TVA, EPRI Demonstrate Solar-powered EV Charge Station

System features 12kW solar panels, 5kWh of battery storage backup and can service six parked vehicles.

Published: 27-Jan-2011

With nary a sunbeam in sight, TVA and the Electric Power Research Institute on Tuesday unveiled a concept for charging the electric vehicles that are just beginning to hit the local highways.

Equipped with about 12 kilowatts' worth of solar panels and a battery array with about five kilowatt-hours of storage, the six-parking-spot station will be used to analyze the potential impact of electric vehicles on the electric grid as well as ways to supplement that power. It is the first of two such stations to be built in East Tennessee and will serve as a research prototype to model how electric cars can be juiced up when they're away from home.

"We want to be the fuel that supplies electric cars," said Rudy Shankar, TVA vice president for technology innovation. But adding a new source of electric demand could impact the overall cost and availability of power, he said.

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