When choosing a DIY Solar Carport for your electric car, consider the Cost & Benefits. Surely if you own a Tesla or a plug-in hybrid, you will have several advantages by installing a solar carport. You will have rain and snow protection, shade and free clean energy to charge your car battery. The electricity produced by solar panels is 100% sustainable and reduces your carbon footprint. For this reason, more and more people today are using the power of the sun to power electric vehicles. Architects and engineers are collaborating to offer solar carports with elegant design and cutting-edge technology. Fossil fuels are the largest sources of energy for electricity generation and the primary contributors to global warming and climate change. You can make a difference by generating your own green energy!
What is a Solar Carport
A Solar Carport is a DIY covered parking area where you can park your electric vehicle and charge it sustainably. And in most cases for free! The roof of the carport is equipped with photovoltaic modules that convert sunlight into electricity. The electricity from the solar panels is routed to the smart EV charging station that is equipped with an intelligent control unit and a plug to be connected to your car. When the car battery is charged, the current can be fed into the grid or stored in the storage batteries. In the case of current fed into the grid, this is referred to as a on-grid connection. This is done through an inverter that transforms the direct current of the solar panels into alternating current at 110 – 220 volts.
The battery storage system allows you to optimize energy and distribute it efficiently during the 24 hours. With this system you can charge your car even during the night. This solution, called off-grid, is ideal for areas with no public electricity grid, but not only. In fact, if the operator does not pay you the current that the panels pour into the network, it is advisable to opt for this installation.
In addition to private car parks, solar carports are also ideal for public car parks in offices, restaurants and shopping centers. Often the covered parking spaces are also complete with other elements such as LED lighting and CCTV cameras.
Cost and Benefits of Installing a DIY Solar Carport
There are many benefits that a Solar EV Charging Station offers. From the generation of clean energy to the offer of covered parking spaces. From reducing the energy costs of your venue to attracting visitors who want to recharge their electric car. The energy generated by a solar carport, if properly sized, can charge your electric vehicle and power the appliances in your home. Today fossil fuels are the main energy sources for electricity generation and travel. But they are also the main culprits of climate change. You can make a difference and help improve the environment by generating your green energy.
How Much Does a DIY Solar Carport Cost?
A basic solar carport to charge an electric car starts at $ 6.000. It only features the carport structure to support solar panels, a 3 Kw solar system, an inverter with 110 or 220 Volt AC output. With this carport you can only charge your car during the day using the on-board charger. If you are at work during the day and want to recharge your car at night, you can opt for one of the following solutions:
Off-grid Solar System
The off-grid photovoltaic system is a solar power plant that is not connected to the public grid. This system is usually used in rural areas where there is no public network. You can only rely on your solar panels to generate all the energy you need. If you want to have electricity even at night you will have to install stationary batteries. These are necessary to store the excess energy produced by the panels during the day. In your case, the batteries provide the energy needed to charge your car overnight. The Off-grid Solar Carport starts at $ 15.000.
Grid-tie Solar Photovoltaic System
Grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems are designed for buildings that have reliable electrical utility services. With this solar system you are always connected to the national grid, but you significantly reduce your electricity bill. The energy produced by the panels during the day powers the loads in your home. The excess is fed into the national grid and you will have an energy credit to use at night. It is the right choice if you have a stable and reliable electricity network but want to cut your energy bill in half. These solar systems are usually installed for financial pay-back while simultaneously contributing sustainable, renewable energy to the grid. The Grid-tie Solar Carport starts at $ 9.000.
On-Grid Solar System with Battery Backup
This Solar System is the right choice if your national grid is not reliable and the blackout event is not uncommon. During the day your home will use the energy generated by the solar panels. Excess energy recharges a small battery that will become an emergency power source during blackouts. When this battery is charged, the excess energy is fed into the grid and you will have a cut on the cost of the bill. During the night you use energy from the public grid. Only in the event of a network blackout, the control unit will automatically switch to off grid mode. That is, it absorbs the energy stored in the battery to power your home and charge your car. The On-grid Solar Carport starts at $ 11.000.
The Right Size for Your Solar Carport
During the day the solar panels provide an amount of energy given by the power of the solar panels multiplied by the hours of sunlight. If you have a carport with 3000 watt solar panels and 10 hours of sunshine, you can get 30,000 watts of energy per day. Due to some losses of the plant, the net power is 10-15% less. But it is still enough to charge your car battery for everyday urban travel. Battery size usually ranges from 20,000 to 60,000 watts depending on the car. But keep in mind that only 10,000 – 15,000 watts are used for day trips. If you happen to travel long distances outside the city, it will take 2-3 days to fully charge the battery with a 3000w solar system. Or you will have to use mains electricity as well.
How to Calculate the Benefits of a Solar EV Charging Station
Mounting a charging station is environmentally friendly and economically wise! The DIY Solar Carport initial cost is repaid in a short time. The economic advantages are found at all latitudes, but of course, countries with more sunlight have greater benefits. Another factor to keep in mind is the cost of electricity per Kwh present on the energy supplier’s bills. In any case, even in cities like London or New York with mediocre radiation and not excessive energy costs, the savings are considerable. A Solar EV Charging Station, considering the different latitudes and the different energy costs, in any case pays for itself within 7 – 12 years.
By installing a DIY Solar Carport, you will see real financial benefits as well as contributing to a more sustainable future. The savings become even more significant if you take into account the savings on maintenance. A traditional internal combustion engine needs numerous interventions over the years, while an electric motor is almost maintenance free.