Having your solar power system installers show up, install the solar panels, and leave is like buying a new computer but not connecting it to the Internet. Without the proper inverters, software, and interconnectivity to home appliances, your smart home will be dumb. For the electric vehicle (EV) owner, the ability to charge the EV charger with solar panels is a key advantage of the smart energy home.
To connect your solar energy system and EV charger, you will want to know the following:
Electric power usage of your home
Your solar panel capacity will depend on the energy requirements of both your home and the electric vehicle. The average American home uses about 30 kWh per day (EIA).
Electric power usage of your electric vehicle
The average EV uses about 6 kWh per day, depending on the miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) and mileage. A BMW MINI Cooper SE gets 31 MPGe and Tesla Model S 111 MPGe.
If installing a rapid EV charger, it will require more electricity. A standard AC level charger will use 16A (1.9 kW) and take 8–16 hours for a full charge while DC fast charging uses up to 80 A (40 kW) and charges in less than an hour. Tesla Supercharging sucks even more energy to charge in less than 5 minutes.
If you want a rapid 240 V charger, which may require some electrical work, you may want to ask your solar power system installers if they can install both your solar panels and EV charger at the same time.
Electric power production of your home solar power system
If one solar panel equals one kWh on average, you will need to install 36 solar panels, for a capacity of 36 kWh per day.
Solar PC/EV inverter
To convert the power generated from solar for use by the EV charger, a converter is required. If you also plan to sell EV power to the grid, you will need a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) inverter. Likewise, if you plan to sell power generated by solar panels to the electric grid, a connector with the grid is required.
Smart meter monitoring
Most electric utilities today provide smart meters to monitor the time of use usage. Your solar power system installers may provide a more advanced meter for your smart home energy applications, and/or provide programmable IFTT options to expand its functionality. You will want to ensure that your smart meter and EV charger can talk to one another. Applets include:
Charge my electric car during off-peak hours if the price per KWh is below xx.
And soon for self-driving cars:
Charge my EV and pick me up at the front door at 8 a.m.