EVs Wirelessly Charged With Solar Electricity in Island

2019/07/26 16:15
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
The Aozora Outlet in Himeshima, Oita Prefecture (source: TPlan)
The Aozora Outlet in Himeshima, Oita Prefecture (source: TPlan)
The D-Broad EV Charging Dock installed in the Aozora Outlet (source: TPlan)

TPlan Inc (Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture) has been engaged in an "eco energy" business, which is aimed at revitalizing regions or solving regional problems by using solar power generation and ultra-small electric vehicles (EVs), in Himeshima, Oita Prefecture, Japan.

The company started a verification test of a wireless automatic power supply system in July 2019.

TPlan developed the "Aozora Outlet" charging station for ultra-small EVs using solar electricity. The company conducted tests to charge ultra-small EVs with solar electricity in Yufu City (Oita Prefecture), Satsumasendai City (Kagoshima Prefecture), Nakatsu City (Oita Prefecture), Nishiawakura-mura (Okayama Prefecture), etc.

In Himeshima (island), TPlan started to test vehicles in 2013 and introduced the Aozora Outlet in 2018 to supply renewable energy-derived electricity to ultra-small EVs.

The Aozora Outlet introduced in Himeshima consists of (1) 32 solar panels manufactured by Germany-based Luxor Solar GmbH (total output: 8.6kW), (2) two power conditioners manufactured by Germany-based SMA Solar Technology AG and (3) Next Energy & Resources Co Ltd's storage battery (capacity: 19.8kWh).

It enables to power 11-19 ultra-small EVs operated in the island only with electricity generated with the solar power generation (PV) system. However, when the amount of power generation is not enough due to, for example, bad weather, it is connected to a power grid (as a backup power source).

The Aozora Outlet is equipped with four 200V-output outlets and can charge four ultra-small EVs at the same time. It can fully charge an ultra-small EV equipped with an 8kWh rechargeable battery, which can travel 100km per charge, in four hours.

Also, TPlan added a wireless power supply system developed by Daihen Corp in July 2019. When an EV supporting the system is parked, the system automatically starts to charge the EV. It is not necessary to connect a charging cable, etc, and even elderly people can easily use the system.

Himeshima Eco Tourism Promotion Council, for which TPlan works as a secretariat, introduced 14 ultra-small EVs (including one supporting wireless power supply) and runs a rental car business so that the EVs can be used as means of transportation for islanders and tourists. It plans to install wireless charging spots at public facilities and parking areas in the island in the future in the aim of increasing the numbers of charging spots and EVs.