eMobility – charging electric cars with the power of the sun

Read on to find out more about incorporating electric cars into photovoltaic systems

To overview

eMobility is a rising trend – electric cars are the missing piece in the puzzle of self-reliant photovoltaic systems

More and more new cars in Germany have electric drives. But where do drivers go to charge them when their power levels are low? The number of public charging stations in the country will increase several times over by 2030. Many drivers are still holding back on buying an electric car because they think there aren’t enough charging stations. Yet the ratio of vehicles to charging stations right now, in 2020, is actually favourable for owners of electric cars.

According to the forecasts, there will be twice as many electric cars per charging station by the end of the decade as there are now. This represents a great opportunity for the solar power industry. A huge number of charging options need to be set up, and the most ecological way of powering these is with a photovoltaic system. The EU has set itself the goal of reaching a ratio of electric cars per publically accessible charging station by 2030. The installation of charging facilities will also be subsidised by state and municipal governments.

However, this situation represents more than just an opportunity to use commercial photovoltaic systems to charge electric cars – charging stations and wall boxes can also act as a guarantee of self-reliance, especially in the private sector. It should go without saying that an electric car can only have a positive impact on our environment if it is charged using renewable energy – preferably electricity generated by the owner’s own roof, of course.

The benefits of combining a photovoltaic system with an electric car charging station

Cross-sector symbiosisCombining heat, mobility and electricity is a guarantee of affordable, simple and convenient energy solutions
Self-relianceIncorporating an electric car charging station is the perfect way for drivers to increase their power independence. Using your own electricity doesn’t just feel great – it also means you can reduce your electricity bills or even wipe them out completely.
BusinessProviding facilities for charging electric cars makes businesses more attractive to potential customers and employees
SubsidisationIt is easy to get started in this sector right now, thanks to subsidies for the installation of charging stations

Frequently asked questions about how to install charging stations and wall boxes for electric cars, and how they work

eMobility is a new concept to many people. A lot of these people ask the same questions when first learning about the topic, so we’ve prepared a few answers for you here.

First, let’s clear up some of the basic concerns many customers have when deciding whether or not to buy an electric car with a compatible charging station.  

  • Why can’t I just charge my car using a standard wall socket?

    Using a standard wall socket to charge your car is not recommended for two reasons. Due to the low power output of the socket, it would take several hours to charge your car this way. In addition to this, the level of power transferred when charging an electric car is very high compared to that consumed by other household appliances, and standard wall sockets are not designed to handle this kind of load for long periods of time.

  • What cables do I need to charge my electric car?

    In accordance with the European Parliament’s draft legislation, Type 2 has been defined as the European standard for charging infrastructure since April 2014. However, adapter charger cables are also available to allow drivers to connect vehicles with a Type 1 plug to charging stations with a Type 2 socket.

  • How long does it take to charge an electric car?

    The length of time required for a full charge depends on two criteria: the output power of the charging station and the input power of the electric vehicle. This also depends on whether you are using single-phase or three-phase power for the charging process.

A KEBA wall box with built-in cable, installed in a garage.

Alongside charging stations for private, semi-public and public use, ABL’s range of services also includes load management, invoicing services, and much more besides.

Always the perfect choice: The Austrian company has been developing and producing automation solutions for a wide range of industries for over 50 years, and its wall boxes cater to every conceivable application.

The small electrics business that grew to become an international specialist – a passion for innovation, reliable, high-performance products, and an eye for quality have been the defining features of the manufacturer throughout its 80-year history.

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of inverters and power storage solutions, SMA is famed for its innovations, ingenious technology and top-quality customer support – qualities it is now applying to the e-mobility sector.

SolarEdge’s wide-ranging portfolio leaves nothing to be desired, combining power storage solutions, inverters and performance optimisers with ingenious technology for a wide range of applications – now with built-in charging capabilities.

Other questions asked by customers and installation engineers

  • How do I choose the right charging station?

    We can recommend three-phase charging stations with an output of 11 kW. The best wall box and charging station options for domestic use should include a built-in cable, plus an intelligent back-end so they can be controlled using a smartphone or a tablet.

    Generally speaking, anyone who wants to be able to charge their electric car quickly should arrange to have a high-output charging station installed.

  • What is the best power rating to choose?

    This obviously depends on what kind of car you want to charge at your charging station. Ideally, you should install a three-phase charging station now to make sure you are set up for the future.

    You can also choose a charging station cable that can also be used for 22 kW wall boxes/charging stations. For such cases, single-phase power can also transfer more kW.
    It is worth bearing in mind that you will require planning permission before you can install a 22 kW charging station. 11 kW charging stations simply need to be registered with the authorities.

  • Can I upgrade existing charging stations?

    We recommend laying thick cables with enough space for power and Internet cables to your charging station right from the start.

    Upgrades to charging stations are subject to a number of legal requirements. The stations need to be upgrade-capable, and thus future-proof. This is determined more by their software than their hardware. For example, it should be possible to retrofit the station with a counter for the calibration regulations.

  • What safeguards do charging stations have?

    As a bare minimum, each connection point must possess a dedicated Type A residual current circuit breaker. The rated differential current must not exceed 30 mA. This is stipulated in regulation VDE 0100-722:2016. In addition to this, charging stations with a socket or a vehicle connection must possess safety equipment to protect them from DC residual currents.

  • What factors determine the size of the supply cable?

    The size of the supply cable depends on the charging station’s maximum charging current and the length of the supply cable. 
    We recommend using cables with a diameter of 5x10 mm.
    Ideally, you should lay a LAN cable at the same time in order to guarantee connectivity.

  • Can charging stations overheat?

    Each charging station has a built-in temperature monitoring system to protect it from overheating. It does this by automatically limiting the charging current to a safe level. In addition to this, the system has electronic overcurrent protections to protect the charging cable from overloading.

  • Can electric cars be disconnected from the power in case of a power failure?

    If a power failure occurs, the lock on the plug will be released so that the pug can be disconnected from the charging socket.

  • What back-end solutions are available?

    This does not usually depend on the charging station’s hardware. Nevertheless, the charging station or wall box should be intelligent and capable of connecting to an energy manager. There are thus a range of software solutions that can be used as a back end.

What makes BayWa r.e. the right partner for me?

BayWa r.e. Solar Energy Systems GmbH is a reliable partner that will treat you as an equal. We are an established wholesaler with our own warehousing capabilities, you can always rely on us when it comes to product availability. Our employees don’t just sell the products in our portfolio – they also understand them and use them themselves. You can see this philosophy in action in our eCademy , for example. Here at BayWa r.e., cross-sector symbiosis is a way of life. You can find all the components you need for a solar plant in our web shop.

You can design your own photovoltaic system in our online planning tool, Solar-Planit. In addition to this, we also offer professional, personal consulting services on how to put together a PV system.

As a provider of complete systems for your customers’ home use, it should go without saying that we don’t just sell power storage systems – we also pride ourselves on having the right equipment in our portfolio to ensure perfect harmony within a photovoltaic system.

Contents

    Overview of electromobility subsidies