From Home Smart charging stations to multiple commercial charge-points, at DC-EV we’ll find you the ideal solution, from choosing it to installing it.
EV CHARGING GUIDES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long will it take to charge my car?
It depends on the battery size of the car and the power of your charge point. Typically plug-in hybrids charge at a rate of 3.7kW, fully charging within 3 hours. Fully electric cars (e.g. Tesla) can charge at 7.4kW on a single phase supply but have a much bigger battery.
A 75kWh Tesla Model S would take 10 hours to fully charge.
Can I charge my EV with solar panels?
Yes, there are a couple of ways to do this. One is to use a dedicated charger which diverts excess generation into an electric vehicle (Order Charger). In this way, what would have been exported back to the grid is now providing you with zero-carbon mobility. However, you would need to have your EV parked up at house during the day.
The alternative is to use a battery system to store this energy and discharge this into your EV in the evening/night-time. The battery would also cover your household loads once the sun has gone down.
Can I charge my car directly from my solar (no inverter required?)
No. Electric vehicles charge from an AC supply.
Do different EVs require different chargers?
There are two standard connectors which different models of EV use (Type 1 and Type 2). The market is moving to use Type 2 as standard but charge points are available in either and there are also Type 1 to Type 2 adaptor cables.
How much is an EV charge point? Any grants available?
The cost of a 7.4kW charge point is under €1,200 supplied and installed. An SEAI grant covering half of this cost is available so you can expect to pay €600 (approx.).
Will EV chargers blow my fuse board?
DC EV will carefully check your existing electrics to ensure that you don’t blow your main fuse. In some instances we may suggest you install a 3.7kW charger rather than 7.4kW.
Its case by case and a full analysis is done of your home before a wire is touched.
How long will it take to install an EV charger?
An installation will typically take half a day. If your fuse box is far from the charge point location or cables need to be run through internal rooms, the installation may take a little longer.
What is a home battery?
A home battery system is a large battery that you have installed at home, which can store excess electricity – usually that which is generated by your solar PV system and isn’t needed at the time – for use in your home at a time when energy can’t be generated such as night-time or on days with poor weather. It helps you make savings on your electricity bills and ensure that more of the energy you are using is renewably generated (and free).
Why should I consider a home battery?
There are several key reasons why homeowners are looking at battery storage.
- Self- Sufficiency – Run your homes off the electricity that you have produced.
- Free car charging – Even if you are out during the day, you can still use solar electricity to run your car. Store your generated electricity in a home battery, and then discharge this into your vehicle when you return home.
- Help the grid -Using a home battery reduces electricity demand at peak times (weekdays 16:30-19:30). That makes the overall system easier and cheaper to run. If we can reduce demand at peak times we simply don’t need to have as many fossil fuelled power stations anymore.
- No more power cuts. Some models of batteries allow you to use your stored electricity in the event of a power cut.
- Cheap electricity – A home battery can allow you to store cheap night-time electricity for use at other times. It means you always access the cheapest possible electricity, whether from solar or the grid.
How does a home battery work?
The simple answer is that the home battery system stores electricity for use in your home at another time. The demand for energy within the home isn’t at one level all day, especially if there are periods when some or all of the family are out of the house. This means that for some periods of the day the electricity being generated by solar panels isn’t being fully utilised. Of course, when the sun goes down or the weather is particularly bad, the solar PV can’t generate electricity, and you need to draw from the grid to power your home. A home battery means that you have solar energy stored to use before you need to take from the grid.
Do home batteries work with any type of solar panels?
Different home battery storage systems may come either ‘AC coupled’ of ‘DC coupled’. A DC coupled battery system, locates the battery between your panels and the inverter (which converts DC electricity to AC electricity for use in the home. DC coupled systems are more thermodynamically efficient, as you only convert DC to AC electricity once.
An AC coupled battery system has a separate inverter in the battery itself. Solar DC electricity is converted to AC electricity for use in the home, and if it goes into the battery is converted to DC again. This is thermodynamically less efficient, but much more flexible. It allows batteries to be charged from any source, not just solar. They can be charged from the grid, for example when electricity is cheap, typically when there is a lot of wind power on the grid. So it allows you to take advantage of cheap low carbon electricity no matter where it is generated.
It also means that the battery doesn’t need to be installed physically close to your solar PV inverter making installation more flexible. For these reasons, the market is moving towards AC coupled systems as standard.
Regardless of whether you choose a DC or AC coupled battery storage system, it should be possible to install it with an existing solar PV system, when using an experienced DC EV approved installer.
Can a home battery power my whole home at night?
If your household has very high energy requirements in the evenings, especially during longer winter nights, smaller battery storage systems may not be able to hold enough power for all of your needs at night. For example, if you wanted to run several ‘thirsty’ appliances at once in the evening, such as kettles, microwaves, washing machines, along with TVs, lights, fridges etc, your battery would discharge at a much quicker rate than that of a less busy household with lower energy demands. Home battery systems are also limited to the amount of electricity output they can give at any one time. It’s important to choose a battery storage system for your home which is best matched to your household’s needs. We can help you to find the best home battery solution for your individual circumstances – contact us today for more information.
What size home battery do I need?
It all depend on the size and energy requirements of your home. The average household uses between 8-10 kWh of electricity per day. Home storage batteries start at around 2.5-5 kWh in capacity for small systems and up to 13-15 kWh of energy storage for the larger ones.
We would typically size a system by following a two step approach:
- Economically, the ideal size for a battery is one that would cover your evening and night-time usage (with a little to spare, just in case). Your electricity demand will empty the battery by next morning, meaning it has the maximum possible space to capture the next day’s sunshine.
- We then sense check this against the size of your solar PV system. Obviously, there’s no point having a large battery if your generation is small – as you’d never be able to fill it.
So in practice, some home battery systems are sized to the demand of the home, but in some cases they are sized to what the solar PV system can produce. Getting this right is complex, which is why our expert engineers are on hand to help you find the right system for your home.
You will need to bear in mind that home storage batteries might well not receive enough energy to charge every day (depending on the weather and how much solar electricity your home generates and uses).
With a correctly-sized battery system for your home, you should ideally have enough energy waiting to meet your evening and overnight needs for the majority of the year, but are likely to need to draw electricity from the grid in the winter months.
How long do home solar batteries last?
There are two ways to answer this question.
The amount of time that the solar battery can run your home for will depend on the capacity of the battery system and the level of charge. Some home batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall 2, could potentially power your home for more than 24 hours from a full charge because the capacity of the battery is more than the average daily household usage of electricity. However, if it is only partially charged, or if you have a battery system with less capacity, the energy won’t last as long when powering your home.
In terms of the life span of a home battery system, this can vary; depending on the make and model of your battery and the way that you use it. Whilst these types of batteries are designed and optimised to undergo frequent charging and discharging, eventually, over many thousand cycles, the batteries will start to lose a small percentage of capacity. Professionally installed home battery systems will always come with a warranty, which are usually around 10 years and are guaranteed to maintain a certain level of performance e.g. the Tesla Powerwall 2 has a warranty for 10 years for 80% of the original capacity.
From our own experience of these products and the very slow degradation of the types of batteries used in the home battery systems, the likelihood is that a home battery system will usually significantly outlast the warranty. It is the same as any other electronic product in this respect – if you bought a TV with a 5 year warranty, you would reasonably expect it to last for 10+ years.
We can advise on the best home battery system for your needs and make sure that all warranty information is clearly understood, on all aspects of the installation. Get in touch today for more information.
Do home storage batteries come with warranties?
We would never use or install a brand of home battery that doesn’t come with a warranty. All of the major manufacturers of these systems offer a warranty, usually around 10 years in length, although there are some restrictions and caveats on usage for some products. If you choose DC EV to install your home battery system, we can match the best type of system, with a warranty that you’re comfortable with.
How much do home solar batteries cost?
The cost of a home battery system will vary, depending on the make and model of the system. You will also need to consider installation costs, which can also vary, depending on the complexity of the work that needs to be done. For example, some of our customers choose to upgrade their solar array and/or install an EV charging point at the same time as we install the home battery system meaning bigger savings instead of separate individual installs. Some installations may require a separate inverter be fitted and some will be able to use the same inverter as your solar panels. We can offer expert guidance as to the best system for your existing setup and home.
The cost of a home battery system will depend not only on the brand of product, but also the size/capacity of the battery itself. Typically between €600- €900/KWh depending on size.
Can any electrician install a home battery system?
If you’re getting a home battery that works with your solar PV system you will need to ensure that your installer has the necessary experience and is RECI approved to carry out the installation properly so that all of the necessary elements communicate properly with each other. It is advised that you use an installer with years of experience in both solar PV installations and home battery systems.
Get in touch for more information on installations.
Can home battery storage be installed outside?
Some home batteries can be installed either indoors or outdoors, (Outdoor rating is IP65) depending on which system you opt for many homeowners choose to install their battery system in their garage, which offers some protection from the elements. You would need to ensure that a battery system installed outside is kept clear of significant debris like leaves and an accumulation of snow and that it is safe from potential flooding.
How much can you save by having a home battery?
It’s very difficult to say how much a home battery will save you, as it is highly dependent on both how much you personally use and how much you can generate.
Our analysis has shown that a battery can actually improve the payback of a solar PV system in some circumstances. Where the solar PV system is large, the battery can be filled from solar PV for a greater proportion of the year, which improves the overall economics of the home generation system.
We also know that where this is not possible, having the ability to top-up with cheap grid electricity when solar is not available, also massively improves the return on investment.
Overall, battery paybacks tend to sit in the 10-15 year range – this is above the warrantied lifetime, but within the lifetime that you might expect the product to last. We therefore consider battery storage systems as a broadly cost-neutral way for you to increase your own self-sufficiency.
If you have any more questions about home battery storage systems or want advice on which might be the best choice for you, get in touch today!