Pop-up mini solar electric vehicle charging hub unveiled

Papilio3 is a car park built around a recycled shipping container that integrates solar photovoltaic electricity generation, battery energy storage systems and electric vehicle charge points.

What claims to be the world’s first pop-up mini solar car park and electric vehicle charging hub, deployable in just 24 hours, has been unveiled at the Surrey Research Park, Guildford.

Developed by 3ti, which designs, installs, funds and operates Solar Car Parks (SCPs), Papilio3 aims to meet the need for an expansion of the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure ahead of the government’s proposed ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles in 2030.

Fast charge points

The unit is built around a recycled shipping container and can support up to 12 fast EV charge points. The solar and battery-boosted charging system optimises the speed of charge and reduces the carbon intensity of electricity used. Papilio3 is available from 3ti on a rental contract and therefore requires no capital investment by customers.

Papilio3 integrates three technologies that are more usually considered individually: solar photovoltaic electricity generation; battery energy storage systems (Bess); and EV charge points. Combining the three offers a range of benefits, including the ability to use grid energy, solar power and battery storage to optimise the speed and carbon intensity of EV charging.

“Overnight charging at home generally provides the most cost-effective, carbon efficient, sustainable form of EV charging, but in the UK, around 50 per cent of households will not be able to do this,” said Tim Evans, 3ti founder and CEO, and leader of the teams responsible for the two largest SCPs in the UK, at Bentley Motors, Crewe, and JP Morgan, Bournemouth.

He added: “If you live in a flat, a tower block, a rented house, in temporary accommodation or even in a £10m terraced town house in Chelsea, you’re probably not going to be able to charge an EV at home.

“We believe that solar and battery boosted destination and workplace charging will become the best EV charging solution for drivers, irrespective of the type of home they live in. By utilising dwell times of several hours, when cars are parked at work or when the driver is visiting a shopping or leisure venue, for example, 3ti’s system ensures that EVs can achieve a level of charge that covers day to day driving needs and does it in the most low carbon way.”

Papilio3 is fitted with three modular canopies that support 36 solar panels and has battery storage capacity of up to 250 kWh. It has been developed by 3ti with Cambridge Design Partners, and has been designed for roll-out at workplaces and public destinations such as hospitals, hotels, meeting venues, sports or shopping centres, tourist attractions and town centres. Each unit offers sheltered, illuminated and secure parking, plus a convenient, available and reliable EV charging experience that supports a mixture of 7-, 11- and 22 kilowatts.

Surrey Research Park is home to more than 200 innovative businesses, from newly formed start-ups to global corporates such as Airbus and BAE Systems. Owned by the University of Surrey, the Research Park businesses employ more than 4,500 staff and was the preferred locational choice for the first pop-up because of its client base, a growing cluster of companies working on sustainability and the deep links with the University of Surrey.

“The University of Surrey and Surrey Research Park have a long history of working with industry to drive innovation,” said Grant Bourhill, chief executive officer at Surrey Research Park. “We pride ourselves on creating an environment that supports the entrepreneurial community to develop and grow. The roll-out of Papilio3 reflects our commitment to sustainability in addition to testing new innovation and supporting business growth.

“The University of Surrey has recently improved its position to 55th in the global sustainability rankings of over 1400 institutions, and the work with 3ti is yet another example of our sustainability commitment.”

The UK requires 2.8 million public EV charge points by 2035. There are currently just 52,000 and the country is currently rolling out electric vehicle supply equipment at a rate of around 17,000 public charge points per year.

Source: smartcitiesworld.net