Solar Panels and Electric Cars: Can we Use Solar to Charge My Vehicle?

Solar panels and electric cars are a review done in sky ­– when we implement a solar energy complement on your home, we can use it to both power your home and assign your electric car for emissions-free transportation. The cost of solar is descending rapidly, and companies from Tesla to Nissan are production electric cars for your daily use. Now, a ability to implement a solar PV complement vast adequate to power both your home and your automobile is an choice within reach. But even with incentives and rebates accessible for both technologies, many homeowners still can’t means to implement solar and buy an electric automobile during a same time. Luckily, it’s easy to implement a solar energy complement currently that takes your destiny electricity expenditure into account, if we take a few additional factors into consideration.

How Much Electricity Does an Electric Car Use?

Before we can make a preference on a distance of your solar energy system, we need to establish how most electricity your automobile will use in a future. In further to assisting we distance your solar energy system, meaningful your electric car’s mileage rating can assistance we quantify a volume that you’re saving by switching to an electric vehicle.

Since electric cars don’t run on gasoline, a EPA rates them formed on how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) it takes for a automobile to expostulate 100 miles, that they modify to a “miles-per-gallon equivalent” (MPGe). You can use U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Fuel Economy website to find and review a kWh/100 miles and MPGe ratings for all of a electric vehicles on a marketplace in a United States.

Once we know EPA’s fuel economy rating for your selected vehicle, we can simply calculate how most additional solar electricity you’ll need to assign your car. Here’s an example: a 2014 Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle, has a total fuel economy rating of 30 kWh/100 miles – this means a Leaf requires 30 kWh of electricity to expostulate 100 miles. If we expostulate 25 miles on an normal day, that means you’re regulating approximately 7.5 kWh of electricity per day – or only over 2,700 kWh of electricity in a given year. This is a “extra” volume of electricity you’ll need your solar energy complement to produce.

Armed with this information, we can work with your solar installer to pattern a solar row complement that will beget sufficient power to cover both your home and your electric car. But if you’re not prepared to make a investment in both during a same time, you’ll need to implement a solar PV complement that can grow as your electricity use increases. 

How to Size Your Solar Energy System for Future Use

First things first: don’t put off going solar only since we competence wish to get a bigger complement in a future. If we wait to implement solar, we could skip out on state and internal financial incentives – plus, you’ll have to continue profitable for electricity from your application any month. By sizing your solar energy complement for destiny use and ensuring your complement is “add-on friendly”, it’s easy to find an choice that generates adequate electricity to power your home currently and can assign your electric automobile in a future. Here’s how to do it:

Install an inverter that can hoop some-more power. The default choice for inverters is famous as a fibre inverter. With fibre inverters, mixed solar panels are organised into “strings,” that feed a power they furnish into a singular inverter. Typically, solar installers will embody an inverter that can hoop a approaching outlay of your solar panels, though no more. If we know how many some-more panels you’ll need to supplement to your complement after on, we can implement an inverter that can hoop a ability of your existent panels and a new ones we devise on adding after purchasing your electric vehicle.

Install microinverters with your solar panels. If we opt for microinverters instead of a default fibre inverter, any of your solar panels will have a possess inverter. With microinverters, we can simply supplement additional panels to your complement down a line though carrying to worry about either your existent inverter can hoop a additional electricity your new panels will generate.

Install a second, smaller solar energy system. So prolonged as we have adequate space on your roof, we can supplement a second complement to your home whenever we need it. Homeowners can explain a sovereign taxation credit for solar some-more than once, so you’ll still save significantly on your purchase.

Determine your destiny use, and build a bigger complement to match. If we know that your electricity use will boost in a subsequent year or dual and have entrance to adequate financing, we can build your solar energy complement formed on your destiny electricity use. This isn’t always an choice – some utilities won’t approve systems that go significantly over your chronological electricity use, so be certain to speak to your solar installer about your options first.

Another choice is to “make room” after down a line by implementing energy potency upgrades to your home, that has a combined advantage of shortening your altogether energy costs. Consider switching out lightbulbs, installing a programmable thermostat, or upgrading your appliances to giveaway adult some of a electricity your solar panels beget for destiny use in an electric vehicle.

It’s value observant that a strategies above work not only for electric cars, though also for any other additions or changes we make to your residence that will boost your electricity usage. If you’re deliberation adding an electric feverishness siphon system, electric H2O heater, or an further on your home, we can enhance your solar energy complement to take your destiny electricity use into account.

Comparing Your Solar Options Can Help You Save

If you’re meditative about going solar, it’s critical to know all of your options – we can save adult to 20 percent only by reviewing mixed offers. To get started, find out only how most we can save with EnergySage’s Solar Calculator, or register your property to start receiving tradition quotes from pre-screened solar installers nearby you.

Vikram Aggarwal is a owner and arch executive of EnergySage, a online solar marketplace. EnergySage simplifies a routine of researching and selling for solar. By charity shoppers some-more choices and rare levels of transparency, EnergySage allows consumers to name a choice that provides a best value for them, fast and easily. Read all of Vikram’s posts here.


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