With sunnier and hotter summers in prospect and a shortage of charging points for electric cars, here’s a neat idea – pop-up mini solar parks
With sunnier and hotter summers in prospect and a shortage of charging points for electric cars, here’s a neat idea — pop-up mini solar parks.
A prototype has already been built and is being tested by solar power car park firm 3ti at Surrey Research Park, which is part of the University of Surrey, in Guildford.
Hot stuff: The mini solar car park and EV charging hub is based on a recycled shipping container and can be installed in just 48 hours
Billed as a world first, in eight weeks it’s already generated 4.86MWh of solar electricity — enough to drive an average family electric car 20,000 miles.
The mini solar car park and EV charging hub is based on a recycled shipping container and can be installed in just 48 hours.
Each hub has up to 12 charge points, coupled with 36 solar panels and up to 250kWh of battery storage to boost available grid power.
Tim Evans, 3ti founder and boss, said: ‘It provides drivers, particularly those who can’t charge at home, with convenient, cost-effective EV charging.’
Using solar panels to capture light to turn the power from the sun into electricity, the company calls its pop-up system Papilio3, a name whose Latin roots reflects a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, just as the pop-up mobile mini solar car-charging station emerges from the metal container.
The firm has also just become the first solar-power charging company to sign up to ChargeSafe, an independent UK assessment and accreditation body dedicated to improving the safety and accessibility of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. That means every Papilio3 solar charging unit will undergo a stringent 63-point check by ChargeSafe looking at the design, location, facilities, functionality and accessibility of every charging hub.
The prototype in Surrey has already received a rating of 4.09 out of a maximum 5 stars.
Company boss Evans, whose background encompasses agriculture and green technology, added: ‘For car park operators, fleets, workplaces, gyms, cinemas and a range of other operators of car parks, where motorists park for extended periods, it offers a fast-track solution to offer up to 12 EV charge points from a single hub.
‘It will contribute to the rapid expansion of destination charging infrastructure ahead of the UK government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030’.
Billed as a world first, in eight weeks it’s already generated 4.86MWh of solar electricity — enough to drive an average family electric car 20,000 miles
The prototype in Surrey has already received a rating of 4.09 out of a maximum 5 stars
He said: ‘We created Papilio3 to meet the immediate need for convenient and sustainable destination and workplace charging and to encourage and inspire further take-up of electric vehicles. A positive user experience is crucial to this and influenced the development at every stage.
‘Every EV driver should feel safe, secure and able to use our Papilio3 charging hubs and large-scale solar car parks. The ChargeSafe endorsement formalises th at commitment and will become an invaluable public and commercial hallmark of quality.’
The 3ti team is already responsible for the two largest solar powered car charging projects the UK, at luxury car-maker Bentley Motors in Crewe (which is developing zero-emissions electric cars and a revamped carbon-neutral green factory in which to build them) and at JP Morgan Chase, Bournemouth. It is also working on projects for the Ministry of Defence.
It has already installed around 2,500 solar-powered parking and charging spaces around the country.
More details at: https://3ti.co.uk/