SolarEdge unveils a new household DC solar EV charger
On July 11 2017 at the Intersolar North America exhibition, SolarEdge announced that it would begin selling its inverter-integrated electric vehicle (EV) charger by the end of the year. This first-of-its-kind offering allows EV drivers to charge their vehicles using their own solar power, from the comfort of their homes.
The new inverter-integrated EV charger offers a charging speed that is up to six times faster than industry standard EV chargers. The product will be able to work with Time-of-Use rates in order for EV owners to charge at the lowest rate possible, using the excess energy from their solar array.
It operates from a single inverter and dashboard, eliminating the cost of additional conduit, wiring or breaker installation, and it does not require an additional dedicated circuit breaker, the company says.
The price for this charger is still unknown, however, it has been confirmed it will come with a twelve year warranty. SolarEdge chairman and CEO Guy Sella stated: “SolarEdge is dedicated to developing innovative solutions for increasing the use of renewable energy and cost savings for our customers and end users.” Affordability, the CEO says, is one of the company’s top priorities.
The product is similar to the setup envisioned by Tesla last year, which incorporates its solar roof tiles and second-generation Powerwall. Indeed, SolarEdge had provided inverters for first-gen Powerwall systems, until Musk decided that the company should go it alone.
Based on patent-pending technology, the EV charger is embedded into SolarEdge’s HD-Wave inverter and leverages its solar boost mode. This mode utilizes both grid and PV to charge at 9.6kW (40 Amp) Level 2 charging, which is up to six times faster than standard Level 1 charging. If PV is not available, the inverter-integrated EV charger will use grid power to charge at 7.6kW (32 Amp) Level 2 charging, which is up to five times faster than standard Level 1 charging.
There may however be some issues with solar charging. Using PV works when charging cars which sit idle during the day when the sun is out, but is not very useful for those who are rarely home when sun is at its peak. Some drivers may prefer a system in which they get net metering credit from solar power and charge overnight at a lower rate.
SolarEdge’s concept has much potential, and goes some way towards connecting the dots between domestic renewable energy use and transport – not mention the incentives offered in saving users money in the long term. It also offers another solar-charging option for those EV owners not wishing to go down the Tesla route – yet those that do may well wish to stick to the brand.