Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle Charger Unveiled

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An intriguing solar-powered electric vehicle charger has been created and recently unveiled by Princeton Satellite Systems in Plainsboro, New Jersey. Called a SunStation, it employs solar panels to recharge electric vehicles, even two at the same time. The company says their EV charger can charge a Prius hybrid plug-in in 1.5 hours, a Chevy Volt in 5 hours, and a Nissan Leaf in eight.

The advantage of their SunStations is that they can be installed just about anywhere, as long as there is enough sunlight. (Most EV chargers need to be located near a conventional power supply.)


SunStations can be used for power needs other than electric vehicles, such as homes or small businesses after an electrical outage from a storm. There may also be interest for use in other countries where there is no grid, and no or little electricity. A SunStation might actually be able to provide electricity to an entire village in some remote areas.

There are two sizes available, one with four solar panels and a 1.6 kilowatt battery for $27,000 and a larger one priced at $55,000.
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The President of Princeton Satellite Systems said some companies, like Starbucks, have expressed interest. Organizations with large staff may consider them also as a perk for their employees, such as high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. At the search engine called Infoseek years ago, there was at least one EV charger in the company parking lot where the CEO would charge his EV-1.

In August of this year, Santa Clara County (in the Silicon Valley area) announced it has twelve EV charging stations available to the public at the County of Santa Clara Civic Center.

Princeton Satellite Systems, Inc. also develops software for the aerospace industry, iPhone apps, and will be releasing CubeSat hardware as well.

Image Credit: Princeton Satellite Systems

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Jake Richardson

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