Mostafa Farouk Shaaban
Accommodating a High Penetration of Plug-in Electric Vehicles in Distribution Networks
The last few decades have seen growing concern about climate change caused by global warming, and it now seems that the very future of humanity depends on saving the environment. With recognition of CO2 emissions as the primary cause of global warming, their reduction has become critically important. An effective method of achieving this goal is to focus on the sectors that represent the greatest contribution to these emissions: electricity generation and transportation. For these reasons, the goal of the work presented in this thesis was to address the challenges associated with the accommodation of a high penetration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PEVs) in combination with renewable energy sources.
Every utility must consider how to manage the challenges created by PEVs. The current structure of distribution systems is capable of accommodating low PEV penetration; however, high penetration (20 % to 60 %) is expected over the next decades due to the accelerated growth in both the PEV market and emission reduction plans. The energy consumed by such a high penetration of PEVs is expected to add considerable loading on distribution networks, with consequences such as thermal overloading, higher losses, and higher harmonic distortion. A further consideration is that renewable energy resources, which are neither exhaustible nor polluting, currently offer the only clean-energy option and should thus be utilized in place of conventional sources in order to supply the additional transportation-related demand. Otherwise, PEV technology would merely transfer emissions from the transportation sector to the electricity generation sector.
As a means of facilitating the accommodation of high PEV penetration, this thesis proposes methodologies focused on two main themes: uncontrolled and coordinated charging. For uncontrolled charging, which represents current grid conditions, the proposal is to utilize renewable distributed generation (DG) units to address high PEV penetration in a way that would not be counterproductive. This objective is achieved through three main steps. First, the benefits of allocating renewable DG in distribution systems are investigated, with different methodologies developed for their evaluation. The benefits are defined as the deferral of system upgrade investments and a reduction in the cost of energy losses. The research also includes a proposal for applying the developed methodologies for an assessment of the benefits of renewable DG in a planning approach for the optimal allocation of the DG units. The second step involves the development of a novel probabilistic energy consumption model for uncontrolled PEV charging, which includes consideration of the uncertainty and variability associated with vehicle usage. The final step is the development of a long-term dynamic planning approach for the optimal allocation of renewable and dispatchable DG units in order to mitigate the impact of PEVs.
The second theme addressed in this thesis is coordinated PEV charging, which is dependent on the ongoing development of a smart grid communication infrastructure, in which vehicle-grid communication is feasible via appropriate communication pathways. This part of the work led to the development of a proposed coordinated charging architecture that can efficiently improve the performance of the mechanism for coordinating PEV charging in a smart grid. The architecture is comprised of two novel units: a prediction unit and an optimization unit. The prediction unit provides an accurate forecast of future PEV power demand, and the optimization unit generates optimal coordinated charging/discharging decisions that guarantee service reliability, minimize operating costs, and satisfy system constraints.