Optimisation of charging strategies and energy storage operation for a solar driven charging station

University essay from KTH/Energiteknik

Abstract: The Swedish energy sector is undergoing transformational changes. Along with a rapid growth of renewables and a shift towards electromobility, the transformation is expected to bring challenges to the power system in terms of grid instability and capacity deficiency. Integrating distributed renewable electricity production into the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is a promising solution to overcome those challenges. The feasibility of implementing such a charging infrastructure system in northern Sweden is however uncertain, as the solar resources are scarce in the long winter period. This study aims to maximise the value of a solar powered EV charging station, placed in a workplace environment in Umeå. An integrated system model of the charging station is developed, comprising separate models of a solar PV system, a battery energy storage system (BESS), the workplace EV fleet and the building Växthuset, onto which the charging station will be installed. Three scenarios are developed to study the charging station’s system performance under different EV charging strategies and BESS dispatch strategies. Two additional scenarios are developed to study the potential grid services that the charging station can provide in the winter period. A techno-economic assessment is performed on each scenario’s simulation results, to measure their effect on the charging station’s value. It involves analysing the charging station’s profitability and how well the BESS is utilised by the end of a ten-year project period. The charging station’s grid impact is further assessed by its self-consumption of solar power, peak power demand and the grid energy exchange. The assessed charging station values indicate that the overall grid impact was reduced with dynamic EV charging strategies and that the BESS capacity utilisation was strongly influenced by its dispatch strategy. The charging station further implied a net capital loss under the explored scenarios, even while the dynamic charging strategies brought by a slightly increased economic value. Moreover, the studied winter scenarios showed a great potential for the charging station to provide ancillary services to the local distribution grid while maintaining an efficient BESS capacity utilisation. The winter period’s peak power demand was significantly reduced by optimising the BESS operation to shift peaks in the building’s load profile, and peaks caused by the additional EV charging demand and the EV heaters, to off-peak hours. On this basis, future research is recommended for improved simulations of the charging station operation and to study additional value-added features that the solar driven charging station can bring.

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