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Notre Dame researchers examining electric vehicles and the power grid


December 13, 2012
By Anthony Capkun

December 12, 2012 – Under funding from the National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Physical Systems Program, a University of Notre Dame research group is attempting to develop mathematical algorithms to help guide the integration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PEVs) into the power grid.

Specifically, they are working to anticipate and solve optimization problems critical to various parties, such as PEV owners, commercial charging station owners, aggregators and distribution companies at the distribution and retail level of the emerging PEV system.

For example, the team will be examining issues related to charging at both commercial charging stations and at residences, and scenarios when PEVs function only as consumers of power also those in which PEVs could conceivably serve as a sort of battery, injecting energy from the vehicle to home (V2H) or from the vehicle to grid (V2G).

“Electrification of the transportation market offers revenue growth for utility companies and automobile manufacturers, lower operational costs for consumers, and benefits to the environment,” said Vijay Gupta, one of the researchers. “By addressing problems that will arise as PEVs impose extra load on the grid, and by solving challenges that currently impede the use of PEVs as distributed storage resources, this research will directly impact society.”