Apr 10th, 2024 | Emobility

Solar forecast charging & solar surplus charging: How solar energy can be used super efficiently to charge your EV

Anyone who has solar panels and a charger can charge their electric car in an environmentally friendly way with solar power. We explain what the solar forecast charging and solar surplus charging functions are all about - and how both methods can be used as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Of course, you’re often in a better mood when the sun shines. And this is particularly true for all those who own an electric vehicle (EV), a home charger and solar panels. With the solar power from your own roof, your EV can be charged not only in a more environmentally friendly way, but also at a significantly lower cost. These two charging methods can help increase efficiency and save money::

Solar forecast charging: Use solar energy proactively

The solar forecast charging method is the best example of the synergy between renewable energy sources and electromobility. By intelligently adjusting the charging behavior, electric vehicles can be operated particularly efficiently and sustainably, because the charging time is optimized based on forecasts for future solar energy production.

This approach aims to balance EV charging with periods of high amounts of sunshine and correspondingly high solar power production. Other than a home charger, solar panels and an EV,, no other components are required because the method works purely digitally or cloud-based.

The process begins with creating charging schedules based on weather forecasts, the position of the sun, and information about the solar panels’ location. Advanced technologies and algorithms enable relatively accurate predictions for solar power generation. Based on these forecasts, the charging schedule is automatically optimized for the electric vehicle. The vehicle is preferably charged during sunny hours to get the maximum benefit from the available solar energy.

Do you want to make the most of the hours of sunshine? All you need is the right device: The home charger is your comfortable, fast home charger with up to 11 kW of dynamic charging power. More information is available here.

Solar surplus charging: Maximize your own consumption of self-generated solar power

Solar surplus charging, also called "solar surplus feed-in", refers to a specific method of charging electric vehicles that aims to maximize the consumption of self-generated solar power.

And it works like this: solar panels generate solar power during the day, especially when there is lots of sunlight. If the solar power generated exceeds the current demand in the household, there will be surplus. Instead of feeding this surplus into the public energy grid, you can store it in an electric car.

The idea behind it is to control the charging process of the electric vehicle so that it correlates with the phases of highest solar power production. Intelligent charging controls are used here with the help of current measuring systems or full-fledged energy management systems. These systems continuously monitor the amount of solar power generated, the household's current energy needs and the solar power fed into the grid and control the charging process of the electric vehicle accordingly.

Smart charging,  smart savings

For solar surplus charging, a commercially available electricity measurement system, such as a Modbus meter, is required that measures the surplus in real time and starts the charging process depending on the amount of extra energy. Most smart home chargers now have the option of using the solar surplus to charge the electric car and can dynamically adapt the charging power to the extra energy.

The advantage of this approach lies in maximizing your own consumption of renewable solar power and minimizing the purchase of grid power. This not only contributes to environmental friendliness, but can also be economically attractive, especially because the difference between the statutory feed-in tariff as a financial incentive to feed in excess solar power is usually far lower than the price of grid power for charging, meaning that any personal use of the solar surplus saves money. Solar surplus charging is therefore an intelligent integration of solar energy and electromobility to promote sustainable energy solutions.