Uptake of electric vehicles
Currently, the transport sector is Australia's third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, which have been increasing faster than in any other sector. Electric vehicles can make a huge impact here – they're a cleaner option, even from just using grid power.
But electric vehicles require widespread charging infrastructure, which may place strain on the electricity grid, especially through stretches of warm weather.
Plugging into solar
To address this challenge, the Victorian Government provided funding to CSIRO, Nissan Australia and Delta Electronics to create a system linking solar photovoltaics, a battery and smart charging technology. Combined, this makes a solar-powered electric vehicle charging system which draws upon renewable energy to charge a vehicle at any time of day, and in any weather, with little impact to the electricity grid.
CSIRO researchers developed and tested the system and implemented the thermal management controls.
200 days in the sun
Three solar charging modules have been installed at Nissan Headquarters in Dandenong. Each module is capable of charging four vehicles at a time. They'll be evaluated over 200 days, including the peak Summer period. At this point, the project partners will devise next steps for this exciting technology.