Potential Impacts of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles on Regional Power Generation

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Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are being developed around the world, with much work aiming to optimize engine and battery for efficient operation, both during discharge and when grid electricity is available for recharging. However, the general expectation has been that the grid will not be greatly affected by the use of PHEVs because the recharging will occur during off-peak hours, or the number of vehicles will grow slowly enough so that capacity planning will respond adequately. This expectation does not consider that drivers will control the timing of recharging, and their inclination will be to plug in when convenient, ... continued below

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Hadley, Stanton W & Tsvetkova, Alexandra A January 1, 2008.

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Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are being developed around the world, with much work aiming to optimize engine and battery for efficient operation, both during discharge and when grid electricity is available for recharging. However, the general expectation has been that the grid will not be greatly affected by the use of PHEVs because the recharging will occur during off-peak hours, or the number of vehicles will grow slowly enough so that capacity planning will respond adequately. This expectation does not consider that drivers will control the timing of recharging, and their inclination will be to plug in when convenient, rather than when utilities would prefer. It is important to understand the ramifications of adding load from PHEVs onto the grid. Depending on when and where the vehicles are plugged in, they could cause local or regional constraints on the grid. They could require the addition of new electric capacity and increase the utilization of existing capacity. Usage patterns of local distribution grids will change, and some lines or substations may become overloaded sooner than expected. Furthermore, the type of generation used to meet the demand for recharging PHEVs will depend on the region of the country and the timing of recharging. This paper analyzes the potential impacts of PHEVs on electricity demand, supply, generation structure, prices, and associated emission levels in 2020 and 2030 in 13 regions specified by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA), and on which the data and analysis in EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2007 are based (Figure ES-1). The estimates of power plant supplies and regional hourly electricity demand come from publicly available sources from EIA and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Electricity requirements for PHEVs are based on analysis from the Electric Power Research Institute, with an optimistic projection of 25% market penetration by 2020, involving a mixture of sedans and sport utility vehicles. The calculations were done using the Oak Ridge Competitive Electricity Dispatch (ORCED) model, a model developed over the past 12 years to evaluate a wide variety of critical electricity sector issues. Seven scenarios were run for each region for 2020 and 2030, for a total of 182 scenarios. In addition to a base scenario of no PHEVs, the authors modeled scenarios assuming that vehicles were either plugged in starting at 5:00 p.m. (evening) or at 10:00 p.m.(night) and left until fully charged. Three charging rates were examined: 120V/15A (1.4 kW), 120V/20A (2 kW), and 220V/30A (6 kW). Most regions will need to build additional capacity or utilize demand response to meet the added demand from PHEVs in the evening charging scenarios, especially by 2030 when PHEVs have a larger share of the installed vehicle base and make a larger demand on the system. The added demands of evening charging, especially at high power levels, can impact the overall demand peaks and reduce the reserve margins for a region's system. Night recharging has little potential to influence peak loads, but will still influence the amount and type of generation.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2007/150
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/932632 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 932632
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897425

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  • January 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 28, 2016, 2:28 p.m.

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Hadley, Stanton W & Tsvetkova, Alexandra A. Potential Impacts of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles on Regional Power Generation, report, January 1, 2008; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897425/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.