What is a DIY Solar EV Charging Station?


A DIY solar EV charging station is one you build by yourself. To do this DIY project, you’ll need solar panels, a charge controller, a solar inverter, a battery, and EV supply Equipment.

EVs are going to be a major part of the clean and green revolution. Thus, EV Charging stations are set to become common sites in the coming years. When we talk about EVs or charging stations we talk about tens of companies coming up with different ideas for the same two things. This brings us to the question, is it possible for you and me to make a DIY Solar EV charging station? To find out the answer to this question we will go through some related concepts in this article. We will also look at the list of components needed for a DIY EV charging station and determine if it is easy for us to build at home or not.

What is a DIY Solar EV Charging Station?

JAN 23 What is a DIY Solar EV Charging Station?We all know what is meant by DIY or do it yourself. While art and craft or common creative stuff are suitable for DIY, in this article the question that we ask is whether or not building a DIY Solar EV charging station is possible. Before we get to the answer eventually by looking at different aspects of this question let’s understand what is meant by this type of charging station.

Just as a DIY art or craft stuff a DIY EV solar charging station is one that you would build yourself. You can run this charging station from the grid or off the grid, however, if you intend to cut back on emissions then going off the grid might be the better choice. These charging stations can be used as independent power systems to charge your EVs. Now that you have understood the concept of a DIY solar EV charging station, let’s also learn why exactly you need a solar EV charging station.

What is the Objective of a Solar EV Charging Station?

As mentioned above, we are already assuming that one of the objectives or reasons you are opting for a solar EV charging station is that you want to help the environment and want to cut back on harmful emissions. However, that is not the only benefit or objective that you should have in your mind. There are a few more reasons you should consider having a solar EV charging station and those reasons are,

1. Helps the Pocket

JAN 23 What is the objective of solar EV charging stationThe cost has got to be a good reason to consider going solar. When you get an EV the electricity consumption of your house is only going to rise and to counter this it is better if you decide to go off the grid. Setting up a solar EV charging station can help you save money over the long term. Not only will it take care of your vehicle but also your home by eliminating electricity bills.

2. Co-Benefits

If two objects combine to offer better value then it is surely going to attract customers. Pairing a solar system with an EV charging station has a lot of benefits for the customer and so they would go for it 9 out 10 times.

3. Incentives

EVs and Solar Panels both get you tax credits, incentives, and other such benefits and so it would only make sense that people would want to benefit from these government programs thus a solar EV charging station helps save you money in more ways than one.

Also Read: V2G vs V2H vs V2L Bidirectional Charging

4. Peak Season Benefits

JAN 23 What is a diy solar ev charging stationA solar EV charging station will go a long way in helping you save extra money during summer seasons when the electricity demand is high and so is the price of electricity.

5. Miscellaneous

We know a solar EV charging station is helping the environment by reducing emissions but it is also reducing the use of non-renewable energy sources which makes them a more sustainable option and thus the obvious choice.

Also See: What are V2H Compatible Cars?

What Components Are Needed for a DIY EV Charging Station?

If you are convinced about needing a solar EV charging station because of all the arguments presented above it is now time to decide if you want to build one or get one. As it turns out building a DIY Solar EV charging station is possible and you, me, or anyone else could do it once they have got the components that we will be mentioning below.

1. Solar Photovoltaic Panels

JAN 23 Components Needed For A DIY EV Charging StationWithout a doubt, the first and most obvious object you would need for the solar charging station is the solar panel that will convert photons from the sun’s rays into electricity. They will act as the energy source of the charging station.

2. Solar Inverter

The next important component for the solar charge station would be a solar inverter. This device will allow the solar panels to power your electronic devices as it will convert direct current to clean alternate current. Output from a solar panel may fluctuate depending on the weather as well as for other reasons which are where an inverter will again play a crucial role in optimizing solar production.

3. Charge Controller

The charge controller is tasked with regulating the power output of a solar panel as well as properly charging the battery.

4. Battery

JAN 23 Components The PV energy needs to be stored and the battery is where it will be stored. Most preferably a Lithium battery is used for the same. They might be expensive but come with n number of benefits making them the most ideal choice.

5. EV Supply Equipment

Despite all their strengths an EV is not designed to be charged directly from solar panels or a battery and that is where EV supply equipment will come into the picture. This device contains all the necessary electrical equipment and software that is necessary to facilitate the safe and efficient delivery of energy to your EV.

Also Read: How to Charge Your Non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger?

What is DIY EV Charging Station Cost?

JAN 23 Charging Station CostHaving found out that it is possible to build a solar EV charging station by yourself and the components required for the same, the next obvious thing would be to inquire about the DIY EV charging station cost. While the benefits and reasons are there for everyone to see the affordability needs to be there as well and so let’s find out if it is affordable or not.

1. Solar Photovoltaic Panels

We are here assuming that you get 4 kWh of energy per day in the middle of the US. Depending on where you are, the figure may vary. Now let’s assume you have a Tesla that requires 10 kWh of energy per day and for this, you would need 16.6 kWh of solar energy per day. This will bring us to need at least 11 solar panels of 400 W which will set you back by 3k to 3.5k dollars (given that each panel will cost around $300).

2. Solar Inverter

When we talk about a solar inverter you have got quite a few options. You can choose to get a string, micro or hybrid inverter. Other options also include getting an optimizer or a battery inverter. For a string inverter, you may have to shell out between 1k to 2k dollars, a micro-inverter may cost up to 300 dollars, an optimizer might only cost a few hundred dollars, a hybrid inverter can cost between 1k to 3k dollars or even more, and a battery inverter may cost 2k to 3k dollars. Depending on which option you go with, the cost of the system may change significantly.

3. Charge Controller

With charge controllers, you again have a choice. You can go with a PWM controller or an MPPT controller. A basic charge controller can cost you around $20 to $50. However, more advanced solar controllers can cost you anywhere around $200-$500.

4. Battery

If we talk about the Tesla Model Y then you would need 24V 100Ah lithium batteries or 6 to 7 lead acid batteries. You can consider getting a Powerwall or making your own. In any case, the battery may set you back by close to 10k dollars or more making it the most expensive item on this list.

5. EV Supply Equipment

You have 3 levels of EVSE to choose from the higher you go the pricier it gets and so if we consider the middle variant then you can expect to pay up to 3k dollars for the same.

Apart from all these things you may want to set aside a couple of 100 dollars for cables and other such basic stuff. All in all, expect to invest 20k dollars when you go ahead and build a DIY Solar EV Charging Station. However, over the years the money saved on electricity bills will start to add up and will show you that you have ended up benefiting from installing a solar EV charging station.

Now that we know what is meant by a DIY Solar EV charging station and the components needed to build one, what is stopping you from proceeding? We know the objective of a Solar EV charging station and the cost of the same and so that shall be enough to inspire us to try to build one at least for our vehicle.

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