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Off-the-Grid Electric Car Charging

Solar Powered Station

Written by Swagato Chakravorty
Posted August 28, 2012 at 4:05PM

Off-the-grid electric car charging could soon become a reality, if Princeton Satellite Systems has its way. The firm stated last Friday that it has developed an electric car charging station that’s integrated with a solar power system.

The SunStation, as it is called, is purportedly the first completely green charging station for electric vehicles, since it takes all power directly from the sun. It carries a built-in battery pack which allows for recharging of electric cars all day long, even at night.

Charging voltage is rated at 240 volts, which means a Nissan Leaf would take 8 hours for a full charge, while a Chevy Volt would need 4, and the Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid 1.5, Torque News reports.

The SunStation also doesn’t need any wiring thanks to the battery pack. One simply installs a concrete base and bolts the station to it. Payment can be made via mobile phone, since the station connects wirelessly to cell phone networks; this also enables Princeton to remotely manage the station.

Although the SunStation does not impose on the general power grid at all, the concept could be developed for use with systems that do take their power from the grid. Such a system would use its battery pack for actively charging the car hooked up to the station, while it would recharge its own battery pack from the grid, thereby negating any sudden spikes in demand on the grid when a car initiates charging.

From Torque News:

Michael Paluszek, president of Princeton Satellite Systems said he envisions many uses for the SunStation as a remote power source. “In a lot of third-world nations, no one is going to develop a power grid, but a lot of people need power for things like refrigeration. This kind of station could power an entire third-world village.”

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