An Assessment of the System Costs and Operational Benefits of Vehicle-to-Grid Schemes

C.B. Harris, October 2013 (Citation)


With the emerging nationwide availability of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) at prices attainable for many consumers, electric utilities, system operators, and researchers have been investigating the impact of this new source of electricity demand. The presence of PEVs on the electric grid might offer benefits equivalent to dedicated utility-scale energy storage systems by leveraging vehicles’ grid-connected energy storage through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) enabled infrastructure. Existing research, however, has not effectively examined the interactions between PEVs and the electric grid in a V2G system. To address these shortcomings in the literature, longitudinal vehicle travel data are first used to identify patterns in vehicle use. This analysis showed that vehicle use patterns are distinctly different between weekends and weekdays, seasonal interactions between vehicle charging, electric load, and wind generation might be important, and that vehicle charging might increase already high peak summer electric load in Texas. Subsequent simulations of PEV charging were performed, which revealed that unscheduled charging would increase summer peak load in Texas by approximately 1%, and that uncertainty that arises from unscheduled charging would require only limited increases in frequency regulation procurements. To assess the market potential for the implementation of a V2G system that provides frequency regulation ancillary services, and might be able to provide financial incentives to participating PEV owners, a two-stage stochastic programming formulation of a V2G system operator was created. In addition to assessing the market potential for a V2G system, the model was also designed to determine the effect of the market power of the V2G system operator on prices for frequency regulation, the effect of uncertainty in real-time vehicle availability and state-of-charge on the aggregator’s ability to provide regulation services, and the effect of different vehicle characteristics on revenues. Results from this model showed that the V2G system operator could generate revenue from participation in the frequency regulation market in Texas, even when subject to the uncertainty in real-time vehicle use. The model also showed that the V2G system operator would have a significant impact on prices, and thus as the number of PEVs participating in a V2G program in a given region increased, per-vehicle revenues, and thus compensation provided to vehicle owners, would decline dramatically. From these estimated payments to PEV owners, the decision to participate in a V2G program was analyzed. The balance between the estimated payments to PEV owners for participating in a V2G program and the increased probability of being left with a depleted battery as a result of V2G operations indicate that an owner of a range-limited battery electric vehicle (BEV) would probably not be a viable candidate for joining a V2G program, while a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owner might find a V2G program worthwhile. Even for a PHEV owner, however, compensation for participating in a V2G program will provide limited incentive to join.


Chioke B. Harris, Mechanical Engineering, October 2013, “An Assessment of the System Costs and Operational Benets of Vehicle-to-Grid Schemes,” Ph.D. diss., the University of Texas at Austin.