Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Over the past 2 years, we've developed our Solar Carports using the superb BMW i3 as the main test car, with the i8 and 330e being used to assess the real-life practicalities of using solar power to charge these cars. As forum sponsors, we are proud to bring our products to the UK markets, for domestic, retail and commercial clients, and would welcome your involvement in helping others to take advantage of using our products to power their cars. Feel free to ask any questions on our tests....


See www.solarcarports.co.uk for further details....or to contact us.
Image 219.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You're right, this isn't for everyone, although our Premier ports are designed to replace all those ageing wooden garages out there that you can't quite fit a car into, that when replaced, could take a solar carport, thus giving new roof space for PV if the house roof isn't suited. In either case, producing your own electricity at a fixed cost for at least 25years+ is a concept that's hard to ignore.

We've operated our cars on this basis for 2 years now, and it's so good to know that, no matter what happens to Grid power prices, or petrol for that matter, we can run our cars for around 10,000 to 15,000 miles each with the PV on our ports, at a fixed cost. That should be easy enough to persuade some, but I agree not all, EV and PHEV owners to do similarly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,576 Posts
You're right, this isn't for everyone, although our Premier ports are designed to replace all those ageing wooden garages out there that you can't quite fit a car into, that when replaced, could take a solar carport, thus giving new roof space for PV if the house roof isn't suited. In either case, producing your own electricity at a fixed cost for at least 25years+ is a concept that's hard to ignore.
The problem is that often an EV is purchased for comuting to work, so for many owners PV at home can't be used to charge it, except perhaps a couple of summer months. That doesn't mean they are a bad idea of course, as the PV can be exported, used or stored.

Also, I have had a look at your web site and can't fathom how you got to a saving of £100K over the 25 year lifetime, especially as inverter will need replacing at least once (probably twice) during that time?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The £100k saving is against petrol equivalent running costs per mile compared to using PV, and doesn't take into account FITs or Export, so the figures are likely to be even higher than this. I didn't wish to exaggerate the data as many folks would pick up on this, so that's why I left out the Fits etc.

In summary, a 4kW PV system will produce 85,000kWh of power over 25 years, translating to a levelised cost per kWh of 7p. If petrol prices continue to rise at the same rate as they have historically, which averages 6% annually, the savings of driving 13,600 miles a year on PV power compared to a car using petrol over the same distance, would save over £100k, which would buy a few nice cars along the way. It would also justify spending the money on battery storage at outset, until Net Metering exists of course!!

I am glad this has been brought up, as this is one of the USPs of switching to EV from Petrol or Diesel, and doesn't involve FITs, Export, MCS or anything which would prevent or hinder roll-out. We can offer ESCOs on this basis for fleet cars, saving considerable sums.

Grid power is a reasonable proposition in the meantime, but no substitute for being self sufficient, and power cut proof along the way....Grid pricing is a gamble, especially with wholesale pricing set to jump due to crazy Nuclear deals, but that's a different story.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,576 Posts
The £100k saving is against petrol equivalent running costs per mile compared to using PV, and doesn't take into account FITs or Export, so the figures are likely to be even higher than this. I didn't wish to exaggerate the data as many folks would pick up on this, so that's why I left out the Fits etc.

In summary, a 4kW PV system will produce 85,000kWh of power over 25 years, translating to a levelised cost per kWh of 7p. If petrol prices continue to rise at the same rate as they have historically, which averages 6% annually, the savings of driving 13,600 miles a year on PV power compared to a car using petrol over the same distance, would save over £100k, which would buy a few nice cars along the way. It would also justify spending the money on battery storage at outset, until Net Metering exists of course!!

I am glad this has been brought up, as this is one of the USPs of switching to EV from Petrol or Diesel, and doesn't involve FITs, Export, MCS or anything which would prevent or hinder roll-out. We can offer ESCOs on this basis for fleet cars, saving considerable sums.

Grid power is a reasonable proposition in the meantime, but no substitute for being self sufficient, and power cut proof along the way....Grid pricing is a gamble, especially with wholesale pricing set to jump due to crazy Nuclear deals, but that's a different story.
Most of that £100K is saved by driving an EV compared to an ICE! People are confused enough about EVs and the last thing we need is people thinking they can only save money/emissions driving an EV if they "have their own Solar" .

For UK drivers who commute daily there is little cost saving per mile by having PV. Of course PV can reduce a family's energy bill and carbon footprint, but most drivers will need to charge overnight using low-cost grid electricity.

Having workplace (or destination) charging powered by PV is a great idea, but many on this forum have struggled to get their company to install a 13A socket so it may be a tough sell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
You're right, there's a lot of educating business to do here, since by installing PV at a place of work which has a base electrical load during the day of sufficient level as to never have any PV power disappear on to the grid, then PV is absolutely the answer to offering charging and genuine cost savings without Net Metering or Battery Storage.

On the home front, unlike how I heat and operate my home, most people have a low daytime electrical base load, so PV would need net metering, a backwards meter (if you're lucky enough to still have one) or battery storage for PV to operate optimally. The problem is that all 1M or so roof mounted home PV systems that were installed over the past 5 years when FITs were stupidly high, resulted in no thought going into how efficiently the PV power was to be used at the installation address. Most of those systems have around 15 to 30% of their power used on site with the rest being spilled onto the grid. That's nuts, by any stretch of the imagination, but that's what everyone thinks when they think about using PV to drive their EVs. Even using your PV to power an ASHP would triple the value of each kWh of PV power, into heat, which is more valuable in the UK than most places. Batteries, well they have their place in the correct circumstances.

I drive 3 EVs/PHEVs and my electricity bill is in credit by £600 a year, despite driving over 15,000 miles a year between all 3 cars. I have battery storage, virtual grid and grid-tied inverters, ASHP, Air-Con and a house with an EPC of 101 and use as much electricity as I can, and could be accused of being as wasteful as possible, while still driving for free, and being in credit.

I hear every excuse under the sun (excuse the pun) why PV and EVs don't work, and why not to do as I have done, and have spent 20 years in this industry developing renewable energy products which are used by installers, the public and businesses across the planet. I never ceases to amaze me when people look over my own setup and think...why is everyone not doing this?? It's not rocket science, but the public need a crash course in getting themselves off Fossil Fuels sooner rather than later.

Reality check time, I do what I do because I've spent the time working out the economics and setting up a brand new house to support the whole energy concept. So, it's not for everyone, in fact is't for very few. But we're looking for that "few" who do wish to invest now, to secure their supply for their home and driving for at least the next 25 years. So, what we're doing now, by way of Solar Carports, certainly won't be for everyone, and will certainly not impress the majority.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Would you need planning permission to erect a free standing solar car port?
Carports and garages generally fall into permissible development, providing they have an area of under 30sqm and are no taller than 4m to the apex or 3m to the eves of a lean-to structure and are no closer to the highway than the front elevation of the house. In general, no, you wouldn't need permission. If you needed permission for a garage at your house, then you'd need permission for a carport, since they occupy similar ground space.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,576 Posts
On the home front, unlike how I heat and operate my home, most people have a low daytime electrical base load, so PV would need net metering,
We have PV and net metering in our Florida home and it really helps. We didn't install in Newbury UK as only planning to be here 5 years and every estate agent we asked said "doesn't add any value" which is bonkers IMO. Our plan for next house is PV, battery and stay 10+ years. Maybe battery swap needs to make a comeback - have one battery in car and one in PV and swap empty one for full each evening ;)

I do wish you well with your business and am sure there are opportunities. Perhaps car dealerships selling EVs are worth targeting as the covered bay would be perfect for EV handover :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
You're right, the Executive carport was designed for Car Forecourts mainly, as this comes with a 6 ton raft foundation kit which drops onto site on a level piece of ground and is self supporting, has a detachable ramp and RGB LED lighting, battery storage (so no mains required) and would make the ideal "showcase" platform for selling and advertising EVs from, as well as the ideal handover bay. The customer is then pre-disposed to knowing all about the close PV and EV relationship, thus the car garages would be doing our selling for us at the point of sale, not to mention we would give them a kick back of course for every sale....Know anyone who has an independent garage that doesn't need permission from above to install one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
I like the look of this, do you have any actual photographs of installs (rather than the nice render you attached)?
Also, what is the ROM cost for a standard installation?
Thanks.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I used the example of having a battery option for car forecourts, but in reality you'd still be best to connect it to the grid, even if this was by a temporary commando connection. We could certainly store enough in the port leg to keep a "demo" car charged, as this would generally not being used very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I like the look of this, do you have any actual photographs of installs (rather than the nice render you attached)?
Also, what is the ROM cost for a standard installation?
Thanks.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
The first of this type is being installed during the next 2 weeks, so we intend to augment our renders with actual photos. We have to start somewhere and the renders give a good idea of what the product is designed to look like. We bespoke design ports also, so many other designs will end up on the site as we develop those for specific customers. The Executive port is likely to be available from installers from £9k+ We have not made the decision yet as to whether to make these kits available direct to the public, since their installation does involve using a Hiab or Tele-handler since the components weigh a bit..I think this will depend very much on the person buying the kit. We have an above ground floating base kit which negates poring concrete or digging any holes, but this was really developed for the car forecourt and temporary installation market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Sorry to labour a point, but @proddick rightly started asking this, and I can't see a clear answer here or on your website.

Does the unit [ exec with single support bracket arm ] or [the domestic 4 leg ] come with as default, a battery for storing the solar generated charge ? i.e. hidden in the support(s) ?

Most people looking at this may be interested in the home one, and the big problem being a lot of people will have removed their car from the Port, during daylight hours - least Mon-Fri.
Yes granted there's the retired market, the work at home market.
However bar may/june/jul you ain't going to get a lot of sunlight before going to work/returning.

So... can the thing store the charge it is creating, for later discharge into a car/van, or can you only harvest when you are parked there <AND> it is daylight. ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Sorry, I should have been more clear on this. The Premier carport does not have space within its structure to store inverters, batteries etc, so these would have to be installed inside the house, or business to which it's electrically attached. The inverter would only be required if the customer wanted PV installed at outset. Some people simply want a carport now, and will fit the PV themselves at a later date.

The Executive carport again can come with no PV, inverter or batteries, but these can be fitted into the main support leg, and this area is accessed from the rear of the port via a security door. In reality, for large battery banks, these again would be installed inside the house or business to which the carport is attached electrically.

Providing the PV power doesn't spill onto the grid, either because it's being used elsewhere in the home or business, then it doesn't matter when the EV is being charged, as the PV power is still effectively charging the car. This is the point that most people fail to grasp, but in most household case, the base electrical load isn't high enough to prevent grid spillage. In business, however, this is usually not an issue, and all PV power is then used for charging, even at night, with no batteries being required.

I'm going to post a new topic on why PV power is best to be used at the point of generation, and not allowed to slip onto the grid, where you end up having to buy it back...

Add batteries to the system if your house isn't setup to use electricity when the EV isn't there and it's sunny. Or change the way the house operates so that this becomes the case. I'll give examples in a separate discussion, since there are nearly 1M PV installations out there and most of them were set up blindly, with not thought to the power use....everyone was simply interested in getting FITs!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
511 Posts
I briefly got excited and looked into it a bit more...then disappointment set in as I realised I wouldn't live long enough to see any positive returns from doing this.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top