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You are on page 1of 7

Alessandro Di Giorgio, Francesco Liberati and Silvia Canale

electric vehicles charging in a smart grid. We present an event

driven model predictive control (MPC) approach, which aims

to find a proper trade-off between the needs of minimizing the

cost of energy withdrawal and the error in the tracking of a

reference aggregated charging power profile. All in respect of

drivers preferences, technical bounds on the control action (in

compliance with the IEC 61851 standard) and grid constraints.

The proposed control approach allows flexible EV users to

participate in demand side management programs, which will

play a crucial role for stability and efficiency of future smart

grids. Simulation results are provided and discussed in details,

showing the relevance of our contribution.

I. I NTRODUCTION

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging is expected to become a

key aspect for the integration of electromobility in the future

electricity distribution grids and nowadays ICT technologies

allow to implement the needed distributed monitoring an

control architecture [1], [2], [3]. On one hand a massive

penetration of EV technology will result in a significant

increase of the magnitude and volatility of load on the

distribution lines [4], [5], [6], on the other the possibility

of combining the control of the charging process with the

control of reverse energy flows from the EVs to the grid

(Vehicle to Grid (V2G)) [7] appears as a promising opportunity for balancing demand, Distributed Generation (DG) and

Renewable Energy Sources (RES) [8], [9] through proper

Demand Side Management (DSM) strategies [10], [11].

In this paper, both load management and V2G power

control are taken into account for the design of an EV

aggregator, named Charging Station Control Centre (CSCC),

aimed at optimizing the charging operations of EVs along a

proper portion of the low voltage distribution grid, in the

following named Load Area (LA) [12]. More specifically,

we outline an event driven Model Predictive Control (MPC)

strategy aimed at finding a proper trade-off between the need

of providing a cost-effective charging service in respect of

drivers preferences, and the one of guaranteeing the tracking

of a proper aggregated power profile, also supporting the

provisioning of ancillary services. Moreover, proper constraints are designed in order to keep bounded the cost

for the single user and guarantee that technical limitations

(both of the EV, Charging Station (CS) and the grid) are

always respected. In particular, the control action is limited in

compliance with the international standard IEC 61851 [13].

This work is partially financed by the European Union FP7-2011-ICT-GC

SMARTV2G project, grant agreement no. 284953. A. Di Giorgio, F. Liberati

and S. Canale are with the Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering A. Ruberti, Sapienza University of Rome, ITALY

{digiorgio,liberati,canale}@dis.uniroma1.it

978-1-4799-0997-1/13/$31.00 2013 IEEE

and thresholds, thus enabling the CSCC to react to price and

volume signals, which are at the base of DSM schemes [14].

The paper is organized as follows. In Section II we discuss

the state of the art and the proposed innovation. Section III

details the reference scenario in terms of actors, components

and use cases. In Section IV we present the control system

working logic, detailing the flow of operations and explaining

the proposed MPC approach. In Sections V and VI we

first introduce the open loop optimal control problem which

constitutes the heart of the MPC approach and then recast

it as a Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) problem.

Finally, simulation results are discussed in Section VII, while

the concluding remarks are given in Section VIII.

II. S TATE OF THE ART AND PROPOSED INNOVATION

The problem of controlling the electric vehicles charging

process is quite recent, but has received an increasing attention during the last years, even in the light of the advances

achieved in different fields (see e.g. [15]). An interesting

approach is presented in [16], where a maximum sensitivities

selection optimization problem is established, with the aim

of minimizing cost of energy consumption and network

losses. A similar approach is presented in [17], where the

authors set up an optimization problem seeking to maximise

the amount of energy available for charging operations.

These works consider voltage and congestion constraints. In

[18] the authors apply sliding mode control principles. The

interesting achievements of the work are the stability and

robustness to the collective effects of system uncertainties,

in particular, drivers arrival at the CSs and power generation

from RES. Further, an original approach can be found in [19],

where a distributed AIMD (Additive Increase - Multiplicative

Decrease) feedback control algorithm is used, best known

for its use in telecommunication resource management problems; a possible advantage of the approach is related to its

distributed nature, which keeps low the number of communications needed. Finally, a work taking inspiration from

micro-economy is presented in [20]. Each EV is modeled as

an agent aimed at optimizing an associated utility function;

through an iterative and distributed mechanism the action of

the agents converges towards the optimal charging policy.

All these works share proper subsets of the following

drawbacks: 1) charging control signals are continuous in

nature but not IEC 61851 compliant; 2) charging cannot

be rescheduled, thus impairing the flexibility of the control

scheme; 3) User Preferences (UPs) are poorly modeled: there

is not a strict control over the time needed to provide the

charging service and on the desired final state of charge of

1329

rather common drawbacks in the relevant literature.

The main innovations of our work are:

The charging rate is modeled as a semi-continuous variable, in compliance with the standard IEC 61851.

Backfeeding is also modeled in a semi-continuous manner.

Nowadays there is not a standardized vision on V2G

power from the technical point of view. By reasonably

extending the technical requirement of the charge mode

to backfeeding, we show the relevance of such a concept

for the fulfillment of grid and drivers requirements.

The controller is event driven. It updates the control

signals whenever triggered by proper events, such as

Charging Requests (CRs) and DSM signals, then adapting

its behavior to mobility dynamics and grid needs.

The expected cost for the charging service is notified to

the driver just after the CR is made. The additional cost

in reaction to a DSM signal is taken into account in order

to establish the minimum rebate for drivers acceptance.

Each EV is associated with its own control signal, which

is built and updated according to the time of arrival, the

UP and the user flexibility in terms of parking time. So

doing, the controller is able to exploit the time varying

nature of the energy price and the backfeeding capability

to guarantee a higher economic benefit to the drivers with

the higher level of flexibility.

III. C HARGING S CENARIO

The actors involved in the reference scenario are:

1) Drivers. Drivers are interested in achieving the charging

service at the best possible price and in respect of their

UPs. Each driver subscribes a contract with a retailer.

2) Retailer. A business company qualified to act in the electricity markets, to offer energy contracts to the consumers

and to provide them with the charging service. Each

retailer is associated with a reference daily power profile,

with hourly resolution, which defines the time varying

amount of energy available for charging operations.

3) Distribution System Operator. The DSO is the owner of

the distribution grid and is responsible for the safe operation of the network. It supervises the power injections

and withdrawals, also providing technical validation of

the load control. The DSO can trigger the market players

with DSM signals, for charging rescheduling during the

emergency operation of the grid.

The equipment here taken into account includes:

1) Electric Vehicles. We consider here only fully EVs [21],

characterized by the following technical parameters: 1)

the capacity of the battery pack, 2) the input/output

battery performance coefficients, 3) the maximum and

minimum allowed charge levels and, 4) the maximum

and minimum charge/discharge rates.

2) Charging Stations. We here consider CSs providing slow

charging (3.3 kW maximum power). The possible levels

of power flow from the CS to the EV is standardized by

IEC 61851: beyond the standby mode (no power flow),

being then a semi-continuous variable.

3) Charging Station Control Center. A controller logically

acting at LA level. It computes offers and biddings to

respond to market and DSO needs, while controlling

the charging processes in respect of UPs and reference

available power. The CSCC exchanges data with the EVs

(authentication, transmission of EVs data, control, etc.)

and with the DSO and the markets (notification of the

electricity tariff, DSM signals, market offers, etc.).

Two relevant use cases are considered:

1) UC1: charging request. The driver arrives at the CS, plugs

the EV and is identified; he/she makes a CR using the

dashboard of the CS (or a mobile device), by specifying

the following UP: (i) the desired level of charge, (ii) the

time at which the charging process can start (typically the

current time), (iii) the time within which the charging

process has to be terminated. This is in the following

called a CR event. The control system is expected to

provide the driver with the optimal charging cost and the

CS with the optimal charging control.

2) UC2: demand side management. In this case the involved

actor is the retailer, which triggers the CSCC with an

event notifying an intra-day change in the energy tariff

or in the reference available power for a specific temporal

slot (DSM event). The control system is expected to react

to this event by updating the optimal control for the CSs

and evaluating the related changes in the cost for flexible

drivers, which give rise to minimum rebates for them.

IV. C ONTROL SYSTEM FLOW OF OPERATIONS

The idea behind the event driven MPC approach [22] is

quite simple: if we imagine to take a snapshot of the LA at

a given time, we have that each charging EV is characterized

by its current level of charge and a set of UPs.

If we assume that the number of charging EVs does not

vary, by solving an open loop optimal control problem it is

possible to find, for each EV, an optimal charging strategy

that satisfies drivers preferences (of course, only if they are

well posed) while minimizing the cost and the tracking error.

However, the resulting solution is intrinsically open-loop,

loosing optimality every time any event changes the initial

data set. This issue is solved by iterating optimization every

time a relevant event happens (arrival of an EV, change

of the electricity tariff, change of the power reference, DSM

events, etc.). The calculated control sequence replaces the

portion of the previous control sequence that has not been

actuated yet. In case of UC1, the sequence of operations is:

1) User makes a CR at a CS specifying UPs.

2) CSCC retrieves the current level of charge of the EVs

through active CSs.

3) CSCC solves an open loop optimal control problem.

4) CSCC provides the CS with the estimated cost and the

charging profile, and updates all the other ones under its

contractual control.

5) All the active CSs apply the received control signals.

1330

because the power reference is market driven and hence

known in advance. The sequence of events concerning UC2

is similar. In this case the actor generating the event is a market player or the DSO. However, there is not a CS to which

communicate a budgeted cost for charging. Furthermore, the

DSO provides technical validation of the calculated control,

in order to increase the efficiency of grid operations.

The k-th component of vector P , denoted by P [k], represents the controlled aggregated power at the generic k-th

time interval for k I:

X

P [k] = P s [k] +

Pm Um [k].

(5)

V. P ROBLEM FORMALIZATION

Mk = {m M : I k Em }

open-loop optimal control problem that the CSCC solves

each time it is triggered by a meaningful event.

the charging operation at time interval k, while P s [k] is

the aggregated power consumption related to non flexible

EVs (i.e. those EVs whose charging profiles cannot be

rescheduled according new triggering events). We introduce

the diagonal matrix in (3) to differently weight the tracking

error along the control horizon. The importance of the

tracking error depends on the temporal distance between the

current time interval at which the optimal control problem

is solved (I) and the generic time interval k (k I) in

the control horizon: the smaller the distance, the higher the

importance of tracking. Then we can choose the generic entry

kk 0 as a monotonic decreasing function of k. As a

consequence, the controller has the possibility to exploit the

time varying nature of the electricity tariff while satisfying

the tracking requirement in the upcoming time period.

Finally, by properly choosing the weights and , it is

possible to tune the behavior of the controller so that to find

a suitable trade off between the needs of minimizing the cost

for drivers and the tracking error in a grid perspective.

A. Assumptions

The mathematical formulation of problem has been

achieved based on the following assumptions:

1) EV charging power is a semi-continuous variable (compliant with standard IEC 61851).

2) V2G is modeled as a semi-continuous variable too, with

the same domain of existence.

3) The cost of the energy absorbed by EVs and the price of

V2G energy are equal.

4) Input and output battery efficiency coefficients are assumed to be coincident and known a priori for each EV.

B. Target function

Let T R denote the discretisation step of the control

problem and I N the first time interval of problem definition

(the first after the triggering event). Then, from time interval

I on, we define the multi-objective target function

mMk

(6)

C. Prediction Model

J = Jcost + Jreg ,

(1)

term represents the cumulative cost that EVs have to sustain

for charging. If we consider a set M of EVs under charging,

each of them characterized by a departure time Em T , a

maximum power flow Pm , an electricity tariff C[] and

a given control signal Um [] defined over a suitable domain,

then the overall energy related cost is given by

Jcost =

EX

m 1

Pm T C[k]Um [k].

state of the system by optimizing a specific cost function

over a given control horizon. In this work, the prediction

model is given by the dynamics of the EV batteries. Hence,

the physical variable of interest is the state of charge of the

battery pack, assumed as state xm [] of the control problem

for each EV. We define the following first order model

(

xm [k+1] = xm [k]+Pm T (Um [k] m |Um [k]|)

0

xm [I] = Xm

,

(2)

(7)

mM k=I

flow normalized with respect to Pm (see equation (8)).

Then Pm Um [k] is the power actually flowing in the cable

connecting the CS and the m-th EV.

The latter term in (1) is introduced in order to minimize the

power reference tracking error. We denote such a reference

with P ref and model this regularization term as

Jreg = ||(P P ref )|| ,

i=1

D. Control constraints

The first constraints are related to the nature of the control

variables. In compliance with the standard IEC 61851, for

the generic m-th EV we have

(3)

||a|| = max |ai |.

continuous non zero charge/discharge efficiency of each EV.

(4)

Um [k] are related to charging (discharging), while U = 0

represents the stand by mode.

1331

aggregated power could exceed a given threshold sequence

P []. The difference between the threshold and the reference

can be seen as the maximum displacement which is allowed

without penalties in the market. Moreover, the threshold

could also be established by the DSO. It is straightforward

to model such a set of constraints as

X

P s [k] +

Pm Um [k] P [k] k [I, E], (9)

mMk

E = max Em ,

(10)

mM

The last set of control constraints guarantees that the

cost of the charging service for each single driver remains

bounded iteration by iteration and then does not grow unpredictably. If we denote by cm the cost budgeted to the

user upon arrival to the CS and with cm [I] the cost already

counted for billing at the time interval I, we can bound the

control action as follows

EX

m 1

cm [I]+

k=I

E. State and termination constraints

State constraints are related to the capacity of the batteries

and some related technical limitations. In principle we could

say that the level of charge must be non negative and upper

bounded by the battery capacity. In practice, for reasons

related to efficiency and life cycle, the battery pack is never

allowed to fully charge or deplete

min

max

Xm

xm [k + 1] Xm

m M

k [I, Em 2],

(12)

max

where Xm

is the maximum allowed level of charge and

min

Xm

represents the allowed depth of discharge.

Finally, we consider a termination constraint for each EV,

ref

aimed at guaranteeing the desired state of charge Xm

at

the end of the stop at the CS

ref

max

Xm

xm [Em ] Xm

m M.

(13)

We end this section by summarizing the open loop optimal

control problem at the base of the MPC approach.

Problem 1. Given a set M of EVs at a given time

ref

I, associated with UPs {Xm

, Em }, technical data

min

max

0

{Pm , Xm , Xm , m }, state measures Xm

and known

ref

min

Um ,mM

J,

(14)

and state and termination constraints (12) and (13), where

Mk and E are defined in (6) and (10) respectively.

We discuss a MILP formulation of the optimal control

problem defined above. For sake of readability, we introduce

additional notation. Let N be the number of the EVs in M

and A be the number of discrete time intervals in [I, E]. We

let k = kk be the non negative diagonal entries of .

First of all, we introduce a set of semi-continuous variables in order to suitably define the control variables and

the state variables, respectively, as presented in Section V.

Let us define two distinct subsets of variables: the former

ymk indicates the amount of energy percentage charged at

vehicle m at time k; the latter zmk indicates the amount

of energy percentage discharged at vehicle m at time k

where m {1, .., N } and k {1, .., A}. As previously

mentioned, according to standard IEC 61851, the amount of

energy charged or discharged at the vehicles is a continuous

amount but is lower bounded when positive (i.e. ymk =

0 m ymk 1 and zmk = 0 m zmk 1).

As customary in mathematical programming, especially in

Integer Programming, in such a case, the variable is indicated

as semi-continuous variable.

As described in [?], a semi-continuous variable can be

modeled in different ways. In this work, we define two

corresponding subsets of zero-one variables pmk and qmk

such that, when ymk = 0 (zmk = 0), pmk = 0 (qmk = 0),

and when ymk [m , 1] (zmk [m , 1]), pmk = 1

(qmk = 1). In order to force that, we write

m 1, .., N

zmk qmk

ymk pmk

zmk m qmk k 1, .., A. (15)

ymk m pmk

qmk {0, 1}

pmk {0, 1}

It is easy to see that when pmk = 0 the only value that ymk

can assume is 0. On the other side, when pmk = 1 then

m ymk 1. Analogously for zmk and qmk . Of course,

for each m {1, .., N }, we set ymk = 0, pmk = 0, zmk = 0

and qmk = 0 for all k [Em , E].

In order to formulate the objective function (1) as a linear

function by linearizing the regulation term (3), we indicate

by w 0 the maximum weighted deviation of the aggregated

power P [k] with respect to the reference P ref [k] when k =

1, .., A (w = maxk=1,..,A |k (P [k] P ref [k])|). Then we

introduce two subsets of non negative variables. The former

subset of variables uk 0 represents the positive part of

P [k] P ref [k], the latter subset of variables vk 0 the

negative one, for each EV k {1, .., A}. Then we set

uk vk = P [k] P ref [k].

(16)

|P [k] P ref [k]| = uk + vk .

Since k 0 for any k, we can define the variable w as

w = max k (uk + vk ),

k=1,..,A

(17)

where the argument of the function max is a linear expression. As customary in linear programming, we can

1332

TABLE I

w k (uk + vk ) for k = 1, .., A.

The target function (1) can be re-written as a linear objective

function. Furthermore, from (8) we have that

Um [k] = ymk zmk

CR ID

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

J=

N X

A

X

Pm T C[k]ymk

m=1 k=1

N X

A

X

Pm T C[k]zmk +

m=1 k=1

(19)

+ w.

MILP problem.

Problem 2. Solve:

min J,

subject to:

PN

PN

m=1 Pm ymk

m=1 Pm zmk

P

[k]

P

[k]

k {1, .., A}

PA

PA

k=1 Pm T C[k]ymk

k=1 Pm T C[k]zmk

(1 + )cm cm [I]

m {1, .., N }

PN

PN

P

y

P

m mk

m zmk uk + vk =

m=1

m=1

ref

s

P [k] P [k]

k {1, .., A}

(u

+

v

)

k

=

1, .., A

k k

k

p y p

m {1, .., N }, k {1, ..A}

m mk

mk

mk

m {1, .., N }, k {1, ..A}

p

+

q

1

m

{1,

.., N }, k {1, ..A}

mk

mk

Pi

Pi

min

max

Xm

m {1, .., N } i {2, .., A 1}

PA

PA

ref

m {1, .., N }

Xm

qmk {0, 1}

m {1, .., N }, k {1, ..A}.

VII. S IMULATION RESULTS

A. Experimental setup

Simulations have been performed on a 2.4 GHz, 2GB

RAM computer. The simulation environment has been built

in MATLAB. The MILP problem defined in Section VI has

been solved by using the solver built in IBM ILOG CPLEX

v12.2, which relies on the Branch-and-Cut method [23].

For ease of discussion, EV technical parameters are the

same for all the simulated EVs: X max = 12.83 kW h,

X min = 3.2 kW h, P = 3.3 kW , = 0.1875 and = 2%.

We assume that all the users are flexible (their charging

profiles can always be rescheduled). The used sequence of

CRs, related UPs and initial state of charge are reported in

the first four columns of Table I. We simulate the sequential

arrival of 63 EVs, from 06:00 am to 23:00 pm. The first

four EVs are included to simulate the presence of EVs

which have reached the desired state of charge and still

have time to perform V2G (we call them stationing EVs).

The considered sequence has been chosen in such a way

Time interval

06:00-17:00

06:00-17:00

06:00-17:00

06:00-17:00

06:15-09:35

06:30-09:55

06:45-09:30

07:00-10:30

07:15-10:40

07:30-10:10

07:45-11:05

08:00-10:30

08:15-10:55

08:30-10:55

08:45-11:25

09:00-11:05

09:15-11:55

09:30-11:30

09:45-12:30

10:00-12:30

10:15-11:50

10:30-12:05

10:45-12:05

11:00-12:25

11:15-12:55

11:30-13:05

11:45-13:15

12:00-13:25

12:30-14:50

13:00-14:50

13:30-15:35

14:00-16:20

14:30-16:25

15:00-16:45

15:30-16:35

16:00-17:45

16:10-18:45

16:20-18:40

16:30-18:50

16:40-19:15

16:50-19:30

17:00-19:05

17:10-19:20

17:20-20:20

17:30-19:35

17:40-20:25

17:50-19:55

18:00-20:50

18:10-20:20

18:20-20:30

18:30-21:05

18:40-21:15

18:50-21:15

19:00-21:05

19:10-21:35

19:20-22:15

19:30-21:50

19:40-21:45

19:50-22:05

20:00-22:10

20:15-22:50

20:30-22:55

20:45-22:55

X 0 [kW h]

10.00

10.00

10.00

10.00

6.41

6.13

6.05

5.66

5.99

5.92

6.46

6.35

7.52

7.31

6.06

6.19

6.63

6.88

7.59

6.89

7.51

7.31

7.00

7.17

6.51

7.78

6.28

7.68

6.49

6.39

6.95

7.17

6.57

6.76

6.11

7.87

6.94

6.32

7.06

6.53

7.50

6.46

7.65

6.16

7.92

7.63

6.80

6.86

6.53

7.74

6.29

6.70

6.15

6.37

6.10

6.98

7.80

7.56

6.81

7.88

6.12

7.64

6.34

X ref [kW h]

10.00

10.00

10.00

10.00

12.13

12.10

12.50

12.50

12.50

12.50

12.50

12.50

10.49

9.34

9.55

10.65

10.90

9.76

9.37

10.29

8.55

8.33

9.92

8.45

9.01

9.92

8.30

8.51

9.36

8.00

8.20

8.60

10.01

9.64

9.56

8.76

9.02

10.59

9.33

10.31

9.90

10.83

10.08

9.89

9.01

10.74

9.52

10.82

9.29

10.16

10.71

10.03

9.48

9.48

10.81

9.98

9.74

9.78

9.19

10.91

9.47

9.03

10.30

cm [e]

0.12

0.09

0.02

0.02

0.44

0.48

0.53

0.58

0.56

0.57

0.53

0.55

0.27

0.18

0.31

0.40

0.38

0.26

0.13

0.28

0.09

0.08

0.25

0.10

0.19

0.16

0.14

0.06

0.20

0.11

0.09

0.11

0.26

0.22

0.26

0.07

0.16

0.36

0.19

0.34

0.22

0.40

0.22

0.34

0.10

0.28

0.25

0.37

0.26

0.23

0.41

0.31

0.31

0.29

0.45

0.28

0.19

0.21

0.23

0.28

0.30

0.12

0.37

cm [e]

-0.06

-0.08

-0.07

-0.08

0.44

0.48

0.53

0.58

0.56

0.57

0.53

0.55

0.27

0.18

0.31

0.40

0.38

0.25

0.13

0.28

0.09

0.08

0.25

0.10

0.18

0.16

0.14

0.06

0.20

0.11

0.09

0.11

0.26

0.22

0.26

0.07

0.16

0.36

0.19

0.34

0.22

0.40

0.22

0.34

0.10

0.29

0.25

0.37

0.26

0.23

0.41

0.31

0.31

0.29

0.45

0.28

0.19

0.21

0.23

0.28

0.30

0.12

0.37

cDSM

[e]

m

-0.07

-0.08

-0.07

-0.08

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

0.15

0.29

0.09

0.09

0.24

0.11

0.19

0.16

0.15

0.06

0.20

0.11

0.09

0.11

0.26

0.22

0.26

0.08

0.19

0.38

0.21

0.34

0.22

0.40

0.22

0.34

0.10

0.29

0.25

0.37

0.26

0.23

0.41

0.31

0.32

0.29

0.45

0.28

0.18

0.21

0.23

0.28

0.30

0.12

0.35

-0.01

0

0

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

0.02

0.01

0

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.01

0

0.01

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.01

0.03

0.02

0.02

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.01

0

0

0

-0.01

0

0

0

0

0

-0.02

peaks in the uncontrolled case. Uncontrolled means here

that charging starts as soon as the EVs are plugged-in. The

total cost resulting from uncontrolled charging operations is

16,39 e. For the tariff, we refer to the Italian PUN (prezzo

unico nazionale) tariff [24] of the 24th July, 2012. The

power threshold is chosen as: P [k] = 1.2P ref [k]. We stress

that power reference and power thresholds are inputs to the

problem. They are specified by upper-level actors (e.g. DSO

and retailer). As we said they can be, for instance, the result

of market negotiation; but they can also experience shortterm variations in response of the current state of the grid

(DSM signals). Finally the parameters and k have been

set as follows: = 70 and k = 1/(1 + k 2 ), in order to

provide the aggregator with good tracking capabilities.

B. Normal operation

The aggregated controlled charging/discharging profiles

over all the control horizon are reported in Figure 1, while

1333

the budgeted costs and the final costs for all the EVs are

reported, respectively, in columns 5 and 6 of Table I. The

total cost is 16.00 e, while the average error is 2.2 % of the

power reference value (the maximum error is 16.76 % of

the reference). The cost is not far from the theoretical bound

achieved by a greedy controller obatained working with

= 0 (15.44 e), but less than the uncontrolled case (16,39

e). Hence, thanks to proper load shifting and V2G power

control (see Figure 1.b) the aggregator manages to optimize

costs while providing good power reference tracking and

charging curve flattering and valley filling capabilities.

In the present case, the aggregator manages to fulfill user

requests at a cost always equal to the budgeted one. It is

also interesting to see how the control action is updated as

time goes on and new events trigger the aggregator. In Figure

2, the charging power profile is reported in correspondence

of three different times of the day. It is seen how tracking is

accurate before the line of current time (where the control

has been already actuated), while it is not after that, because:

1) there is still not enough power demand after that time to

track the reference (the EVs arrival is sequential); 2) after

the line of current time, power is distributed depending

on the electricity tariff and depending on the choice of .

In particular, we can see from Figure 2.a how part of the

charging power is shifted far ahead of the line of current

time in order to take advantage of a convenient tariff. Since

k is monotonically decreasing, the tracking is accurate near

the line of the current time only, as desired. By properly

choosing k it is possible to define the length of the moving

window ahead of the current time line in which the

requirement of reference tracking is strict. The same ability

of the aggregator to dynamically adjust control, event after

event, can be seen by analyzing the control sequences and the

state sequences of the single EVs. As an example, in Figure

3 the evolution of control of EV no 2 at three different time

points is reported. Control constraints are respected.

Finally, regarding the computational effort, the average

number of variables along the iterations is 2823 ,the average computational time is 0.98 seconds and the maximum

computational time is 30.26 seconds.

Fig. 1.

Charging power (a), discharging power (b) and net power (c).

Fig. 2.

Fig. 3.

In the same simulation scenario as above, we simulate the

occurrence of a volume signal, which is notified at 11:30

and demands for a reduction of power between 12:00 and

13:00. In particular, in that time interval, the power threshold

is moved from 11.16 kW to 4 kW.

In Figure 4.a the

net charging profile just before the notification of the DSM

signal is represented. Comparing it with the following two

subfigures, it is seen that the controller manages to shift a

portion of the energy that was already allocated, thus being

able to positively react to the DSM signal. The rescheduling

of load comes at a cost; as a matter of fact, the overall cost

rises from 16.00 e (normal operation) to 16.13 e. Column

seven of Table I reports the cost for charging operations in

case of DSM event. The difference between the total cost in

case of normal operations and the total cost in case of DSM

Fig. 4.

drivers for positive reaction to the DSM request.

1334

Fig. 5.

D. Sensitivity analysis

The main parameter governing the equilibrium between

the two objectives of minimizing costs and tracking reference

is . In the above sections, has been chosen with the

objective of guaranteeing a good power reference tracking.

Moreover, we have evaluated how two indicators of the

opposite objectives, respectively, the overall cost, and the

mean tracking error, vary with . To this end, we perform

a battery of tests, varying from 0 to 20000. Results are

displayed in Figure 5, in which we plot the pairs error-cost

for different values of the parameter. The cost for = 0 is

the cost we obtained in the case of the greedy controller.

VIII. C ONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORKS

In this paper, an event driven MPC approach for the

management of EVs charging in distribution grids has been

presented, enabling the provisioning of the charging service

at a competitive cost and in respect of drivers preferences.

Also technical limitations on the range of control actions and

both grid and market requirements have been considered.

In particular, the amplitude of control is limited according

to the international standard IEC 61851 and the controller

is designed to let the aggregated power profile track a

reference resulting from the trading in the electricity markets.

Simulation results show that the control system is flexible

enough to properly react to sequences of asynchronous CRs

and DSM signals, then adapting its behavior and exploiting

the V2G power to meet mobility dynamics and short term

requirements for a feasible operation of the distribution grid.

Future works regard ad hoc strategies for solving the MILP

problem, a more detailed model of the EV battery and the

formulation of an extended problem aimed at balancing EV

charging and generation from RES [25], [26] at LA level.

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1335

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