A Step Towards Sustainable Transport
Sustainable transport refers to transportation methods that involve low environmental impact and where the needs for mobility are met without compromising future needs. Solar powered charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EVs) contribute to more sustainable means of charging EV batteries, however, the increased adoption of EVs will lead to more electricity allotted to charge the batteries and the demand for more convenient charging times. DC chargers achieve fast charging time by dispensing high power levels to the battery but can be energy intensive. This project analyzes the major components of a solar powered supercharger by studying the geologic profile of the commodities needed to manufacture the solar panels which are this system’s energy source. The processes and energy requirements to manufacture a solar panel and charge an EV battery are then discussed and quantified and are used in a case study to compare with the predicted energy output of such system. The case study involves matching the solar panel specifications to a commercial one, sizing the system, and running a simulation to arrive at a final estimate. This study found that the energy input in manufacturing the solar panels can be realized in less than two years by the solar powered supercharger system charging 414 EV batteries annually, however, given the improvements in both solar panel and EV technology, it is likely that this is a conservative result. The system discussed in this presentation indicates that implementing it on a large scale it can aid in attaining a more sustainable future of transport.
Kameel Kishek has a bachelor's degree in electrical power and energy engineering, with experience in renewable energy systems and solar PV installations. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in Energy and Earth Resources (EER) at the University of Texas at Austin where his area of study focuses on topics within the energy sphere; bridging the economy, policy, and technology constituents that dictate the energy context. Kishek aims to work in areas that promote clean energy, energy independence and security, and sustainability.