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Is Your Electric Vehicle Charging Station Solar Ready?

EV drivers demand an efficient solar electric vehicle charging station that utilises their rooftop solar panels when charging from the sun. This comes as no surprise given Australia has some of the highest uptakes of residential solar panels in the world, with 1 in 3 homeowners taking advantage of our abundance of sunshine and low cost of installation to drive down their electricity bills.

With solar feed-in tariffs continuing to decline, homeowners are looking for the best way to make use of the power being generated by their solar system. Electric vehicle charging is one of the best ways to maximise this surplus power in addition to being the cleanest form of energy for their electric vehicle.

Drivers want their electric vehicle charger to work as part of an ecosystem with their rooftop solar, battery storage systems and the rest of the house. Users also want the ability to choose between solar and hybrid to create the optimal mix of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability.

When it comes to your Home electric vehicle charging options you’ve got two choices:

Standard EV charging

When you plug your electric car into a standard EV power station, the car will automatically begin charging at full capacity until the vehicle is fully powered. You may be able to utilise the app which comes with your EV to schedule or time you’re charging but otherwise think of this as a no-nonsense solution. You will be able to utilise some of the solar energy being produced on your roof when you plug in during the day, but you won’t have the flexibility to choose solar only, which means you will likely also use electricity from the grid.

If you have battery storage this may be able to supplement your charging overnight, but this of course is dependent on your driving habits, battery size, and household consumption. Because of this, a standard EV system isn’t classed as a solar EV charger, as you don’t have the flexibility around utilising your solar energy.

There is a great opportunity for homeowners with rooftop solar and electric vehicles to take advantage of the excess solar being generated to top of their EV battery. 

For EV drivers who may not have rooftop solar panels or might not want this type of solution we recommend our Ocular LTE Plus given its small, modern and compact design and free to use app.

Solar Powered EV Charger

For electric vehicle owners who want to take advantage of surplus solar energy we recommend our customers check out the Ocular IQ Solar. The Ocular IQ Solar includes smart technology allowing the electric vehicle owner the ability to properly integrate with their rooftop solar system an exclusively refill from solar power or a mixture of grid and solar. By using a current transformer (CT) meter, the Ocular IQ Solar can determine the exact amount of energy being generated, and ensure that your car’s charging speed is matched exactly to this – resulting in clean cheap energy. The electric vehicle driver has complete control over the Ocular IQ Solar via the Ocular App. The app keeps the driver up to date with exactly how the station is performing, and allows them to choose the way they wish to charge, as well as logging all transactions which is useful for tax deductions when claiming EV charging for a work vehicle. In addition to this the Ocular IQ Solar will integrate with utilities that provide energy tariff’s.

For EV Drivers with the Ocular IQ Solar, they will be able to take advantage of all of their rooftop solar generation and ensure only solar or the most appropriate mix of solar and the grid is used to top up their EV’s which can lead to significant cost savings.

Ocular IQ Solar features

 Power. In your hands

Start, stop and schedule your charging sessions all from the palm of your hand. Monitor energy usage and manage access to your electric vehicle charger using our iOS & Android smartphone app. Track and adjust power consumption from your fingertips.

 Solar Charging

Do you have Solar Panels on the roof or are planning to add some in the future? The Ocular IQ can charge using solar panels to decrease your charging costs and utilise green energy to charge your electric car. Solar charging your electric car in multiple modes with any solar panel or invertor brand

The system works by using CT clamps to measure the solar generation of the home and then match the charging speed to take advantage of solar rather than exporting to the grid.

This essentially allows your vehicle battery to become a solar sponge and importantly reduces your cost of charging. We help ensure your EV is charged fast, safely, and with the lowest carbon emissions.

What does each charging mode do? Fast, Solar Assist or Solar Only.

The Ocular IQ Solar Wallbox is designed to offer flexibility through three (3) charging modes: For solar charging our preferred mode is solar assist as it always ensures a baseline load + excess solar.

Fast Mode:

In this mode, the vehicle will be charged at maximum power. This power can come from a renewable energy source or the grid.  If you have set a current limit on the schedule or by the electrician during installation that will determine maximum power.

Solar Assist(Recommended Solar Mode)

This mode will charge your EV at a minimum of 6 Amps plus any excess solar produced. If solar production is low, power will be drawn from the grid. This is the preferred solar mode, particularly on cloudy days or when you have a smaller solar system. This will ensure a continuous charge plus any excess solar that your home generates.

Solar Only:

This mode charges your EV only when excess solar is produced. Please note a minimum excess of 7 Amps is required to use this mode so that the integrity of your vehicle’s battery is protected. If the solar production drops below 6 Amps the charging will pause and then restart after ~2-3 minutes of excess solar above 7 Amps.

We recommend this mode when you have a clear excess of solar power produced. Use Solar Assist when your production is low or intermittent.

 Safe – Power Balancing 

The Ocular IQ has energy balancing for energy restricted homes especially in the hot Australian summer. The Ocular IQ senses energy limitations in your home and adjust your charging speed to avoid overloading your electrical supply.

Utilising CT clamps the Ocular IQ senses a home’s available electricity. It can read the incoming feed to the building, take into account the building energy usage and calculate a final amount of power that is then distributed to the charger.

The IQ Solar reads the power feed every second and reduces the power output when other home appliances, such as a water heater, air condition systems are turned on. Once the water heater is turned off, the charger will automatically read the available power and increase the power output to the maximum available level. This gives you the maximum charging speed without tripping your homes power.

 Can I use my own installer?

If you wish to use your own installer, they must be a fully qualified electrician. Ocular cannot be held responsible for any issues or failures of any products caused by the installation process or from a result of an incorrect set up and configuration. We highly recommend you engage one of our trained and authorised installers to ensure the unit is connected correctly the first time. Free training is available for electricians here

 Tech Specifications – See Datasheet for more information

  • OCPP 1.6J, 2.01 Integration
  • 2.8 Inch LED Screen for real-time charging data and driver feedback
  • Wifi / Ethernet Modbus
  • 7 KW, 32Amp, Single Phase Configurable Power
  • Universal & 5m Tethered Cable options
  • Wall or pole mounted for convenience.
  • RFID Access
  • MID Meter
  • Indoor and Outdoor Rated
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Compatible with all-electric vehicles and models including Audi, BMW, BYD, EQC, Holden, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, KIA, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mini, MG, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Polestar, Porsche, Renault, Rivian, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo
  • Robust, space-saving housing – D160 x W288 x H390mm

 What happens when I have a stationary home battery?

For the most part, any excess solar produced by the system will be absorbed by the battery. The Ocular IQ Solar modes work by using a CT Clamps to understand what you are exporting out to the grid. You may find that the home battery is absorbing most of your excess solar generated first and so what’s going out to the grid is minimal. Despite this, it’s fine to still install a charger, but you may find the solar assist mode is the best mode as it draws a small amount from the grid/battery when no excess solar is being produced. If there is excess solar available, it can then utilise the available excess solar that the battery is not taking.

 Ocular is 100% Australian Owned and Operated

Founded by Australian EV Charging Pioneers the Ocular brand succeeds because of the substantial knowledge in electronics manufacturing gained through years of experience in EVSE installation. Since the early introduction of EVs in Australia the Ocular Charging team has been providing solutions across all scales, applications, and business types. Moreover, our expertise in safety technology and in the area of payment solutions constantly influences development which makes it possible to fulfill a wide range of business outcomes through our infrastructure.

 Keep this in mind when installing:

For your safety, the installation must only be carried out by a licensed and qualified electrician familiar with Australian industry standards and is fully responsible for the installation Ocular cannot be held responsible for any issues or failures of any products caused by the installation process or from a result of an incorrect set up and configuration. Free training is available for electricians here.

By having two options we make the installation process super easy as sometimes Wi-Fi may be patchy or unavailable in the location of your Solar EV charging station. This internet connection is necessary to use the Ocular app.

With all of these great features as well as many more, you can see why the Ocular IQ Solar is the most revolutionary solar charger in Australia.  For any further questions about our standard or solar powered electric vehicle chargers including the LTE plus and the IQ Solar, get in touch with our team on 1300 406 210 or ar sales@evse.com.au

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