New online mechanism for electric vehicle charging

May 05, 2011

Researchers at the University of Southampton have designed a new pricing mechanism that could change the way in which electric vehicles are charged.

It is based on an that makes it possible to charge electric vehicles without overloading the local .

The paper entitled Online Design for Electric Vehicle Charging was presented this week at AAMAS 2011 – the Tenth Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, and outlines a system where electric vehicle owners use computerised agents to bid for the power to charge the vehicles and also organise time slots when a vehicle is available for charging.

Dr Alex Rogers, University of Southampton computer scientist and one of the paper's authors, says: "Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are expected to place a considerable strain on local electricity distribution networks. If many vehicles charge simultaneously, they may overload the local distribution network, so their charging needs to be carefully scheduled."

To address this issue, Dr Rogers and his team turned to the field of online mechanism design. They designed a mechanism that allows vehicle owners to specify their requirements (for example, when they need the vehicle and how far they expect to drive). The system then automatically schedules charging of the vehicles' batteries. The mechanism ensures that there is no incentive to 'game the system' by reporting that the vehicle is need earlier than is actually the case, and those users who place a higher demand on the system are automatically charged more than those who can wait.

University of Southampton computer scientist Dr Enrico Gerding, the lead author of the paper, adds: "The mechanism leaves some available units of electricity un-allocated. This is counter-intuitive since it seems to be inefficient but it turns out to be essential to ensure that the vehicle owners don't have to delay plugging-in or misreport their requirements, in an attempt to get a better deal."

In a study based on the performance of currently available electric vehicles, performed by Dr Valentin Robu and Dr Sebastien Stein, the mechanism was shown to increase the number of that can be charged overnight, within a neighbourhood of 200 homes, by as much as 40 per cent.

This research follows on from Dr Rogers' and Professor Nick Jennings' work on developing agents that can trade on the stock market and manage crisis communications and Dr Rogers' iPhone application, GridCarbon for measuring the carbon intensity of the UK grid.

Explore further: Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city

Related Stories

ZAP licenses PNNL's Smart Charger Controller Technology

Apr 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- California car maker ZAP plans to use the Smart Charger Controller technology developed at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in its charging stations internationally.  ...

Fast electric car with double the motor power

Apr 11, 2011

In cooperation with RUF Automobile, Siemens researchers have turned a Porsche 911 into a high-performance electric car. What’s special about this automobile is that it can also feed energy back into the ...

Chicago EV Charging Station Powered by Wind

Feb 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The "Windy City" is about to make use of that natural source of power, thanks to the addition of an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Last year, Chicago offered the first solar powered charging station, in an effort to cre ...

Recommended for you

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

Apr 17, 2014

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces.

Tailored approach key to cookstove uptake

Apr 17, 2014

Worldwide, programs aiming to give safe, efficient cooking stoves to people in developing countries haven't had complete success—and local research has looked into why.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...