CSIRO launches solar EV charging module

CSIRO has announced new technology which will support electric vehicle (EV) charging, throughout peak demand periods during the summer months.

The charging stations will use renewable energy and avoid placing stress on charge drawn from the grid.

With hot days increasing temperature stressors on electrical systems, the Australian-designed chargers have taken these conditions into account, as lead researcher from CSIRO’s Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems, Dr Christopher Munnings.

“A normal household battery system is typically not powerful enough to charge a car on a hot day as it can overheat and slow down,” Dr Munnings said.

“We’ve devised a way to manage the temperature of the battery, minimising the amount of power required from the grid.”

The system was supported with funding from the Victorian Government, and collaboration with Delta Electronics and Nissan Australia. CSIRO researchers then tested the systems locally.

The system incorporates solar PV, battery storage, and the domestic grid to charge an EV.

“This means the cars charge as quickly as possible, using as much sun as possible, without the need to upgrade grid connection. This technology could accelerate the widespread rollout of EVs across the country,” said Munnings.

Solar charging modules are now installed at Nissan’s Australian headquarters in Dandenong, Victoria.

Utilising Australian technology such as this, the partners in the project hope to increase the uptake of EVs in Australia, as Nissan Australia managing director, Stephen Lester, pointed out.

“A study of this nature will enable greater EV adoption both here and around the world reducing impact on the grid,” said Lester.

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, noted that these chargers would improve the consumer experience.

“This battery smart storage platform means electric vehicle drivers can travel more confidently and enjoy the drive.”