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Electric vehicles could stabilize large disturbances in power grid

Posted November 25, 2014

Today when an electric vehicle is plugged into the grid, it’s almost always in charge mode, meaning it consumes power. But it’s also possible for an electric vehicle to operate in discharge mode, in which it acts as a giant battery and injects power into the grid when needed. Several recent studies have shown that plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) operating as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) devices can offer advantages for the grid such as backup power for renewable energy sources, power regulation, and load balancing.

EV power grid stability

The stability benefit of additional PEVs increases up to 4%, but degrades rapidly after 7% penetration is reached. Credit: Andrej Gajduk, et al. (CC by 3.0)

Now in a new study, researchers have found another potential advantage of using PEVs as sources of power for the grid: they can improve stability when the grid is subjected to large disturbances. Large disturbances are caused by a wide range of problems, such as abrupt load changes and line tripping. Among their negative effects, they can damage sensitive appliances and, if not cleared within a specific time, the system may be unable to resume stable operation.

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