Mark came back in the evening yesterday, when the sun was down. In the morning, he needed to juice his electric vehicle through solar rooftop for an hour before he leaves again. But in the morning , the house also happened to have many secondary energy needs like washing, ironing, & heating. Mark prefers to charge his electric car by 100% solar , directly or by home battery, for the next 1 hour because its sustainable and cheapest . He changed his solar inverter. Marks’ is now happy. The new solar inverter is capable of charging with 100% solar. He can use part of home battery energy which was charged by solar yesterday. He knows in his country, US, it’s not allowed to charge home battery by grid power, but only solar. His gamble paid since the old cheap inverter he discarded, was not capable of this PV Optimized scenario
The local power distribution company, supplying energy to your home and EV charger, can be expensive and volatile. Driving an electric vehicle “guilt free” at the lowest cost requires a home based solar system.
The two capabilities of the solar inverter required in an EV ownership scenario, which not all brands or models can fulfill are Real time (PV Optimized) versus Forecast based
Real time PV Optimized : Retail price of energy is expensive and volatile compared to home based solar. “PV Optimized” is a real time capability of the solar inverter to deliver maximum solar power to the electric vehicle at the expense of other household loads. Hence, solar power produced is 1st consumed by the electric vehicle (6am – 8am-9am) followed by household load (8am-10am) and finally to charge the battery (10am – 2pm). Note: time bands are just an example.
Here is the “ideal” flow of energy in different types of “intelligent” solar inverters i.e. grid, hybrid and AC Coupled.
Solar Power —–> Grid/Hybrid inverter —>PV Optimised—> Electric Vehicle —> Household loads —> Battery
Solar Power —–> Hybrid Inverter —> Battery —> PV Optimised—>Electric Vehicle —> Household loads —> Battery
Solar Inverter —–> AC Coupled Inverter —-> Battery —->PV Optimised —> Electric Vehicle —> Household loads —> Battery
Non PV Optimized solar inverters can’t distinguish electric vehicle from other household loads. As a result do not sufficiently charge the electric vehicle before you leave home.
Forecast based :
A more circuitous way for charging an electric vehicle by solar power is “Forecast based manner”. It involves operating an EV charger with solar power, not in real time , but based on behavior which is not expected to change much over time.
Timer based : Timers as a cheap solution can be set daily ( e.g. 6am-8am) for 100% solar power changing of an EV. If home owner needs to change the time , they need to do it manually.
Inverter cloud information based : Most reputed inverter brands or energy management system(EMS) save data in remote cloud. This data will give information like solar generation, excess solar and time of day . Based on simple calculation, car will be charged, based on your old habits when there is excess solar power.
Path to Green Energy is not a big fan of any Forecast based manner because it is not real time and inverter portals are not reliable compared to PV Optimized which is LIVE and actionable.
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