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2013 21st Mediterranean Conference on Control & Automation (MED)

Platanias-Chania, Crete, Greece, June 25-28, 2013

IEC 61851 compliant electric vehicle charging control in Smartgrids


Alessandro Di Giorgio, Francesco Liberati and Silvia Canale

Abstract This paper deals with the problem of controlling


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

The algorithm supports time varying prices, power references


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

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the batteries; 4) backfeeding is not considered. These are


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),

the current has to be in the range from 6 A to 80 A,


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.

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The interaction with the DSO is not needed at each iteration,


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 }

In the following subsections we detail the discrete-time,


open-loop optimal control problem that the CSCC solves
each time it is triggered by a meaningful event.

It represents the set of flexible EVs possibly involved in


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

The set Mk M is defined as


(6)

C. Prediction Model
J = Jcost + Jreg ,

(1)

where R+ is a suitable trade-off parameter. The former


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].

In MPC, the prediction model allows to evaluate the future


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

The control variable Um [k] represents the controlled power


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)

being || || the ` -norm in the real space: for each a R


||a|| = max |ai |.

where m M and k [I, Em 1] and m (0, 1) is the


continuous non zero charge/discharge efficiency of each EV.

(4)

Um [k] [1, m ] {0} [m , 1]

0 < m < 1, (8)

for m M and k [I, Em ]; positive (negative) values of


Um [k] are related to charging (discharging), while U = 0
represents the stand by mode.

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The second set of control constraints aims to avoid that the


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

where the current time I, and E, defined as


E = max Em ,

(10)

mM

are the boundaries of the control horizon.


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

Pm T C[k]Um [k] (1+)cm m M, (11)

cm [I]+

k=I

where  is a small tolerance parameter.


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)

F. Overall problem definition


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

market data {C[], P [], P []}, solve


min

Um ,mM

J,

(14)

subject to the dynamics (7), control constraints (8), (9), (11),


and state and termination constraints (12) and (13), where
Mk and E are defined in (6) and (10) respectively.

VI. E QUIVALENT OPTIMIZATION PROBLEM


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)

Notice that, if uk vk = 0 for some k {1, .., A}, then


|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

formulate the expression (17) as a set of linear constraints


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

S IMULATION SETUP ( COLUMNS 1-4) AND RESULTS ( COLUMNS 5-8).


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

m {1, .., N }, k {1, .., A}. (18)

Then, the target function (1) can be linearized as follows


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.

Finally, we can formulate the optimization problem as a


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 qmk zmk qmk


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

p
+
q

1
m

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

Pi
Pi

min

Xm xm [1] + k=1 Pm T ymk k=1 Pm T zmk

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

PA
PA

xm [1] + k=1 Pm T ymk k=1 Pm T zmk

ref

m {1, .., N }
Xm

ymk , zmk , uk , vk , w R+ , pmk ,

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

Minimum rebate [e]


-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

as to provide a fluctuating aggregated power profile with


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.

Net charging power profiles at three distinct times of the day.

Fig. 3.

Control evolution for EV no. 2.

C. Reaction to DSM signals


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.

Net charging power profiles in case of DSM.

is the minimum rebate that the retailer has to provide to the


drivers for positive reaction to the DSM request.

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Fig. 5.

Sensibility analysis with respect to parameter .

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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