Belgium's First Solar Fast Charging Station

2016-06-01 - Flemish Energy Minister, Bart Tommelein, launched Belgium's first Solar Fast Charging Station on Friday, May 13 at Living Tomorrow in Vilvoorde. ABB Benelux supplied the high-speed charger and is responsible for converting solar power into electricity.

Opening Solar Fast Charging Station
Oliver Cafmeyer (DMPC) demonstrates the high-speed charger to Minister Tommelein

Unique charging concept
The Solar Fast Charging Station offers a glimpse of the future of electric charging. This unique concept not only provides extremely fast charging for electric cars, but also takes the driver's comfort into account.

It takes an average of fifteen minutes for an electric car to be charged to 80 percent capacity with ABB's high-speed charger. The Solar Fast Charging Station offers free WiFi while the car is charging, and drivers can also get lunch or a cup of coffee at Living Tomorrow.

Solar power
The solar panels that are integrated into the charging station provide around 25,000 to 30,000 kilometers (roughly 15,000 to 19,000 miles) of driving for electric vehicles. The solar power they generate is first fed into the electrical grid through an ABB power inverter. The high-speed charger then partially uses solar power to charge electric cars, and the rest of the power is green energy from the grid.

High-speed charging will be the standard
Oliver Cafmeyer, General Manager of Power Conversion at ABB Benelux, says the Solar Fast Charging Station is a step in the right direction. “High-speed charging of electric cars is becoming standard. Drivers want high flexibility and want to be able to charge a car in as short a time as possible. This enables them to cover longer distances without having to stop for long periods.”

Cafmeyer believes that the picture is clear for high-speed charging in the near future. He says, “The new electric cars that will be introduced to the market will only raise the demand for fast DC charging further. Slow AC charging will mainly be done at home, while fast DC charging will become the standard on the road and in urban areas.”

The Solar Fast Charging Station is an initiative of Living Tomorrow. In addition to ABB, ENGIE Cofely, Stradus Infra, MUTEC, and Schréder also collaborated on this innovative concept. From this moment on, the new charging station will be continually available to the public.