Can I charge my electric car at night with solar power?
Recently, I was asked by a homeowner about the prospect of installing a solar system on his garage to offset the utility electric requirement typically associated with charging his Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. I thought I’d share my response here…
Given car charging typically happens at night, solar power isn’t usually an option (unless you are fortunate enough to live in the arctic, of course), so the need for utilities power would remain. As a follow up, he asked me if he should consider installing a battery to capture the power he was generating during the day. Batteries are an investment for sure, but one that he found interesting and worth investigating.
While solar panels are a very positive option for us, as a stand alone, they’re not as effective as when we integrate them with complementary solar technologies such as batteries.
Talking about batteries and other solar tech… here’s a bit of info from the Tesla website on their PowerWall, a fantastic battery leading the industry: “Introduced in October 2016, Powerwall 2 is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to enable self-consumption of solar power, emergency backup, load shifting and other grid service applications. It is the second generation of Tesla’s original Powerwall product, which was first introduced to customers in 2015. Check out Tesla’s Powerwall FAQs“
We’ve all heard the pros and cons of solar power and seen solar panels on everything from rooftops to temporary traffic signs, but without a battery the solar energy we generate during the day is not available to be used later. Unless, of course, the homeowner or business has a battery system installed to capture that power for later, when it’s needed.
KCP Energy is certified via mpower to install the Tesla Powerwall. Please reach out to one of our team members any time to learn more about home-grade or industrial-grade battery options.
Note: An earlier version of this post insinuated that without a battery solar energy would be lost. This is not correct, all energy generated by a micro generation eligible grid tied solar system in Alberta will either be used onsite or exported back to the grid. The solar system owner is compensated for any excess production they do not use on site.