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Paired Power debuts solar microgrid charging for EV fleets

By Chris Crowell

The electric vehicle (EV) charging innovators at Paired Power are scaling up their product line to address issues concerning EV fleet charging. PairFleet is a customizable microgrid charger that accommodates EV fleets of various sizes and speeds up the installation of new EV chargers.

“We found that many of our customers required larger scale charging capacity, so we scaled up our PairTree microgrid into a system that can charge larger numbers of vehicles,” said Tom McCalmont, Paired Power CEO. “Many customers are experiencing long delays for adding grid infrastructure from their utility for EV charging, and microgrids are a rapidly deployable solution to the problem.”

Paired Power hit the scene with an EV charging solar canopy, the PairTree, that combines battery storage with bifacial solar panels. The idea is to increase energy yields and lower maintenance costs without needing tracker mechanisms and moving parts. PairTrees deliver consistent, air-gapped EV charging at zero cost for delivered energy.

Microgrid EV charging

With the new PairFleet, Paired Power is focused on the growing problem of grid inadequacy. PairFleet increases the number of EV charging ports available by combining energy from a site’s existing grid with solar power and battery storage. Each PairFleet installation is designed to meet the specific requirements of the site, based on available grid capacity and a client’s energy and power needs for EV charging.

The microgrid charging design can decrease daily charging costs and provides supplemental backup solar power – all without having to expand current existing electrical service. With PairFleet’s app, users can get remote diagnostics and manage electric usage in real time.

With no surface penetrations, no components heavier than OSHA two-person limits and no need for ladders or bucket trucks, construction takes two people around half a day, McCalmont says.
The structure’s feet are the width of a standard parking space apart, while the canopy extends a half-space on either side, enabling a continuous canopy if installed on every second parking space.

The other two issues with canopy construction — slow permitting and interconnection delays — are solved by making the PairTree islandable. The attached battery box fits up to a 40-kWh battery, one or two Level 2 chargers, and a bidirectional inverter, enabling off-grid operation from day one. It can be connected later, if needed. Cellular connectivity enables upgrades to be pushed out and monitoring to be done remotely.

McCalmont sees the potential markets spanning from C&I parking lots to multi-family units to off-grid locations where a limited amount of charging could be an amenity, such as beaches and campsites. The 75 miles of charge delivered by 5 kW of bifacial modules on each PairTree meet more than twice a typical driver’s 30-miles-a-day needs, though it will probably need to be grid-tied to meet public charging demands.

For homeowners seeking resilience, living off-grid or facing high electricity prices, its price tag may not be a deterrent, especially given its bidirectional charging.

Source: Solar Builder Magazine