Distributed Control of Electric Vehicle Charging: Privacy, Performance, and Processing Tradeoffs
As global climate change concerns, technological advancements, and economic shifts increase the adoption of electric vehicles, it is vital to study how best to integrate these into our existing energy systems. Electric vehicles (EVs) are on track to quickly become a large factor in the energy grid. If left uncoordinated, the charging of EVs will become a burden on the grid by increasing peak demand and overloading transformers. However, with proper charging control strategies, the problems can be mitigated without the need for expensive capital investments. Distributed control methods are a powerful tool to coordinate the charging, but it will be important to assess the trade-offs between performance, information privacy, and computational speed between different control strategies.
This work presents a comprehensive comparison between four distributed control algorithms simulating two case studies constrained by dynamic transformer temperature and current limits. The transformer temperature dynamics are inherently nonlinear and this implementation is contrasted with a piece-wise linear convex relaxation. The more commonly distributed control methods of Dual Decomposition and Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers (ADMM) are compared against a relatively new algorithm, Augmented Lagrangian based Alternating Direction Inexact Newton (ALADIN), as well as against a low-information packetized energy management control scheme (PEM). These algorithms are implemented with a receding horizon in two distinct case studies: a local neighborhood scenario with EVs at each network node and a hub scenario where each node represents a collection of EVs. Finally, these simulation results are compared and analyzed to assess the methods’ performance, privacy, and processing metrics for each case study as no algorithm is found to be optimal for all applications.