UC Irvine Solar Shade Keeps the Grid "Cool"

April 21, 2014

UC Irvine's plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) drivers now have the ability to charge while attending class or work. The PEV charging stations, installed at UC Irvine as part of the "Irvine Smart Grid Demonstration" project in collaboration with Southern California Edison, consists of a 48 kW array of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels located on top of an on-campus parking garage, a battery energy storage system (BESS), electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), and smart PEV charging capabilities. The project is studying how PEV charging can be implemented with the capability to (1) minimize the impact on the grid during on-peak periods, and (2) charge vehicles with renewable energy around the clock.

The 100 kWh BESS displaces demand on the grid during on-peak demand periods and cloudy days should PEV charging exceed the solar PV generation, and provides a source of renewable power for night charging. Twenty (20) parking spaces, each equipped with a 6.6 kW EVSE, are available for PEV's with a UC Irvine parking permit.