Integration of electric vehicles in a flexible electricity demand side management framework
Recent years have seen a growing tendency that a large number of generators are connected to the electricity distribution networks, including renewables such as solar photovoltaics, wind turbines and biomass-fired power plants. Meanwhile, on the demand side, there are also some new types of electric loads being connected at increasing rates, with the most important of them being the electric vehicles (EVs). Uncertainties both from generation and consumption of electricity mentioned above are thereby being introduced, making the management of the system more challenging. With the proportion of electric vehicle ownership rapidly increasing, uncontrolled charging of large populations may bring about power system issues such as increased peak demand and voltage variations, while at the same time the cost of electricity generation, as well as the resulting Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions, will also rise. The work reported in this PhD Thesis aims to provide solutions to the three significant challenges related to EV integration, namely voltage regulation, generation cost minimisation and GHG emissions reduction. A novel, high-resolution, bottom-up probabilistic EV charging demand model was developed, that uses data from the UK Time Use Survey and the National Travel Survey to synthesise realistic EV charging time series based on user activity patterns. Coupled with manufacturers’ data for representative EV models, the developed probabilistic model converts single user activity profiles into electrical demand, which can then be aggregated to simulate larger numbers at a neighbourhood, city or regional level. The EV charging demand model has been integrated into a domestic electrical demand model previously developed by researchers in our group at the University of Edinburgh. The integrated model is used to show how demand management can be used to assist voltage regulation in the distribution system. The node voltage sensitivity method is used to optimise the planning of EV charging based on the influence that every EV charger has on the network depending on their point of connection. The model and the charging strategy were tested on a realistic “highly urban” low voltage network and the results obtained show that voltage fluctuation due to the high percentage of EV ownership (and charging) can be significantly and maintained within the statutory range during a full 24-hour cycle of operation. The developed model is also used to assess the generation cost as well as the environmental impact, in terms of GHG emissions, as a result of EV charging, and an optimisation algorithm has been developed that in combination with domestic demand management, minimises the incurred costs and GHG emissions. The obtained results indicate that although the increased population of EVs in distribution networks will stress the system and have adverse economic and environmental effects, these may be minimised with careful off-line planning.
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