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PhD Studentship: Smart Charging of Electric Vehicles

Loughborough University - Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering / Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £18,622 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus university tuition fees.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 28th November 2023
Closes: 12th February 2024
Reference: AACME-23-007
 

 As battery electric vehicles are becoming more common, charging them poses both a risk and an opportunity for our electricity grid. The risk is that if many charge at the same time, this could significantly increase the peak load of our electricity grid. The opportunity is load shifting or demand side response: moving the charging to periods when the grid is less busy and excess electricity is available. This can enable the integration of further volatile renewable generation (solar, wind, tidal etc) into our grid without causing excessive wastage through overgeneration, contributing to our move towards net zero. It can also help by using local generation via a home microgrid.

This project will focus on the individual user, and how they can be motivated to participate in smart charging. It includes both technical aspects, such as managing the load across a range of devices, and human factors, which relate to the broad acceptance and convenience of the technology. The academic side of the problem is a real-time constraint optimisation task with limited uncertainty, and the solution is feasible using current tools.

The more challenging part is how to align the stakeholder interests, and especially the user: are they in control, do they receive a fair share of the benefits, and is it convenient? The motivation for smart charging needs to be considered: it could be using incentives such as lower prices, or mandates in the form of the regulation. Both options have different impacts on the fair distribution of the benefits of smart charging. This research will explore the different options from a user perspective and chart a way forward towards a more advanced energy system ready for predominantly renewable generation.

The successful PhD applicant will work with experts in electric vehicles, energy systems, statistics, and control at Loughborough University, and possibly with relevant industrial partners as appropriate. They will develop optimal control approaches for smart charging, reducing electricity cost, peak usage, and carbon intensity. They will also analyse the benefits for the different stakeholders and consider the impact on the user experience.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £18,622 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus university tuition fees.

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