An Approach to Mitigate Electric Vehicle Penetration Challenges through Demand Response, Solar Photovoltaics and Energy Storage Applications in Commercial Buildings


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Virginia Tech


Electric Vehicles (EVs) are active loads as they increase the demand for electricity and introduce several challenges to electrical distribution feeders during charging. Demand Response (DR) or performing load control in commercial buildings along with the deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) and ice storage systems at the building level can improve the efficiency of electricity grids and mitigate expensive peak demand/energy charges for buildings. This research aims to provide such a solution to make EV penetration transparent to the grid.

Firstly, this research contributes to the development of an integrated control of major loads, i.e., Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), lighting and plug loads while maintaining occupant environmental preferences in small- and medium-sized commercial buildings which are an untapped DR resource. Secondly, this research contributes to improvement in functionalities of EnergyPlus by incorporating a 1-minute resolution data set at the individual plug load level. The research evaluates total building power consumption performance taking into account interactions among lighting, plug load, HVAC and control systems in a realistic manner.

Third, this research presents a model to study integrated control of PV and ice storage on improving building operation in demand responsive buildings. The research presents the impact of deploying various combinations of PV and ice storage to generate additional benefits, including clean energy generation from PV and valley filling from ice storage, in commercial buildings.

Fourth, this research presents a coordinated load control strategy, among participating commercial buildings in a distribution feeder to optimally control buildings' major loads without sacrificing occupant comfort and ice storage discharge, along with strategically deployed PV to absorb EV penetration. Demand responsive commercial building load profiles and field recorded EV charging profiles have been added to a real world distribution circuit to analyze the effects of EV penetration, together with real-world PV output profiles. Instead of focusing on individual building's economic benefits, the developed approach considers both technical and economic benefits of the whole distribution feeder, including maintaining distribution-level load factor within acceptable ranges and reducing feeder losses.



Smart Grid, Demand Response, Commercial Buildings, Electric Vehicles, Photovoltaics, Distribution Network, Ice storage