Hindolo George Williams:
A Probabilistic Framework for the Techno-Economic Assessment of Smart Energy Hubs for Electric Vehicle Charging

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A Smart Hub is a grid-connected electric forecourt often equipped with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charge points, solar carports, battery and hydrogen storage, and controllable local load. It is an emerging technology in the United Kingdom predicted to be key to alleviating the impact of electric vehicles on the electricity grid, while providing the robust charging infrastructure required for the electrification of transport. However, until its business cases are fully realised, there is a critical need to model its technical and business operation, to provide investor confidence. To facilitate this process, we have developed a novel Monte-Carlo-based modelling and simulation framework for the techno-economic assessment of Smart Hubs.

The proposed framework accounts for driver preference, power losses, uncertainties and dependencies in electric vehicle charging requirements, and other realistic features of Smart Hubs. A compact and representative mathematical model, together with a novel energy management algorithm, mimics the operation of a Smart Hub. The energy management problem is formulated as a mixed-integer linear programming problem that maximises the daily net revenue accrued, while guaranteeing driver satisfaction and preserving battery life. It was used to assess a fleet management site comprising 20 assorted charge points, a 50 kg/h hydrogen generation plant, and a 2 MW solar carport. The result shows that controlled electric vehicle charging yields up to 3.1% more revenue over the 25-year life of the site than uncontrolled charging. It is found that V2G charging is financially unattractive if a site does not provide ancillary services to the electricity grid. The assessment further reveals that the self-consumption of Smart Hubs can be considerable, often with negligible export to the grid, when using an energy management system with resources of load shifting and hydrogen storage. The proposed framework is applicable to variants of the typical Smart Hub, highlighting its suitability as a decision-support tool in the sustainable design of Smart Hubs.

In this talk, Hindolo will describe the key features of this framework, with emphasis on its uncertainty characterisation aspects and wider role in the journey to global Net Zero.

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Dr. Hindolo George-Williams is a Lecturer in Energy Engineering at the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, De Montfort University UK. He holds a dual PhD in Engineering from the Institute for Risk and Uncertainty, University of Liverpool and Nuclear Engineering from the College of Nuclear Science, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Previously, he was a Power Systems Research Engineer in the Electrical Power Group, Newcastle University from where he joined Oxford University’s Energy and Power Group as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Energy Systems. At Newcastle, Hindolo worked on the UK’s first large-scale solar-powered electric vehicle charging demonstrator project funded by Innovate UK. His research interests include: reliability and resilience of power systems, low-cost smart grids in low-income countries, smart electric vehicle charging, power systems stochastic optimization.