Those with home solar photovoltaic systems that also own electric cars, and want to maximize their use of their systems, may want to take a look at some new “smart” chargers unveiled at the recent eCarTech conference in Munich, Germany.
The two new smart electric vehicle (EV) chargers — one from the Slovenian company Etrel, and one from the Spanish company Circontrol — both work to optimize the proportion of EV charging that is done with the associated home solar PV system.
There are of course some differences between the two new offerings, ones that are worth noting, so here’s an explanation of those via Ecomento:
Etrel is a company from Slovenia. Company spokesman Rok Krajl told Forbes at the show that its Smartcharger senses the power draw from the rest of the home as well as any power being produced by a home solar array. Homeowners can program the unit to optimize the amount of solar power that is used to recharge an EV or permit that electricity to be sold back to the grid if doing so would be better financially. The unit also is able to determine total electricity usage so that vehicle charging never overloads the home’s electrical system.
Spanish company Circontrol also brought its eHome residential charger to the show in Munich. It couples the company’s BeOn sensor with the charger to detect when solar power is available and divert some or all of that power to the charger in accordance with the customer’s pre-programmed preferences. Like Etrel’s Smartcharger, it also protects the home circuitry against an overload.
The two new systems are both integrated with smartphone apps, thereby giving owners easy control of them — scheduling of charging, monitoring, etc.
The Circontrol offering is expected to be available starting in January of 2016, reportedly. The Etrel Smartcharger is currently expected to hit the market sometime in 2016.