Study queries impact of uncoordinated plug-in electric vehicle charging 

Posted: January 24, 2018 by oldbrew in Energy, research, Travel

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Even a relatively small number of EVs charging at once in a local area could put the local transformer under serious strain, as reports.

An influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) charging without coordination could prove challenging to the nation’s electric grid, according to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Matteo Muratori, a transportation and energy systems engineer at NREL and author of the new Nature Energy paper, “Impact of Uncoordinated Plug-in Electric Vehicle Charging on Residential Power Demand,” created a computer simulation to explore the effects of in-home charging on the grid.

“Realizing the full benefits of vehicle electrification will necessitate a systems-level approach that treats vehicles, buildings, and the grid as an integrated network,” said Johney Green Jr., NREL’s associate lab director for Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences.

“Previous research into the amount of energy required by homes hasn’t taken into account plug-in electric vehicles,” said Muratori, who holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. “Given that more people are choosing to drive these types of vehicles and charging them at home, this additional demand should not be overlooked.”

The simulation concluded that a PEV market share of up to 3 percent, which translates to about 7.5 million vehicles, does not significantly impact the aggregate residential power demand. More than 600,000 plug-in electric vehicles were already on the road at the end of 2016, a figure that includes about 150,000 sold during the year.

Muratori also looked at the impact PEV charging might have on a residential distribution transformer. In this case, a problem arises when motorists gathered in a geographic area began buying these vehicles and plugging them in to recharge upon returning home—a practice known as uncoordinated charging.

Even without large numbers of PEVs on the road, this clustering effect “will significantly increase the peak demand seen by distribution transformers and might require upgrades to the electricity distribution infrastructure,” according to Muratori’s paper.

The research also looked at whether the household used the less-powerful Level 1 charging option or the more-powerful—and therefore faster—Level 2 charging option.

Muratori found that as more PEVs are added to a neighborhood, and a higher charging power is adopted, “the distribution infrastructure might no longer reliably support the local electricity demand.” He also noted the higher demand could shorten the expected life of a transformer.

Continued here.

  1. This comes as no surprise, but what are “the full benefits of vehicle electrification”? No explanation is given.

  2. ivan says:

    They have to do a ‘study’ on it when anyone with a little nous knows that it is going to be a problem.

    Plugging in any number of EVs in a local area is going to require a total upgrade of the supply lines and step-down transformer/s supplying that area. Like everything associated the green zealots never mention that nor just who is going to pay for that upgrade.

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    No problem. All those motorists with surnames starting with A to G with be entitled to charge their electric cars on alternate Tuesday, provided the wind farms are working. Those with surnames (or equivalent) starting with H to R will get the alternate Thursday slot, and the rest will be able to recharge on Saturdays (between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.) both subject to availability.
    A new Ministry of only 12,000 public servants (initially) will control the flow of electricity, with special allocated times for various genders, nationalities and persons acquainted with ministerial personnel.
    Please NOTE Lord Deben is permitted to re-charge whenever he likes (as per recommendation from his Committee) and approx. 600 others will get the same priviledge.

  4. Dave Ward says:

    Will non electric car drivers like me, who have (necessarily) made considerable efforts to minimise their electricity demand, be compensated? Nope, didn’t think so…

  5. Bloke down the pub says:

    Surely, the problem is that the plugging in of ev cars will be coordinated, as everyone will plug in when they get home from work.

  6. JB says:

    For those serviced with NG, it would be cheaper and less problematic than distribution upgrades to recharge the battery bank with their own NG powered generator. The device doubles as a backup for outages. Properly done, the heat of combustion gets recovered for HVAC requirements.

    I’ve always thought residential power production was the way to go. Offload the electric utility to service business, government, and public ancillary demands. Let the resident manage their own peak consumption.

    Too novel….

  7. TinyCO2 says:

    In trying to resist my council’s building ambitions I threw in all the new electricity demand from cars, cooking and heating that they’d need to factor in. I shamelessly went full warmist on their collective ass.

  8. dscott says:

    And now we understand the need for the “smart system”. It’s to mitigate the damage and imbalance putting car charging stations at homes… So all this talk about Audi’s intelligent energy network charger is total BS to cover up the fact that anyone in sufficient numbers who attempts to charge their electric car is going to overload the neighborhood wide electric grid. Lies, lies and more lies by the profiteering green scammers.

  9. oldbrew says:

    If people were offered discounted charging rates during the night when demand is low, there would no doubt be a good take-up rate. Some users have day/night rate dual pricing already (Economy 7 in the UK).

  10. On a modern merchant vessel with a Power Management System (PMS), a large load ‘requests’ the power from the PMS, if insufficient is available the PMS will start an additional diesel generator, synchronise etc and connect the waiting load to power.

    So, with a simple bit of total rewiring the local distribution from the nearest transformer, an EV owner plugs in their EV, the car requests power, if it is available (transformer not maxed out) the EV is allowed to take power.

    You could imagine that ‘switched on’ electrical suppliers will give preference to those that pay more……..

  11. ferdberple says:

    the average house in north america uses about 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent of electricity a day. the grid to supply this took decades to build and trillions of dollars.

    you could not hope to run the north american commuter fleet of cars on 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent per day. that will barely take care of heating and air-con.

    leaving nothing to power the houses. to shift to electricity will take probably 5 to 10 times current capacity.

  12. stpaulchuck says:

    now who could possibly have foreseen such a thing? /sarc

    The Law of Unintended Consequences just follows these greenies around like a pit bull with rabies.

  13. Adam Gallon says:

    Hence Smart Meters. Demand side management.

  14. oldbrew says:

    Consortium to drive major UK vehicle-to-grid trial for EVs

    A new consortium has been launched to develop the first large-scale UK domestic trial of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging technology for drivers of electric vehicles (EV).
    . . .
    The smart technology trial is set to be rolled out this year and will see 135 vehicle-to-grid chargers installed in a ‘cluster’ to see how much spare capacity from car batteries can be collected – not only potentially boosting resilience and flexibility for the network during peak demand but also giving customers the chance to sell and earn money on the energy.

    Wear out your car batteries faster – you know it makes [no] sense !?

  15. p.g.sharrow says:

    This massive waste in energy and wealth to reduce the beneficial by-products of combustion to assuage the questionable effect of GHG, must be ended!

    You can not repeal the laws of Physics. No matter how much Liberal Progressive want to achieve their nirvana, of forever Blue Skies and Rainbow Mountains, reality must intrude. Theirs is the way of disaster for everyone…pg

  16. oldbrew says:

    Another exercise in juggling limited power availability…

    Electric vehicle-to-grid projects get £11m UK funding

    A consortium has won £11m ($15.6m) in UK government funding for four electric vehicle-to-grid demonstration projects in Britain.
    . . .
    Ian Cameron, Head of Innovation at UK Power Networks said: “Electric vehicles are effectively energy sources on wheels, so there are tremendous opportunities to explore how electricity networks can use any spare capacity in those batteries to benefit our customers.

    “In the future you could use your car battery to power your house or earn money by selling its spare energy back into the network at peak times, and all of this whilst ensuring you have enough energy for your next day’s commute. We’re innovating to keep our customers moving at the lowest possible cost.”

  17. Craig Austin says:

    Electric cars peaked in 1899, when they were 50% of sales. The starter motor killed the battery powered car. Mr Benz invented the ICE car because Mrs Benz already had an electric vehicle.

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