04/07/2022

Guide to EV Charging, Battery Storage and Bidirectional Charging

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4 Min. Read

Electric vehicles are here to stay. So, the industry will need to address the challenge of battery storage to meet the demand for EV charging units. This guide will walk you through the EV charging industry and arm you with the information you need.

EV charging industry is expanding

Expanded options are essential as American EV sales are projected to exceed 30% for new vehicle sales by 2030. Therefore, storage and use of home energy with EVs and charging stations connected to residential power banks present an opportunity that should not be missed.

Choosing the best charging option with other energy storage initiatives is the first step towards success. Traditional automobile manufacturers have been among the first to advertise the advantage of EV ownership and home power storage. General Motors has even announced that it sees EVs as home power banks in its partnership with PG&E.

Homeowners are demanding at-home charging units

Most EV owners want to charge their vehicles at home. The desire to charge at home makes sense. Powering an EV is like charging your cellphone. You charge your EV while you sleep, just as you probably charge your phone.

Meeting this increasing demand will require homeowners to ensure their property can accommodate the various available power options. California leaders have tried to help by requiring all newly built single-family homes and 40% of multifamily units to be EV-capable.

Residential charging goes back to the old real estate adage of location, location, location. Over 90% of current EV owners have garages. A certified installer can establish a charging point and ensure that a residence is EV-capable regardless of the location.

Needs and requirements for at-home charging

Power for an EV charging station has traditionally come from a utility. This option is still available but new choices give the homeowner with an EV more control over the process.

Charging stations have and use different power levels, each offering a different time advantage to EV owners. A Level 2 charging station is recommended for most residential EV charging. This charger can deliver anywhere from 12 to 80 miles of driving range per hour of charging.

Level 1 (slow) and Level 2 (recommended) chargers are best used at home and promise improved reliability for your EV. Level 3 chargers are fast chargers are not available for the home but require much less time to provide power to the EV battery. However, some EV automakers warn that frequent use of fast chargers may degrade an EV’s battery life and reliability.

Battery banks are becoming popular for residential battery storage

Home battery storage, or residential battery banks, store energy from various power sources. This energy could come from the local utility, a solar system installed at the residence, or even the EV parked in the driveway.

Battery banks are also called “deep cycle batteries.” Just like car batteries, there are different kinds of residential batteries. A certified installer can help a homeowner select from standards such as power rating, battery storage capacity, efficiency and most importantly, safety.

Planning for the size and potential use of the battery bank is the first step toward choosing the right options. Replenishing the battery storage for an EV homeowner can boost planned performance further.

Benefits of battery banks

Many states are offering incentive programs for these types of home electrification improvements. For example, California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) encourages property owners to establish battery banks. However, the property owner’s eligibility for various rebate levels depends upon location and installation.

Battery banks assure homeowners that they will have energy when they need it. In Addition, a battery bank provides protection against public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) which frequently cause the loss of electrical power.

EVs can receive power from battery banks or share that power back. A plus is that the movement of energy in EV batteries will extend their life. As a result, this process prolongs the EV’s battery life while saving the EV owner money.

What is bidirectional charging?

Combining EVs, battery banks and solar power makes sense on multiple levels. A bidirectional charging solution offers the best way to combine these elements.

The primary task of a bidirectional charger is to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and back again. AC is the energy that powers your lights. DC is the energy that powers your EV and comes from your solar system or even your EV.

Bidirectional chargers also convert DC to AC. Converting DC to AC allows your refrigerator to run and your household lights to stay lit from either your battery bank or your EV. The bidirectional path makes these solutions powerful, and their controls can simplify a homeowner’s life.

Solar homeowners can also use their EVs to hold potential power. The EVs can share their power with the home when needed.

While some current EVs are not designed to work as power banks, a bidirectional charger is designed to overcome this obstacle.

Installation options

Homeowners want to know that the electrification solution they choose will provide long and reliable service while adding value to their homes. Professional design and installation can give them that confidence.

Qmerit is a leader in residential electrification. Qmerit’s white-glove installation and integration services assure homeowners of the highest safety and quality standards. Contact us today for expert guidance on home electrification and EV charging options.

Author: Lowry Stoops Lowry Stoops President, Qmerit Network