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Surrey County Council installs pop-up solar car park and EV charging hub to support expansion of electric vehicle fleet

Surrey County Council becomes the second council to install Papilio3

3ti®, the UK’s leading designer, installer, funder and operator of solar car parks (SCPs), has completed the installation of a ‘Papilio3’ pop-up solar car park and electric vehicle (EV) charging hub at the Council Depot Centre in Merrow, Guildford. Opened on 4 June, the latest installation will support the council’s transition to electrified fleets.

Papilio3 was the perfect solution to fulfil the urgent need for EV charging infrastructure for Surrey County Council (SCC), which required an installation suitable for a compact area at the site. Papilio3 is uniquely designed around a recycled shipping container, giving it the ability to be easily transported and lifted into place. The project not only underscored the speed, adaptability and versatility of Papilio3 for installation in space-restricted areas but also demonstrated the 3ti team’s exceptional skill in overcoming uneven terrain at the site.

To date, Papilio3 has been installed in a range of settings across the leisure, public, private, commercial and industrial sectors to quickly meet the need for destination and workplace charging at locations including the iconic Silverstone racetrack, Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre in Wiltshire, Surrey Research Park and Raigmore Hospital in the Scottish Highlands.

SCC will use Papilio3 to charge its growing electric vehicle fleet, which contributes to its sustainability strategy. Each Papilio3 has an installed capacity of 19.3kWp and can produce up to 18MWh of electricity in year one, equivalent to 64,343 EV miles, saving 3.6 tCO2e.

Papilio3 combines local mains power with solar and is built around a recycled shipping container that can be installed in under eight hours. It can fast charge 12 EVs at 7, 11 or 22kW simultaneously, ideal for a range of destinations with 2-5 hour dwell times, removing the reliance on carbon-intense and costly ultra-rapid charge points.

Pre-fitted with a range of safety features, including motion lighting, CCTV and full accessibility for wheelchair users, Papilio3 can be rented on a monthly basis from 3ti. Surrey County Council has agreed a three-year hire for Papilio3.

Paul Wheadon, Strategic Contract Group Manager for the Council’s Highways and Transport Department said: “We’re delighted to have Papilio3 installed, which represents an important milestone in our effort to reduce emissions and expand our electric vehicle fleet.

“With charging capacity up to 22kW, multiple operational vehicles (when not in use) can be charged throughout the day, ensuring vehicles remain operational without the need for long dwell times on low-powered charging options.

“As well as the benefit of generating solar power to charge our fleet, the nature of the structure means we have the flexibility to conveniently relocate the unit elsewhere on the site in the future if needed, unlike with other charging solutions.

“Papilio3 aligns with our wider commitment to reduce the impact of transport on the environment, as we continue to work towards achieving a greener future”.

Ben Marchant, CEO at 3ti, adds: “The installation of Papilio3 at the Council Depot Centre is enabling the council to expand its electric fleet and deliver on its commitments to securing a greener future by decarbonising the transport sector. This particular application introduced new constraints for our team to overcome, further illustrating the versatility of our innovative pop-up solar car park which continues to be able to adapt to a range of varied applications and conditions.”

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with the council to overcome these challenges and are delighted to broaden access to EV charging and, together, ‘Leave Something Better Behind®.’”

As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting electric fleets, 3ti is spearheading a government-funded project that includes a six-month real-world trial using a fleet of over 10 EVs as grid assets. The ‘V2X Fast Hub’ project is using a customised Papilio3 with smart grid controls and a 280 kWh DC battery, while utilising an innovative DC microgrid system to manage bi-directional charging technology through both CCS and CHAdeMO EV charge points, harnessed by Turbo Power Systems. A flexible Energy Management System developed by GridBeyond will help oversee energy management and aggregation services, while Cenex will host the vehicle trial and capture data to share with Innovate UK.

The project will be the first in the world to trial a 12 charge point DC Smart Microgrid for CCS V2X based on ISO15118-20, published in April 2022. The innovative set-up will provide faster, bi-directional EV charging at speeds up to ±30 kW, with much higher power and round-trip energy efficiency than AC solutions.


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