Charge your car using solar energy4th Apr 2012
Solar power has many uses, and it seems that the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) has added charging cars to the list.
Electric vehicles may seem like a thing of the future to many of you, but the fact is they are growing in popularity all over Australia.
If the thought of running your car on electricity fills you with fear, then this latest CERES invention could offer you some assurance.
The group has installed the first electric vehicle (EV) charging station that is run on solar energy at its site in Victoria, which is available for use by the public.
This could well be the first step towards a network of charging points all over the country, giving more of us the push we need to switch to an EV.
The aim of the project is to make the charging of EVs carbon-neutral by offsetting the amount of energy we need to power our cars.
Speaking to the ABC, site manager at CERES Nick Curmi explained how the system works: "The panels and the inverter are supplying power to the grid to offset that power we're drawing from the grid.
"So, for this to be the fast charge system that people need to get their vehicles charged up as conveniently and efficiently as possible, it has to be grid-connected."
Many of you will no doubt be asking 'how long does it take?' and 'how far would I be able to travel on a single charge?'
Thankfully Nick is on hand with the answers, saying it could take an hour or two to fully charge your vehicle, which could then travel around 150 kilometres before it needs to be charged again.
And as with everything, there are no doubt some concerns over cost.
At around $3 a charge, Nick estimates this to be around five times cheaper than heading to the petrol station. Well, that's me sold on the idea!
Posted by Mike Peacock