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Optimal Charging of EVs in a Real Time Pricing Electricity Market

Journal Article
ISSN: 2167-4191, e-ISSN: 2167-4205
Published April 08, 2013 by SAE International in United States
Optimal Charging of EVs in a Real Time Pricing Electricity Market
Citation: Mody, S. and Steffen, T., "Optimal Charging of EVs in a Real Time Pricing Electricity Market," SAE Int. J. Alt. Power. 2(2):337-349, 2013,
Language: English


The idea of grid friendly charging is to use electricity from the grid to charge batteries when electricity is available in surplus and cheap. There are several ways of achieving this, for example using droop control, using night time electricity tariffs, or using smart metering. The goal is twofold: to avoid putting additional load on the electricity grid and power generation, and to reduce the cost to the consumer.
This paper looks at the saving potential when charging an electric car using real time tariffs provided by a smart meter, using the Ameren tariffs in Illinois as an example. If prices are known in advance (day-ahead pricing), the optimization only requires picking the cheapest time slots for charging the battery. Further savings can be made by using real time prices that are not known in advance, but the optimization problem then depends on price prediction models, and it becomes much more difficult to solve. This paper presents a simple suboptimal approach, and it quantifies the potential improvements that could be made using more sophisticated price predictions.
The result is that cost savings in the order of about 50 USD (1/3 of the electricity costs) are feasible if a fast charger is used using real time pricing. The scale of the savings is such that complex optimization strategies are not worthwhile, and for the foreseeable future simple solutions are expected to be more cost effective.