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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Resiliency Impacts of Plug-in Electric Vehicles in a Smart Grid

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This project assesses the impact of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) on the resiliency of the electricity distribution system by: (1) Assessing the use of PEVs as a resiliency resource during grid outages (Mobility Services+), (2) Assessing and simulating the impact of PEVs on the distribution infrastructure during normal operations, and (3) Determining the local environmental impact of clustering PEVs. A previously developed model of a smart grid consisting of two distribution circuits and a distribution substation was modified to enable the use of PEVs in vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) configurations. Scenarios were simulated in which PEVs were used to serve critical loads in a home or community shelters, and a model was developed to assess the feasibility of using PEVs in grid restoration, which determined the inrush current of the substation transformer to determine the required power and energy for startup. The use of clustered PEVs and scattered PEVs in grid restoration was also considered. During normal operations, the stress on system components from high PEV demand resulted in accelerated aging and possible failure, thereby negatively impacting distribution infrastructure during normal grid operations. Smart charging is required to retain an acceptable level of resiliency. In contrast, during grid outages, this study demonstrated that PEVs can be used as an environmentally friendly resiliency resource to both serve critical loads and facilitate grid restoration with the qualification that implementation requires system upgrades including smart switches, upgraded inverters, energy management systems, and communication links.

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