Distributed photovoltaic solar coordination with plug-in electric vehicles: How intelligent vehicle charging will promote more renewables penetration

Date

2011

Authors

Trevino, Gerardo

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Abstract

World oil production is expected to fall and the recent volatile changes in oil prices provides an extra incentive for countries to move their transportation activities away from oil dependency. In the US approximately 95% of all the fuel used for transportation is made from crude oil, this suggests that in order to reduce oil consumption the transportation sector will need to explore other fuel alternatives and technologies. It is expected that the electrification of the transportation system will play a key role in moving the US away from oil, also other technologies like new battery systems and the smart grid will further enable this transformation. The smart grid allows utilities to remotely control loads to benefit the overall grid performance. By using the same Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) the utility could decide when these electric vehicles will charge thus creating a scenario where consumers can profit by helping the utility reduce or shave peak loads or by taking energy when a surplus of energy occurs. Finally, as renewables become more common controlling when an electric vehicle (EV) charges (or not) could also help reduce the inherit energy intermittency characteristic of renewable systems like wind and solar.

The purpose of this thesis was to create an intelligent controller for a Plug-in Electric Vehicle's (PEV) charging station (EVSE) that would allow the vehicle to charge only during periods where the price of electricity (wholesale) and the local distributed solar production provided an opportunity to save money. A simple charging methodology was developed and tested via simulation; different days (electricity prices) were compared against each other to evaluate the effect of controlling the PEV charging times. Finally a test bed was developed to test the results of the simulation and to have a proof of concept as to how this system will work in a real life scenario.

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Keywords

Distributed solar, Plug-in electric vehicle, renewable penetration, smart EV charging

Citation

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering