Boulder, Colorado Deploys Envision Solar EV ARC Charging Station

MAY 7 2014 BY MIKE ANTHONY 15

Envision Solar charging station setup

Envision Solar charging station setup

Boulder, Colorado definitely has a lot of pleasant scenery everywhere you look. Adding to that now is a new kind of scenery as the city is equipped with charging stations called Autonomous Renewable Chargers (ARC) by Envision Solar.

These “Solar Trees” are standalone units and provide their own energy through the solar panels with no external power source.

While generating approximately 16 kWh a day, that energy is stored in the unit’s on-board battery storage of 22 kWh that can charge up to 2 EVs per day depending on vehicle, its battery size and climate conditions.

The solar array can track the sun’s location to maximize generated electricity.

These units can be relocated if needed, as they are fully mobile and do not require a foundation. 

Envision Solar is dedicated to provided unique charging station layouts, as well as providing charging stations with an independent source of energy.

To elaborate, Construction Manager for the City of Boulder Department of Public Works, Glenn Magee stated:

“This represents some completely sustainable technologies, it is a fully self sufficient operation. We’re not tapping any power from any source, it’s generated through the solar panels and it goes directly to the charger. It’s totally sustainable and a complete use of our natural resources.”

The CEO of Envision Solar Desmond Wheatley further adds:

“These deployments in Boulder really demonstrate the value of the EV ARC.”

“It was not economically feasible to run trenching and grid connections to these important locations but the EV ARC delivers EV charging where traditional chargers cannot which represents a huge opportunity for this product and our company. We are proud to have the City of Boulder as a customer and look forward to working with them and other cities to deliver renewably energized EV charging without the difficult or sometimes impossible tasks associated with tying to the grid.”

More on the company can be found by clicking here.

Categories: Charging

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15 Comments on "Boulder, Colorado Deploys Envision Solar EV ARC Charging Station"

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How much do they cost?

I dunno, but I want one in my driveway 🙂

39,000 last time I called them. About 1K for delivery also. I was hoping they were about half that.

Ouch! Well, most of that money is in the batteries & structure. The PV panels should be pretty cheap.

Yeah, I can get UL listed panels for under a buck per watt. You could do a grid tied solar system for half the price and make two or three times the power.

Looks like they would be pretty hard pressed to charge 2 Leafs per day with only 22 kwh of storage.

Depending on the cells they use, the tracking solar array atop the unit produces somewhere between 2 and 3 kW for the equivalent of 5 to 6 hours/day.

So with an initially full battery, charging 2 Leafs during a sunny day would be no problem. What happens afterwards is another question though…

They could add a wind turbine to it, and it would also build charge at night.

The solar panel in the picture appears to be facing north. How experienced are they?

Indeed, it’s not facing the sun.

Not sure how that articulated joint works, but could it be that the tracker maybe isn’t enabled yet?

Or the batteries are full, and the array default to this position in that case? (no point cooking it)

My concern would be with the reliability of the tracker, i.e. O&M costs. It’s a level of complication that’s rarely justifiable other than solar direct pumping, especially with today’s panel costs. OTOH, if the company is maintaining them at least reliability isn’t on the customer. Interesting idea, anyway.

I think they extend much farther than they would appear to.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that. That can’t possibly be what they wanted!

At first I was thinking they are pretty silly because of the expensive cost of the batteries. But then I realized that by not having to pull any permits, do any digging, do any electrical work, or even required any electrical connection at all .. . that pretty interesting. And you can drop them anywhere.

And it’s portable, for future use elsewhere.