Car-packed Sofia sets EU example with solar car charger

Oct 17, 2012
A man parks his electric powered car at a charging station in Sofia. Bulgaria's car-packed capital has recently set a EU example in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions by installing its first state-of-the-art solar power charger for electric cars, officials said.

Bulgaria's car-packed capital Sofia has set an EU example in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions by installing its first state-of-the-art solar-powered charger for electric cars, the project's managers said Wednesday.

" can be polluting so we thought we would build this photovoltaic station and charge electric cars with green ," engineer Rosen Malchev told AFP.

Sofia's solar station was cited by the European Commission earlier this month as one of a handful of success stories in Europe's fight against climate change.

The small installation on a bustling Sofia boulevard cost 25,600 euros ($33,600) to build, with half of it funded by the United Nations Development Programme.

It can only charge one vehicle at a time but clients do not have to pay as "its energy is a gift from the sun," Malchev said.

"The photovoltaic equipment feeds from the light and not the heat and is even more efficient in winter time, when there is no need for cooling it down," he explained.

Malchev's Green Energy consortium is part of the European Green eMotion project, which seeks to help countries reduce their by promoting research and exchange of electromobility solutions.

On Wednesday, the government vowed to promote environmentally-friendly means of transportation, including the production and use of electric cars as well as a network of charging stations across the country.

About 450 electric and are currently registered in Bulgaria, a country of 7.4 million, according to police data.

Bulgaria, which joined the European union in 2007, has one of the oldest and most polluting car fleets in Europe, with two-thirds of vehicles bought second-hand due to people's meagre financial means.

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Sonhouse
not rated yet Oct 17, 2012
So how many square meters is the panel? How many watts is it producing? In the winter, the sun is lower, closer to horizon, so how could it be more efficient? The cooling issue would have to be pretty significant for winter to offset cooling problems in the summer. Also, how efficient are the panels? Low efficiency thin film amorphous ones or old school thick silicon? How many hours does it take to fully charge a car? I assume a car would take something like 25 Kwhr to fill the batteries, give or take. Using that figure, you would have to generate about 3kw for 8 hours solid to fill up your car. How much actual real estate needs to be used to get 3 Kw? Which of course depends on the efficiency of the cells.

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