Georgia Introduces the US’s First “Photo voltaic Road” for EV Charging
This article was originally published by Sarah Wray on Cities today, the leading news platform for urban mobility and innovation reaching an international audience of city guides. For the latest updates, see Cities Today Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtubeor sign up for Cities Today News.
The town of Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County, Georgia has introduced a new solar street system that generates power for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in town hall.
Independently of this, the city has presented a new EV fast charging station for up to 16 vehicles. The square is the first project in Peachtree Corners’ new EV strategy that could serve as a model for other cities.
The solar road is on a section of an autonomous vehicle test lane in the city Curiosity Lab real test environment and was provided through a partnership with The Ray, a nonprofit test site in Atlanta.
The new system should produce more than 1,300 kilowatt hours of electricity annually for a level 2 EV charger in the town hall, which EV drivers can use free of charge. The charger is also equipped with an energy storage system for night charging.
In the future, street lights and other urban infrastructures could be supplied with electricity and power failures could be secured, according to the city.
The Wattway Solar track modules are manufactured by the French company Colas Group in partnership with the French National Institute for Solar Energy.
Initiatives and trials for solar roads have been launched in countries such China and France, but this installation marks the first public road deployment in the US.
[Read: Meet the 4 scale-ups using data to save the planet]
Brandon Branham, chief technology officer and assistant city manager for Peachtree Corners, said Cities today: “This application is also the first time that the solar road is used as the only power source for a charging station for electric vehicles and not only supplies the power grid with additional power.”
Early results from pilots in other countries cast doubt on the effectiveness of solar roads. After a three-year, government-sponsored test of Wattway panels along a mile-long test road in Normandy, France, it was reported last year said The technology was neither economical nor energy efficient.
The Wattway panels have now been engineered to be more durable and efficient, which the company claims has resulted in a 21 percent increase in performance.
Wattway is running new attempts in Normandy and also with Curiosity Lab to test the latest version. More of the glued-on panels could in the future be attached to sidewalks, bike paths and other surfaces.
Speaking of the potential to power other urban infrastructures, Branham said, “This type of scaling has not been proven elsewhere and is what makes this test at the Curiosity Lab invaluable as it monitors and optimizes everything from power generation to installation and maintenance to achieve scalability. “
Allie Kelly, Executive Director of The Ray added, “In the near future, urban areas like Peachtree Corners may be more relevant and resilient to solar road use than freeways and freeways. You can instantly couple power generation with key applications such as charging docks for electric bicycles and scooters as well as with lighting and smart city infrastructure. Conversely, solar roads are on the scale on highways [are] This essentially depends on a good connection to the supply network, which is not always available and can cause considerable costs for the so-called “interconnection”. “
Take the EV initiative
In a separate initiative, Peachtree Corners has opened a new quick charging station for electric vehicles, on which up to 16 vehicles can be charged quickly at the same time. The deployment is the first measure from the city’s new electrification plan, which was developed in cooperation with the advice for electric mobility Hubject advice.
Hubject’s analysis found that Peachtree Corners was essentially a “fast-charging desert for electric vehicles,” especially given the growing electric vehicle ownership in and around the city. The company analyzed the city’s residential, business and retail layout, traffic patterns and electrical capacity to determine the ideal location for the charging bay in Peachtree Corners Town Center.
There are now twelve Tesla V3 compressors and four universal charging stations in operation on the square. Two 350 kW chargers and two 150 kW chargers will go into operation in the new year. Until the beginning of January, the place can charge all kinds of EV models. It will be one of the largest public charging stations in the state of Georgia and the largest in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
The chargers were funded by the charging system providers.
Thomas Doran, Senior Director of Hubject North America, commented, “We hope this project with Peachtree Corners will inspire other communities across the country to actively begin planning their city’s electric vehicle infrastructure to ensure that residents and Companies can easily electrify. “
“More than 55,000 vehicles per day will drive past the new charging hub on the main corridor. This reflects the immense impact our initiative has on the larger area, in addition to the residents of Peachtree Corners,” added Brian Johnson, City Manager of Peachtree Corners. “Not only is this a major economic engine for our city, attracting retail and other related activities, but it also serves as a model for other communities across the country as electrification continues to expand.”
The partnership between Hubject and Peachtree Corners is expected to continue until 2021. Activities include additional grant-funded electrification projects and other EV charging activities.
“As one of the first real smart cities in the country, we are proud to lead the way with ‘Firsts’ – fully autonomous electric shuttles that run alongside regular vehicles World’s first fleet of teleoperated e-scooters for residents to the largest EV charging center in the entire Metro Atlanta area, ”said Branham. “With the help of Hubject and our partners, we have been able to create an advanced infrastructure plan that will further strengthen us as a model for the American city of the future – incorporating the latest technologies to improve the lives of its residents.”
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Published on January 8, 2021 – 11:00 UTC