One of Sydney’s largest electric vehicle charging facilities has been installed at one of the nation’s top solar research and development centres, the University of New South Wales, at its campus in Randwick.
The six solar powered EV chargers, which are connected to the Chargefox EV system and managed by Estate Management, are located on the rooftop level of the UNSW’s Botany Street car park, where they will provide both fuel and data for university staff and students.
The station comprises six dedicated car spaces fitted with six Level 2 EV chargers of 7.2kW each that the UNSW says could typically add up to 40km of range per hour of charging, well suited to topping up a car while studying or working on campus for part or all of the day.
And, of course, the chargers are powered by PERC solar cells using technology developed at UNSW, which feature bifacial technology that generates electricity from light reaching the front and back of the modules.
The solar system – which will also be used as a teaching tool for School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) students – is expected to generate around 100MWh a year, roughly enough to charge 1800 standard range Tesla model 3 cars, the univeristy says.
The cost of the solar powered charging – which can also be used by the public, as long as they’re happy to pay for access to the parking lot – are $0.25/kWh between 7am-10pm Monday to Friday, and $0.15/kWh at all other times.
Usage data will be collected to help inform plans to expand the project in the future and all revenue generated by the EV chargers, which were funded by donation from philanthropist Mark Tidswell, will flow back into the School.
“Mark is very enthusiastic about renewable energy and has been a wonderful supporter of our School. His support and enthusiasm for this project has been crucial and we thank him very much for funding this project,” said SPREE Professor Alistair Sproul.
“We also thank UNSW Estate Management for partnering with us to install this solar array and EV charging station which will provide our students and researchers with valuable data.”
Estate Management chief technology and infrastructure officer, Jeff Peers, welcomed the opportunity to support undergraduate and postgraduate students and sustains research in the EV charging space.
“We hope to install even more solar-powered EV charging stations both in the Botany Street car park and further across campus,” he said.