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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S000887/2
Title: A Networked Market Platform for Electric Vehicle Smart Charging
Principal Investigator: Morstyn, Dr T
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
EDF Technical University of Denmark University of New South Wales
Upside Energy Ltd
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship - NHFP
Starts: 16 July 2020 Ends: 29 June 2021 Value (£): 123,510
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The aim of this fellowship is to answer a key research question for power systems engineering: "As the UK and other countries move towards transport electrification, how can potentially millions of electric vehicles be successfully integrated into power system operations?"

Electric vehicles have become increasingly cost competitive, due to the cost of lithium-ion battery packs falling by approximately 77% over the last 6 years. The UK has over 100,000 electric vehicles, but it is estimated 26 million will be needed to meet 2050 emissions targets. The UK government is strongly supporting this, announcing a ban on the sale of diesel and petrol cars and vans after 2040, and the Faraday Challenge, £246 million towards electric vehicle battery development.

If electric vehicle charging is left uncoordinated, the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles is expected to cause significant power system challenges. Peak demand is expected to increase on the order of 20GW (approximately a 40% increase), necessitating new power plants and large-scale transmission infrastructure upgrades. A significant impact is also expected at the local distribution network level. The My Electric Avenue project identified that without smart charging, transport electrification will necessitate new investment to reinforce 32% of UK low voltage distribution network feeders (312,000 feeders).

This motivates the need for smart charging - coordinated scheduling of the charging times and powers of electric vehicles. However, existing strategies do not facilitate or incentivise this coordination, particularly at the local distribution network level. Top-down regimes that directly curtail charging impose an external cost on electric vehicle owners and manufacturers, and will slow adoption. Mechanisms that instead incentivise coordination are a promising approach, but require careful engineering design, since they influence power system operation in real time.

Through this fellowship, a networked market platform will be designed which can incentivise aggregate and localised coordination between millions of electric vehicles, while managing local power network voltage and thermal constraints in real time. This will be achieved by combining recent advances in multi-agent control, power engineering and networked matching market theory, to design new algorithms suitable for large-scale implementation. The project is supported by two industry partners, EDF Energy, the second largest electricity supplier in the UK with over 5 million customers, and Upside Energy, a UK virtual demand side response aggregator. The proposed market platform has the potential to provide significant value by alleviating the need for generation and transmission infrastructure investments, increasing network efficiency and increasing energy security.
Key Findings
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