 2017, two out of every three quotes offered to solar shoppers on EnergySage included SolarEdge products. Their newest innovation is the EV Charging Single Phase Inverter, which integrates a charger for your electric car directly into your solar panel system.
According to Lior Handelsman, VP of Marketing Product Strategy and Founder of SolarEdge, “SolarEdge’s EV charging inverter is really the first product that represents the paradigm shift that has occurred in solar over the last decade… We are very excited to launch the world’s first inverter that can charge a car from the sun.”
Why choose an integrated inverter charger option, rather than installing them separately?
Having a single integrated product means that you can monitor and manage your solar panels and your electric car charging simultaneously, directly from your phone. SolarEdge’s software can track your EV’s power usage separately from your solar production, and you can control your charging remotely.
If you own an EV, or are thinking about buying one, you’re an ideal candidate for the EV charging inverter
If you have an electric car or are about to buy one, the benefits are clear. But even if you don’t currently own an EV, there’s always the chance that you’ll buy one in a few years. An estimated 1 in 10 new cars sold will be electric by 2025, and solar PV system owners are more likely to purchase electric vehicles than the general population.
“Anyone going solar should think about adding EV charging,” said Handelsman. “If you don’t have an EV now, you will almost certainly have one over the 20 year lifespan of your solar energy system, so investing now and saving on purchase and installation costs makes sense.”
The EV charging inverter is also an easy way to install a second charger at your home in case you decide that your next car will be an EV. According to Handelsman, “Most homeowners may not realize that an integrated EV charger may be the only way to add a second charger for a second EV without a very expensive upgrade of the home’s main electricity panel.”
Already gone solar? You can retrofit your solar panel system with an EV charging inverter
If you already have a solar panel system, but need to replace your existing inverter, you can easily upgrade to SolarEdge’s EV charging option – the installation process is the same as installing a standard inverter. An added bonus: if your inverter is in need of replacement, upgrading to a SolarEdge option may boost your electricity output thanks to improved efficiency.
How to get a solar panel system with SolarEdge’s EV charging inverter
SolarEdge’s EV charging inverter is a new product, and launched in the spring of 2018 in North America. Companies in SolarEdge’s installer network – many of whom are submitting quotes to property owners on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace – are now installing the EV charging inverter for homeowners and businesses across the country. To get your own EV charging inverter, we recommend you register on EnergySage today and indicate your interest in an EV charging inverter in your preferences.
reading on EnergySage
Looking to go solar? Here’s everything you need to know in… Are solar panels worth it in 2023? Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared How to install solar panels Solar shingles: what you need to know in 2023
SolarEdge EV Charging
If you have ever considered an electric vehicle for your home, but been turned off by the amount of additional work needed, or how much energy will need to be pulled from the grid, this is the solution for you, rolling an EV charging station into a powerful solar inverter.
All in one
SolarEdge’s EV Charging station is the ultimate all in one solution for controlling and taking mastery of your solar energy. The best step forward in working towards a sustainable home is installing a solar energy system, and purchasing an electric vehicle, and this EV charging station is the perfect fusion for both.
Reduced installation costs
Acting simultaneously as a charging station for your electric vehicle and a single-phase inverter, the EV charging station reduces the number of extraneous installations, and so reduces the costs associated with a PV system substantially. By integrating an EV charger into a solar inverter, SolarEdge has managed to eliminate the need for all of the additional wiring, conduit and potential switchboard upgrades that can come hand in hand with an EV charger.
Monitor anywhere, anytime
The SolarEdge EV charging single phase inverter allows for full network connectivity and integrates seamlessly with SolarEdge’s monitoring platform, available for any smartphone device. This monitoring platform, in conjunction with the inverter, allows homeowners to track their charging status, set charging schedules and take full control of the vehicle’s charging.
Enhanced Charging rate
Charge your electric vehicle up to four times faster than you would be able to with a standard Level 1 charger through the uniquely innovative solar boost mode developed by SolarEdge, which utilises grid and PV charging simultaneously to charge your electric vehicle as efficiently as possible, all while acting as a powerful inverter for your home’s solar PV system
Whether you own a PV system already and are looking to upgrade, or are interested in the future of EV technology, there’s few better investments than this!
Solar Inverters Comparison