Bitterne, rapid charger, taxi, fast charger, bay markings, ev only

Rapid Chargers in Southampton

As part of their ongoing wider city council programme on clean transport to improve air quality; Southampton City Council have introduced their first rapid 50kW charging point for electric taxi usage at Lances Hill Car Park, in Bitterne Village. This charging station has the capacity to fully charge an Electric Vehicle in 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the Electric Vehicle’s capacity. This gives the council capacity for electric taxis to be able to charge their vehicle quickly in between journeys; making an incredibly efficient, low-carbon service for taxi and private hire vehicles. Increasing the availability of rapid charging stations around the city will incentivise an increase in the number of electric taxis within Southampton.

Why Rapid Charging?

Following a large roll-out by Southampton City Council of fast EV charging infrastructure throughout public car parks in the city, the council decided to initiate its rapid charging network for electric taxi and private hire use. By improving the accessibility of fast and rapid chargers around the city, the council hope to incentivise more taxis to make the switch to electric vehicles and contribute to the clean air strategy within the city. The initial motivation for Southampton City Council to install their first rapid charger was to incentivise the use of electric taxi and private hire vehicles within the city. Rob Gloyns, Air Quality Project Officer at Southampton City council says “through our Local NO2 Plan and Clean Air Strategy, we have put measures in place to upgrade taxis to cleaner vehicles over the next few years. The key issue we faced was that there was nowhere for the drivers to quickly charge their vehicle during their hours of operation. However, by providing the taxi trade with the infrastructure they need, we hope to see a large increase in the amount of electric taxis within Southampton”.

Southampton City Council are currently offering trials of electric taxis for local drivers, and hope this experience will provide extra information to employees within the taxi service in order to make the switch easier. The council are also offering monetary incentives to make the switch from older, more polluting taxis to low emission alternatives.

Installing rapid chargers

The key challenge with installing rapid chargers relates to the installation itself.  Because the units a very high-powererd, a new connection needed to be put in place, which the local network operator installed prior to Joju arriving on site.  The ABB rapid charger units are very large, weighing more than 250kg, and need to be craned into position.  Once in place, all that was needed was to wire the unit in; itself a major challenge due to the physical size of the wiring required.

Using Rapid Chargers

One of the smaller issues has been allocating the charge point to electric taxis only. To incentivise the trade to increase the amount of electric vehicles in operation in Southampton the charge point will be completely free for the taxis to use for an introductory period. Limiting the use to taxis as opposed to public use means that taxis won’t have to worry about the charging station not being available.

The council have also installed a 22kW fast charging dual socketed unit in the same car park which will enable two public vehicles to charge at the same time. This therefore enables the public to be able to use this car park as a charging point when in and around the city.

Conclusion

This is part of a city-wide programme to increase the availability fast and rapid charging stations. In the coming months Southampton City Council plan a more centrally based rapid charge to be installed. Outside of rapid charging, Southampton are looking at further fast chargers located around the city car parks. They will also be reviewing usage of the rapid chargers and hope to expand more in the future. With plans to trial electric vehicles for the taxi trade and the range of other supporting incentives the council fully expect the number of electric vehicles used in the service to increase over the next few years.

Find out more …

Rotherham, Metropolitan, Borough, Council, Wellgate, car park, solar PV

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s Full Set

Whilst we have seen residential customers installing the complete set of solar PV, battery storage, and electric vehicle chargepoints, it’s something of a rarity at a larger scale.  Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, however, have just completed a £600k scheme installing electric vehicle charge points across the borough, combining this with solar PV and battery storage at some of the sites.  Steve Brown, Transportation Officer, explains: “We’ve been very interested in the potential to replace our diesel/petrol fleet with electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and address air quality in the borough.  But we were very aware that doing so would increase our electricity consumption, and nationally there’d be a problem generating the electricity.  So we have looked to manage these knock-on effects ourselves by installing an equivalent amount of solar PV at the same time to offset this.”  And it’s not just the amount of new electricity that was a concern: “We wanted to use batteries to store this sustainable energy for us to use when we needed it, rather than when it was available

Developing the Scheme

The flagship site in the programme is the Wellgate multi-storey car park, which features 5 dual Alfen Eve charge points, 87kW of solar PV and 3 Tesla Powerwall’s for storage.  The solar PV was hosted in a unique way, on the top deck of the multi-storey.  “It’s an odd feature of almost every multi-storey car park in the country that no-one parks on the top-deck”, says Steve.  “They’re massively underutilised assets, so we took the decision to close the top deck and use this space for generating solar electricity.

An additional five sites incorporated both solar PV and electric vehicle charge points.  Hellaby Depot, Rawmarsh Library, Riverside House, Rother Valley Country Park, and Thrybergh Country Park host 17 dual charge points and 141 kW of solar PV.

Aston Health Centre, Drummond Street car park, Walker Street car park and Wath Library are also home to dual chargepoints, increasing the coverage of the public EV charging network in the Rotherham Metropolitan area.

If we build it, they will come

The main difficulty we had was whether the scheme would work at all”, said Steve.  “There’s a certain amount of ‘If we build it, they will come’ when developing a chargepoint scheme.  But Rotherham does not have the same level of per capita income as parts of southeastern England, and we didn’t know how quickly the community here will take up EVs, as they are still more expensive than petrol or diesel vehicles.

Funding from the Government’s Clean Air Fund early measures programme provided the initiative to get the scheme off the ground, and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council instructed Joju Solar to install the project, following a mini-tender through the ESPO Framework.  Joju Solar are uniquely well placed to deliver schemes like this as we are one of the largest installers of Public Sector EV charge point programmes, as well as having decades of experience installing solar PV and battery storage.

Our fears have been unfounded – the chargepoints are being widely used, and people are prepared to use charge points at outlying council offices and country parks.  From our point of view, it’s worked extremely well”.  The Council are seeing the solar PV generation being used on their own sites, reducing bills, and the battery storage is covering lighting requirements overnight.

A Holistic Public Sector Approach to EV Charge Points

Rotherham’s approach appears to be paying dividends, and there’s an appetite for more.  “The whole system has been really well thought out – there’s chargers in the basement for staff and outside for public use.  We’d like to do more of the same – perhaps in innovative locations like schools and colleges as well”.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s pioneering scheme is a strong example to other councils, particularly in the way that they have looked at the larger energy picture.   Electrifying transport will inherently increase demand for electricity, and it shows a truly holistic approach to sustainability to consider how this will be provided as part of one installation programme.

Find Out More

  • We’ve developed the Joju Charging Portal – an information hub for public sector bodies looking to install electric vehicle charge point programmes
  • The Rotherham Metropolitan Council scheme was procured through the ESPO framework
  • See how the complete set of solar PV, battery storage and electric car charge points can help in the home
fleet, Hampshire Scientific Services, EV, New Motion

Fleet Charging for Hampshire County Council

Hampshire County Council have recently completed the installation of 37 charge points for their electric vehicle fleet, which can charge a total of 54 electric vehicles. The aim is to switch their diesel fleet to electric vehicles in order to reduce their carbon emissions that is a part of their Energy and Carbon Management Programme. Since 2010 the council have accomplished their targets and successfully reduced their carbon emissions throughout the first phase of the Programme. By switching diesel cars to electric vehicles (EVs), this will contribute to reducing their carbon emissions and can help inspire other employees to consider changing to an EV too.

Charge Points for Council Vehicles

Charge points for the council’s electric vehicle fleet have been installed in two phases. During phase one, 17 New Motion charge points were installed across 8 locations in Hampshire in July 2018. The New Motion charge point can charge at an optimal power of up to 22 kW. During phase two, 20 Alfen Eve charge points were installed across 10 locations in Hampshire in May 2019, which can charge 37 electric vehicles as the Alfen Eve charge points have 2 sockets per charge point. Alfen Eve charge points are vandalism proof due to the glasfiber enforced casing. The charge points were installed in car parks and employee’s private properties during phase one and two.

Challenges of Fleet Charge Point Installation

Project management over such a large-scale project for one council have been challenging as cooperation with many various stakeholders and council departments have been necessary to arrange for site surveys, specify charge point locations and moreover.  Joju’s Operations Director, Joe Gabriel explains: “With so many sites wrapped up in one scheme, smooth coordination of the works is critical to delivering the scheme.  Good communication, and flexibility in the delivery programme is essential to coordinating the installation works.  That’s why each project has its own deidcated programme manager, and why we use our own in house electrical teams“.

Replicating Hampshire’s Approach

Hampshire County Council have already planned more instalments of electric vehicle charging points for their evolving fleet and they are currently increasing their public charge points. As pioneers in this space, Hampshire developed their own procurement framework (Central Southern Regional Framework) for the works, which is now being offered across the south of the UK.  This will allow other councls and public bodies to benefit from Hampshire County Council’s experience, and be able to replicate this kind of scheme in their own area.  The intention is to grow this to become a uniform public charging network across the entire region.

Find Out More

Electric police car, charging, chargepoint, New Motion, Central Southern REgional Framework

The Thin Blue Line Goes Green

The trouble is that the bad guys don’t have environmental targets”, declared Dennis Ord,
Head of Transport for Surrey & Sussex Police.  “That means our priority is a vehicle that can deliver the performance we need, but also at low environmental impact”.

Electric Police Cars

With this in mind Surrey and Sussex Police purchased 60 BMW i3 full electric cars.   The vehicles will be used by officers to carry out day-to-day policing activities such as visiting victims or witnesses to take statements, or as part of door-to-door inquiries.   Environmental targets were not the only benefit here – the much lower running costs of electric vehicles compared to diesel or petrol, means that each force is expected to save £120,000 over the next five years.  That’s valuable funds that can be used elsewhere in the police budget.

Procuring electric car chargepoints

Of course, the 60 new electric vehicles needed their own dedicated chargepoints, and with the vehicles on order, installed at short notice.  Surrey and Sussex Police decided to procure through the Central Southern Regional Framework, run by Hampshire County Council, which offers a streamlined procurement process, whilst simultaneously ensuring high quality products and service.  The Central Southern Regional Framework is available to all councils and public bodies (health service, police, fire etc) within the south of England.

Smooth Project Management

30 fast chargers were installed for Surrey Police for across 8 sites in November 2018, followed by a further 40 chargepoints for Sussex Police in December 2018.  “Our main challenges were the rapid turnaround times required – if the vehicles arrived and they couldn’t charge, it would have been a disaster”, said Joju’s Operations Director Joe Gabriel.  “These were also live police sites, requiring careful project management to ensure disruption to police activities was minimised.

Police Leading the way

The Police are modernising their policing with the procurement of a fleet of electric vehicles and associated infrastructure – benefitting the environment and their balance sheet at the same time. As such it is a perfect example of both the benefits of institutions switching to electric fleets and of how public institutions can procure the necessary infrastructure.

The bad guys don’t stand a chance!

Further reading

Bedford Road, Southampton, electric car charging station, public charging station

Cleaning Transport with Southampton City Council

 

Addressing Local Air Quality

Southampton City Council have just completed the installation of 30 electric vehicle chargepoints in the city centre multi-storey car parks.  The scheme is part of a wider city council programme on clean transport aimed at improving air quality in the region by reducing particulates and NOx emissions, which includes encouraging public transportation and  reducing idling engines.  Councillor Christopher Hammond outlines the case : “We’ve been one of 5 places in the UK identified as having an air quality issue, so addressing this is a priority for our local sustainable transport agenda. We’re working extremely hard to improve local air quality in Southampton and encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles is a very important part of our strategy.”

The idea behind the EV charging station programme is to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in the region by making public charging infrastructure more visible.  When the public can see that there is a wide network of public EV charging stations, it reduces range anxiety and encourages the purchase of EVs.  As EVs become more widely adopted this will have positive knock on consequences for air quality, as well as lower CO2 emissions from a climate change perspective.  “We’re also encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles by offering a 90% reduction in parking charges, and we’re consulting on making the Itchen Bridge toll-free for electric cars.”

EV chargepoints for public car parks

Southampton City Council settled on 5 central multi-storey car parks for the first phase of their EV charge station programme, with 6 chargepoints installed at each location.  The sites have high usage, and comparatively long stay times, which means the chargepoints will have good utilisation.  Additionally, electricity already existed on site, and new grid supplies did not need to be installed.  This allowed a quick turnaround on the project, and Joju completed the project around  in 6 weeks from contract award to commissioning and handover.

The council chose New Motion smart chargers for the project for three main reasons.  First, they offer dynamic load balancing, which allows available power to be smartly allocated between cars without overloading the electrics.  Joju Operations Director, Joe Gabriel, explains: “We’ve installed a 22kW 3-phase connection at each site to power the 6 chargers.  If one car is charging, this will receive the full 22kW, equivalent to a 3-phase fast charger.  If three cars are charging, each will receive 7.2 kW, equivalent to a normal fast home charger.  And if all 6 bays are in use simultaneously this drops to 3.6kW.  It means we can be certain we won’t overload the wires if there’s a high charging demand.”   The units also allow users to access via a smart card, and although the scheme will be free initially, in future it will allow the council to make a small charge to the users.  Third, the council also liked the “simple, sleek, smart and subtle” look of the New Motion units, which were considered less gaudy than other alternatives.

Smooth Project Management

Although the works were broadly straightforward, the scheme wasn’t without operational challenges.  The Marlands site had an old electrical fuseboard which required shutting down by the grid operator so we could safely make the connection.  A 2-hour slot was scheduled to make the connection, during which time all lifts in the multi-storey were out of action.  The Joju team managed the flow of people and cars during this time to ensure that customer visits were as hassle free as possible while the works were carried out.

Rob Gloyns, Clean Air Zone Project Officer commented:  “We were grateful for Joju’s smooth project management as it allowed the council to take a more hands-off approach to the delivery phase.  They have been extremely straightforward to deal with, and we’ve known exactly who at Joju has been dealing with what.”

Just the Beginning

Councillor Hammond sums up the first phase of the scheme “We’ve been very pleased with the partnership we’ve built with Joju to install these units – it’s been a seamless piece of project delivery, completed to a very high standard.”  The programme can now focus on expanding the scheme to other areas of the city, including ground car parks and on-street parking.  Joju have also recently won a tender for the installation of EV chargepoints across Hampshire, so the Southampton scheme will be integrated with a wider EV charging station roll-out across the county.

Further Reading

Solar social housing in Brighton

Brighton and Hove City Council commits to tackling both poverty and climate change

The Challenge

Government-imposed budget cuts, inner-city poverty and adaptation to climate change is a triptych of problems that face UK city councils. Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to tackling all three issues one way it has found to address all them is by investing in solar panels for its social housing stock.

Solar PV is a triple win for social housing landlords: it means reduced electricity bills for tenants, reductions in carbon emissions and a reliable income source for 20 years. A triple win that directly combats the triple issue problem that councils are facing.

In 2015 Cllr Bill Randall, the council’s Chair of Housing, said about Brighton’s actions: “We’ve made great progress installing solar panels on our estates. We also sell the surplus energy we’re generating back to the grid and this money goes back into the city’s housing services.”

“£1.55 million is to be invested into solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for council housing over the next financial year,” he added. “Plans are in hand to bring forward the money earmarked for 2015/16 for a further 300 houses and 10 sheltered schemes. Beyond that, we hope to bring solar panels to further 1,000 homes.”

The Solution

Joju Solar designed and installed the Brighton solar project. Installations were completed on more than 200 homes, with system sizes varying between 2 and 3 kWp based on the available roof space. A total capacity of 980 kWp was installed during the project.

During the project improved supply chain logistics to allow for the smooth development of five installations per day per Joju team which helped to streamline the process and improve the efficiency of the whole project ensuring that Joju delivered the project at the best cost possible to the council.

What the residents said

After solar panels were installed on her house in Manor Way, Gwendoline Walls said: “It’s the best thing ever. I really can’t praise it enough. I cooked a meal on my electric cooker, ran the washing machine and dryer, and it only cost me 21p. It’s amazing. I can really see the difference in my bills. Plus they actually look pretty nice on the roof.”

Another resident, in Pulborough Close, said: “No troubles, no hold-ups – it was very easy. The installers were very friendly. The installation was neatly done, with nothing disturbed in the house. We’ve had no problems at all with the system. Plain sailing. We’re very happy with it.”

On any project one of Joju’s main goals is to help residents save on energy bills. We have been part of many social housing projects, and every single one is still special to us, as it brings us all nearer to a low carbon way of living.

 

 

 

 

Protecting homes from rising energy costs in Newham

Newham Council’s showpiece sustainable housing development goes solar

About the installation
Joju Solar won a competitive public tender to install a 20kWp system comprising 72 Sanyo/Panasonic 240W modules and 52 bespoke 45Wp brise soleil louvres on a brand new showpiece sustainable housing development for the London borough of Newham.

Installation time: 2 weeks

Challenge
To design and install an efficient solar PV system within complex architectural constraints and at the same time deliver strong financial returns. The PV installation needed to fit within a very tight program of works.

The new housing development was designed to lead the way in terms of both new sustainable home building and also to be a showcase in the borough for sustainable living. The solar installation was a key factor in allowing the client to meet the level five code for sustainable homes (a mandatory building requirement).

Solution
Joju Solar worked with the architect, principal contractor and other contractors involved in the development to meet the ambitious design limitations and tight program of works and delivered the project on time and on budget.
Our engineers designed a bespoke mounting system which allowed for the solar panels to be mounted above a green
living roof. The installation will deliver a high rate of return whilst at the same time helping the development achieve its sustainability targets.

What they said

Pip Watson, Principal Environmental Health Officer said “We wanted to lead the way in sustainable living locally. Joju delivered a bespoke installation which ticks the green box but will also reap strong financial returns for
the housing development.”

 

 

Merton Council leads the way

Merton Council

London Council leads the way with green energy portfolio

Merton Borough Council have added over 200kWp solar PV to their impressive portfolio of solar in the last 3 months, creating 190,000kWh of free energy for local Schools every year.

Merton Council continue to demonstrate their green energy leadership by being the first council to install solar PV following the cuts to the FITs believing in the benefits that solar PV provide to the council despite the reductions in rates.

Challenges 

Merton had an impressive portfolio of solar PV before Joju started working for them. Sadly there previous installer had gone out of business and as a result left them with a number of sites which were not functioning correctly. They needed a new contractor to help them continue their program and fix any pre-existing system issues. This is where Joju were able to step in. Merton selected us to carry on the work because of our high ranking on the Fusion21 framework and based on personal recommendations.

The benefits

Each School has benefitted through reduced bills. At the same time the Schools’ have the capacity to access up-to-date data produced by the PV system, which is be used for educational purposes. The Council also see a long-term return on their investment through the new FIT.

What they said about us

“Joju Solar installed over 170 kWp of solar panels in under 2 months on challenging school sites across the London Borough of Merton. All stages of the process from planning to install were excellent and we have received high praise from the sites themselves about the way their teams worked on site.

Even in the current Feed in Tariff regime we can see the benefits of installing PV on sites and we are very pleased to have partnered with Joju for these installs and will be continuing to work with them in the future.”

Cabinet member for Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge said: “The installation of so many solar panels to our buildings around Merton is integral to the future of our community. I’m delighted as these solar panels will not only help save money and cut running costs by generating our own electricity, but will also allow the borough to become more environmentally friendly.”

You can read about the installations on Merton Council Website here

Watch a video on the installation here

Metropolitan Police Training Centre

Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Centre receives specialist solar installation

Challenge

The Metropolitan Police wanted to help meet their carbon reduction targets and at the same time generate a long term revenue stream. The installation had to be completed within an extremely tight timeframe within a very complicated live operational environment: the riot police training facility is located beside the installation roof site.

Solution

Joju Solar are live environment retrofit specialists and were able to carry out this installation without any impact on the site’s operations. Our expert project management skills ensured that the project was installed on time and to budget. A  118 kWp system was installed consisting of  529 Sharp 240W Polycrystalline modules and multiple Solarmax inverters across two separate profiled metal roofs at the Training Centre in Gravesend. The system was mounted on a bespoke aluminium racking system especially designed by Joju Solar. The installation time was just two weeks.

“The construction process was well-planned and safely executed and the installations were completed within budget and to exacting timescales.” Martin Jameson, Compliance Director, John Laing Integrated Services.

Oxford University Engineering Department

Oxford University, Engineering Department receives expert Solar PV engineering

Challenge

Oxford University is one of Europe’s most innovative and entrepreneurial universities. They wanted to design and install a PV solar energy system that could help provide students with a more effective way of studying renewable energy. At the same time the system had to be fitted on the roof of the engineering department without penetrating the roof membrane and invalidating the roof’s warranty. Joju also had to integrate the solar energy monitoring system with the department’s existing IT infrastructure.

Solution

The project required a certain amount of innovation  in order to secure the panels onto the flat roof flat roof without fixing them to the building. The problem was solved by instead using ballasted buckets. Joju Solar also obtained a 40% grant for the installation from the government, on behalf of the client.

 

Benefits

Through the 1.36kWp system the University gained an invaluable teaching aid that is used for students across various courses, helping them to understand first hand PV and microgeneration, and helping support its reputation as a world class leader in technology and environmental research. The photovoltaic (PV) system will pay for itself within its guaranteed lifetime.