Friday, May 27, 2011

Solar powered charging station for electric cars


Although electric car drivers are already choosing the most eco friendly driving option available, by charging the vehicles with off-the-grid clean energy it becomes even greener. Now, a new solar powered charging station has opened at the Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City that will give park workers a new spot to fuel up with clean energy.

Clean energy for electric car charging stations

In the next few years, electric car charging stations will begin popping up all over highways, businesses, parking lots, and even homes, but the source of the energy used at these charging stations is not necessarily 'green'. Much of the energy from the grid is still generated through traditional coal burning plants, which means that driving an electric car is still having an impact on the environment (although much less than a traditional car).

However, an electric car could truly have a net-zero carbon footprint if its charge were to come from a renewable energy source, like solar panels or wind turbines. New York's Brooklyn Bridge Park has decided to make use of solar in this way, setting up an array which will generate 5.6 kilowatts, which will be used to charge up to 5 service vehicles, an electric car, and a small home. The estimated money the solar charging station will save is near $200,000.

The Beautiful Earth Group

The solar charging station was donated by the Beautiful Earth Group, a New York-based organization dedicated to increasing the use of renewable energy sources. By donating the solar powered electric car charging station to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Beautiful Earth is taking a step towards making EV fleets totally carbon neutral.

Solar powered EV charging stations for public use

Unfortunately, the solar powered charging station at Brooklyn Bridge park will only be available to park vehicles. However, it is only a matter of time until similar charging stations are set up for locations where there is minimal traffic. A solar powered charging station may not be the most viable solution for areas where constant charging will be necessary, but they may be a perfect fit for charging your electric car at home.

If you drive an electric car, would you consider setting up a clean energy charging station at your home with either solar panels or residential-sized wind turbines?

source: greenerideal