Optimization of a charging system for electric vehicles : A case study in Magangué, Colombia

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: To reduce the emissions from the transport sector, the electric vehicle (EV) is a promising alternative to the internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV). An important aspect of implementing new transport systems in terms of EVs is the charging strategy, as many energy sources with different limitations can be utilized. Although various studies have investigated charging strategies for electric cars, there is a lack of optimized charging strategies for electric boats with specific considerations for these cases. In Colombia, the river transport sector plays an important role in areas with lack of access to other transport alternatives. This study presents an optimization of the charging strategy for an electric boat that is planned to traffic the Magdalena River in the region of Magangué, Colombia. The objective of the optimization model is to minimize the electricity bill while maintaining a desired transport service. The study considers solar photovoltaics (PV), the electric grid and battery storage for charging, and compares different battery sizes in a scenario analysis. Furthermore, the impact of the instability of the grid is included in terms of a sensitivity analysis of grid blackouts, together with varying battery investment costs. The results show that PV is a recommended investment as it lowers the charging cost and gives positive results in terms of economic feasibility. To further increase the economic feasibility, lower the charging costs and improve the reliability of the system, it is suggested to invest in energy storage. The techno-economic feasibility of storage is heavily affected by battery investment costs and number of grid blackouts affecting the boat charging. If the investment cost is low and the number of blackouts is high, a large storage is a suggested solution.

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