One of our most popular features is going solar! Well, almost. If you have solar panels, smart charging will be able to make even more accurate predictions on when it’s actually ‘smart’ to charge. Sounds fancy right? Let us explain.
To start off, it makes sense to do a little recap of what smart charging actually is. Tibber has simply developed a groundbreaking technology that charges your EV when the price of electricity is at its lowest during the day. As you may know, the price of electricity varies throughout the day, and is often at its highest in the mornings and in the evenings when people return from work. With smart charging, customers can plug the car into the charger when they return home, and Tibber will automatically make sure that the car is charged when the electricity price is at its lowest. In the app you can easily set what time you want the car to be fully charged, and we will make sure that it is fully charged by that time (full charge is always prioritized over price). Read more about smart charging here.
Solar smart charging
Now, what does the sun bring to the table? ☀️ (other than the obvious benefits not related to charging, of course). Basic smart charging predicts when it’s ‘smart’ to charge by looking at the electricity spot prices. Solar smart charging on the other hand, also takes into account predicted excess solar production, grid fees and energy taxes (also tax rebate for SE). Which makes smart charging even smarter. I’m proud of you, sun.
Want to dive a bit deeper? The solar smart charging algorithm has an input from a forecaster that predicts the solar overproduction for your home based on weather forecasts and your historical consumption and production data. The goal of the algorithm can be set to one of two options; the default option is to optimize for the cost of charging, while the second option is to optimize for self consumption.
If optimizing for charging cost is selected, the algorithm calculates the cost for charging for every hour based on how much overproduction is forecasted. In the cases when the solar overproduction is not enough to charge the vehicle alone, the remaining energy required is drawn from the grid. For example: If your car needs 7 kWh to charge every hour; and the solar overproduction is 4 kWh. The rest (3 kWh) is drawn from the grid. At the end of the hour, you only pay for the 3 kWh drawn from the grid, which is cheaper than fully drawing 7 kWh from the grid (thanks Captain Obvious). In reality, the algorithm also takes the revenue you could have made by selling the solar energy into account, so it is actually a bit more complex than that. Remember that your smart meter measures net energy per hour, so don't stress if a cloud passes and you produce less energy for a few minutes.
When selecting the “optimize for self consumption” option, the algorithm will instead ensure that your vehicle charging uses as much of your solar production as possible by scheduling charging whenever there is sufficient solar production.
How can I get started with solar smart charging?
First and foremost you need to be a Tibber customer. The other things you need to be able to take advantage of this fancy new feature are a Tibber supported EV/ Easee wallbox/Zaptec wallbox and solar panels.
At this stage, solar smart charging is available as an option in the Easee charger settings. For those of you who have a supported EV & inverter and would like this feature enabled, please contact our customer support team.