An insightful collaboration
Malthe Thingvad, Solutions Development Engineer at Spirii, has created unique research about charging behaviour amongst EV-drivers and the effects of smart charging, in collaboration with Spirii and DTU Wind and Energy Systems.
Malthe has been a part of the Spirii family almost since the beginning of our journey and we got to sit down with him to elaborate what his findings from his master thesis are all about, and why they are important.
Let's dive in...
First off, can you tell us exactly what you investigated in your thesis?
“The thesis analyses the charging behaviour of all Spirii’s residential chargers. The main focus was an investigation into how people smart charge, by postponing their charging, and what effect this has on the power grid.”
Why did you choose to look into charging behaviour?
“Well, the transportation sector is responsible for 27% of the overall greenhouse gas emission in the EU, which is why the adoption of electric vehicles is so important if we want to become carbon neutral.
The problem is that since the trend of people owning electric vehicles is so new, we don’t know a lot about how people charge, and therefore how it is going to affect the power grid.
If everyone charges at the same time every day it can challenge the stability of the power grid and lead to the need to expensive investments, but if they charge at different times throughout the day, it may not be an issue at all. This is why it's so important to understand user behaviours and their impact on the power grid to assess potential issues.”
What were your most interesting findings?
“There are a lot of incentives to get people to delay their charging sessions and move it outside of the peak hours of consumption. One example being the new tariff models, which make it more costly to charge during the day.
But one of the main findings of the thesis is that this strategy might worsen the problem since it incentivizes everyone to charge in the same hours after midnight. So, in short, everyone smart charging is not the ideal case either.”
What could a possible solution look like?
“There is a need for much more intelligent solution. The grid operators already know exactly what the consumption is in the different areas of their network. A scenario could be that the grid operators use this information to request that the CPOs decrease the power of their chargers in the areas and hours where there is a risk of congestion issues.
In other words, there is a need for a more location-based approach, instead of a model that targets all consumers.”
Interesting, and how is your research relevant to your work at Spirii?
“In our team, Future Innovation, the overall focus is “energy management”, which basically means that we work with optimizing how people charge their EVs. For the end-users it means optimizing their charging sessions, so that they become cheaper or greener. For the grid operators it means ensuring that the charging sessions help improve the stability of the grid. This is all possible because electric vehicle charging is flexible, meaning that it can be moved to the most optimal time.”
And finally, what is the most exciting part of your work?
“I find working with eMobility very exciting because intelligent energy management is crucial if we want to transition into a more sustainable society - and I love knowing that I’m a part of this process.”
Thank you Malthe, we are lucky to have you onboard and can’t ways to see how energy consumption and charging behaviour will get optimised helped by your efforts and knowledge!