CSIRO to power EVs through the Australian summer

With electric vehicles slowly becoming more accessible and popular among the Australian population, naturally questions around how the increase in demand for electricity will affect the power grid and electricity prices are being asked.

With this in mind, the CSIRO have developed a new solar-powered EV charging station, capable of charging EVs through renewable energy to take some of the stress off the grid during peak periods.

The technology has been developed to charge multiple vehicles simultaneously in areas with limited access to grid power, allowing for faster charge times due to more accessible electricity. Areas such as the home garage and public parking spots have been touted as potential locations for this technology to be implemented.

Working in collaboration with Delta Electronics and Nissan Australia, CSIRO have incorporated a range of heat management strategies to be able to manage temperatures in order to ensure batteries are charged efficiently. This means hot summer days producing large amounts of solar power will not overpower or overheat the battery.

According to lead researcher Dr Christopher Munnings from CSIRO’s Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems, the technology will ideally support the rollout of EVs due to the safety and efficiency measures implemented to ensure a quick refill process that doesn’t overheat the vehicles battery.

“A normal household battery system is typically not powerful enough to charge a car on a hot day as it can overheat and slow down,” Dr Munnings said.

“We’ve devised a way to manager the temperature of the battery, minimising the amount of power required from the grid.

“In a multi-EV home, this system will automatically monitor each car, spreading the load between the battery, solar PV and the rest of the home.

“This means the cars charge as quickly as possible, using as much sun as possible, without the need to upgrade grid connection.”

As part of the collaboration, Nissan headquarters will install three solar charging stations, each holding the capability to power four vehicles at the same time.

“Nissan is proud to partner with CSIRO and Delta Electronics to deliver this innovative trial and acknowledges the investment of the Victorian Government in supporting this project,” said Nissan Australia Managing Director Stephen Lester.

The charging stations at Nissan will be used to trial the technology over a 200-day trial period through summer. Following the test period, data collected will be analysed to view the environmental and cost benefits of the technology.

 10 Oct 2019

Original source: CSIRO | PV for your EV: solar tech powers electric cars through summer