COLUMBIA, MD.—A high-efficiency, high-visibility solar-powered car-charging system made by a Maryland company is giving electric vehicle owners a means to refuel their vehicles with clean energy—and just as important, a way for businesses to attract and serve this new class of consumer: the EV driver.
Advanced Technology & Research Corp., an engineering and manufacturing firm based in Columbia, Md., recently installed its first high-efficiency, small-footprint Sun-Tracking Solar EV Charging Station at an auto-related business, Win Kelly Chevrolet/Buick/GMC of Clarksville, which sells the Chevy Volt. A ribbon-cutting gave business owners from several different fields—including automotive, hospitality and real estate—the opportunity to view the innovative system and see how it can attract EV drivers.
“The ATR Sun-Tracking Solar EV Charging Station is amazing,” declared Kevin Bell, Win Kelly’s president. “It generates free solar power to charge our electric vehicles, and when not in use charging a vehicle, it feeds back into the grid. Its biggest asset, though, is that it makes a dramatic and immediate merchandising statement that we sell EVs and are a green company.”
“Electric vehicles can be the future of energy efficient transportation,” said Congressman John Sarbanes. “By making it easier for drivers to recharge their cars—especially using innovative, clean energy, solar-powered car-chargers—we can create jobs, encourage consumers to choose vehicles that protect the environment and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.”
Local Businesses Applauded
“I am exceedingly proud that one of our own local companies, ATR, has developed such cutting-edge technology in the field of renewable energy; and that another local company, Win Kelly, had the foresight and initiative to purchase this innovative, high-profile solar car-charger and make it available to EV drivers,” said county executive Ken Ulman. “This partnership between Win Kelly and ATR is unique and reinforces that Howard County continues to lead the way when it comes to environmental sustainability.”
The Sun-Tracking Solar Car-Charger, with six solar panels set on an 18-foot-tall pole, is highly visible and quite striking, yet it occupies only about the same ground footprint as a light pole. The system’s solar array utilizes ATR’s GPS-based sun-tracking technology to produce 30 percent to 45 percent more power than rooftop or canopy-mounted solar panels. The pole-top mount keeps the panels well overhead, and the system is grid-tied to assure continuous availability of charging power.
“ATR’s solar-powered EV charging station is just the kind of convenient, environmentally friendly innovation that’s needed to draw EV-driving consumers to our county’s businesses,” said State Delegate Guy Guzzone.
ATR installed its first sun-tracking solar EV charging station last August in a busy commercial section of Bethesda, Md., where it’s serving local EV owners as well as those passing through. The company also recently put up an array of 12 dual-panel, sun-tracking devices to provide electricity for the Columbia Association’s River Hill Pool and Neighborhood Center. The same type of device is powering small electric vehicles at the Mid-Atlantic Terminal at the Port of Baltimore and helping lower the electric bills at area homes. And last year, the George Howard Building in Ellicott City got pole-mounted, single-panel sun-tracking devices for their parking lot.
Go to ATR.