Rutgers Solar-to-Vehicle (S2V) Project


This website reports on a demonstration project aimed at encouraging electric-vehicle day-time, work-place, charging in conjunction with work-place solar-generated power.

Part of our emphasis is on quantifying the fraction of typical work-a-day commuter driving that can be powered on electricity that is sourced from solar generation. This has economic and green-house-gas impacts as well as providing information relevant to the design of future electric and hybrid vehicles, their battery units, and the furtherance of infrastructure to support plug-in vehicles.

This study started in December of 2012 and now several years of usage data have been compiled.


Generally, we have found an ever-increasing up-tick in EV and PHEV plug-in charging, to the point where our infrastructure is not adequate. In response to this overload, we have forged a community of EV-user sharing and communication to maximize the utilization of the limited EV spots available on campus. If you are new to campus or a new EV owner then please drop me an email and I’ll add you to our list-serve.


We hope that this information about charging availability, electric usage models, green energy, and vehicle characteristics will be useful.


Specific questions or inquiries can be sent to:



General Background about this Study

This study was initiated in reference to an academic article that I published in 2009 that performed a simple estimate of the power needed for commuter transit in relation to the area of a solar panel associated with a parking-canopy solar structure. At that time most PHEV’s were converted from normal hybrid – ie., they were not production model vehicles. Now, with the advance of battery and vehicle technology there are more choices and parameters for different real vehicles. The source article analysis of this concept appears here: Journal of Power Sources, “Solar-to-Vehicle (S2V) Systems for Powering Commuters of the Future”, Volume 186, 539-542 (2009), by D. P. Birnie, III. A pre-publication, accepted, version of this paper can be loaded from the Rutgers Library system archive here:


In relation to transportation electrification and mobility then:

1)      We have a very large solar parking structure (8 MegaWatts!!) on the Livingston campus (shown below left), and one ground-based array already generating about 1.4 MW.

2)      We have 4 Plug-in Vehicle Charging stations at the School of Engineering beside the CAIT Building – and four more installed in conjunction with the solar parking structure over on Livingston campus.

3)      We have 2 Chevy Volts – bought by the Rutgers EcoComplex, through a grant provided by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. One of these is being operated to study commuter transit and energy use in connection with the on-campus charging and solar power availability.

4)      And, we have faculty in several departments who are interested in solar, batteries, information systems, algorithm optimization, vehicle design, alternative fuel public policy, and many other topics. Many of these faculty are networked through the Rutgers Energy Institute.



Rutgers Infrastructure

Rutgers has a large solar parking canopy array on Livingston Campus. It covers 32 acres and provides 8 MW peak power. More info on that array can be found here.



Plug-In charging units are located at four different locations on campus:

Busch campus by Engineering – we have 4 Level-2 Chargers here, in Parking Lot 59: – Google Maps gives the location HERE,

Livingston campus in the Yellow Lot – we have 2 Level-2 Chargers here: – Google Maps gives the location HERE,

Livingston Campus in Lot 105 – we have 2 Level-2 Chargers here: – Google Maps gives the location HERE,

Livingston Campus by OIT field offices – we have a DC fast charger – which may be in use by facilities vehicles who operate a fleet of  EVs for servicing the IT network on campus: – Google Maps gives the location HERE .

*** We are hoping to expand our infrastructure soon. If you have suggestions about reasonable locations on other parts of Rutgers far-reaching campuses then please send me email.



For more information contact:

Dunbar P. Birnie III    (
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey   
607 Taylor Rd.
Piscataway, New Jersey, 08854-8065

(c) 2013,2014,2017   Dunbar P. Birnie, III