Researchers from North Carolina State University have created a mathematical model for the optimal placement of electric vehicle charging stations, as well as the power of the stations without overloading local power grids.
“Ultimately, we believe the model can be used to inform the development of tiered electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” said Leila Hajibabai, corresponding author of a paper detailing the model and assistant professor of NC State, in a statement.
Significant research has already been done on how to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure, but most previous efforts have focused only on what was best for the grid, or what was best from the point of view. view of user demand, according to a press release from NC State.
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“Very little work has been done on both,” Hajibabai said, adding that the mathematical model also takes user behavior into account. The best locations based on network, transport needs and user behavior are often different, so the model aims to find the best compromise, according to Hajibabai.
The network component of the model examines the local infrastructure, including factors such as power flow, voltage, and current. A transportation component considers the number of vehicles expected to use a station, the routes they travel, and the average range. The user decision component examines sites that will minimize travel time.
Although this model attempts to find the most efficient use of resources, other factors should be considered when choosing a charging site. The model does not appear to take into account low-income users or disadvantaged communities who may have the most to gain.
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A broadly applicable model for the location and design of charging infrastructure has yet to emerge.
Neither gas stations nor their locations are a good model for charging electric vehicles. We’ve long suggested that for slower charging, those charging on site should look to parking.
But for the federal electric vehicle charging network taking shape, it could be useful as a tool for locating fast chargers. The researchers are also in talks with state and local governments, as well as utilities, to use the model in the development of North Carolina’s charging infrastructure.