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Use case: Grid optimization for utilities with ChargingLedger

Implementing managed charging

Problem

A low-voltage network in urban areas is likely to be affected by the increasing peak consumption of EVs. A residential area with about 250 households, a 250kVA transformer, and a peak consumption of 180kVA between 4 pm and 9 pm was not designed to accommodate the charging of electric vehicles.

Adding charging habits for 40-60 electric vehicles, the network will face a consumption peak twice as large as the earlier peak. The transformer now has to provide a capacity of 360kVA during the same period. In practice, this would imply the need to quadruple the installed capacity of the substations/ transformer in order to ensure grid reliability and resilience.

Product used

  • Grid optimization and energy optimization

  • Residential load shifting program incl. time-of-use rates

Benefit

  • Fewer constraints on transformers and substation

  • Prevent grid investments in near-term

  • Increase use of renewable energy

Integration ChargingLedger

We have developed various optimization methods for ChargingLedger, each of which caters to a specific use case. These methods were developed using mathematical optimization, heuristics and machine learning to analyze user data and energy data. This includes historical data such as base loads from the electric grid as well as user patterns from connected EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment). The software then uses real-time data such as current power demand and number of connected EVSE to develop an optimized charging cycle for each vehicle. The optimized cycle results in shifting the loads to off-peak times and lowers the total cost incurred by the user. Additionally, it ensures the efficient use of renewable energy for charging electric vehicles.

ChargingLedger integrates the EVSE of residential consumers to forecast the consumption of the base load and the charging of electric vehicles. To ensure that the charging time is convenient for the user, we include availability pattern of the cars. This means we don't shift charging cycles to time-lots where vehicles are usually not connected to an EVSE

Benefits for consumers and utility

Consumers benefit from affordable and reliable charging with very little interaction to our system. With time-of-use rates of their utility, consumers receive a financial benefit. The utility profits through reduced investment costs and improved visualization. Furthermore, the energy supplier has the chance to increase the use of renewable energy by shifting charging cycles when more solar, wind, and hydro energy is being produced.

Charging habits in residential areas

Studies suggest that most charging cycles of electric vehicles happen during the grid's peak-time (4 - 9 pm). Hence, around 80% of all charging cycles are highly shiftable (average 11 hrs). Following illustration shows the electricity consumption pattern of EV charging, that is observed for a typical residential area. 

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