Last Friday, we had the opportunity to welcome the international SolarButterfly expedition to our facility in Saint-Jérôme.
Several visitors, representatives from the city of Saint-Jérôme, and journalists participated in the event. We thank them all for coming to see this inspiring project and for discussing solar energy and sustainable development with us.
The folks from Tesla Laval were also present on-site, offering visitors the opportunity to test drive a Tesla Model Y as well as a Tesla Model X, a model that continues to draw attention with its famous “falcon-wing” doors.
We were fortunate to have good weather, which allowed us to see the solar charging process of the electric vehicle in person. For reminder, it’s the SolarButterfly trailer that takes care of recharging the Tesla Model X, using solar panels mounted on its roof and a series of ground-mounted solar panels. (see explanations HERE)
For those curious to know about the recharge process, it works as follows: a series of solar panels recharge a 48V battery with a capacity of 5kWh, which is then connected to an inverter. The vehicle charging station is subsequently powered by alternating current from this inverter, producing 230V 50Hz current (European standard). Therefore, it needs to be sunny when the vehicle is recharging since the trailer has only minimal storage capacity. The trailer’s battery acts as a buffer between solar production and the recharging process. Consequently, it is impossible to store solar energy while driving or power the car while it’s moving, as an electric vehicle connected to a charger does not allow driving.
During this sunny afternoon, we noticed that the solar recharge power consistently hovered around 10 kW, which is approximately the maximum charging power that the Tesla Model X can accommodate.
Just to provide some context, the Tesla Model X has a battery capacity of approximately 90 kWh. Hence, under ideal conditions of full sunlight, it takes about 10 hours to fully recharge the vehicle’s empty battery.