LSU Electrical Engineering Researcher Looks to Bolster EV Charging Infrastructure

stock photo of ev charging stationsOctober 23, 2023 

BATON ROUGE, LA – One critique about electric vehicles (EV) is the lengthy charging times. Fast-charging stations can overcome this issue. However, installing them imposes an additional load on the electric power grid. For instance, when EV owners choose to charge their vehicle may coincide with peak load times for the grid. This can result in a strain on the grid and eventually, power outages and stability issues.

LSU Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Mehdi Farasat is working to solve this dilemma, thanks to funding from Entergy, by determining whether or not it’s more economical to increase the rated capacity of the feeder and/or substation from which the charging station is supplied or install a battery energy storage system (BESS) to assist with supporting the grid during peak load times. The optimal energy storage capacity, and therefore cost, of the BESS will be determined through an optimization algorithm that takes into account costs associated with installing, maintaining, and operating the BESS; market price for buying/selling power from/to the grid; and penalty costs for buying power during peak load into account.

“Making an educated decision about installing fast-charging stations will ensure that power outages and consequent stability issues in the power grid that can impact residential and industrial loads will be avoided,” Farasat said. “Furthermore, installed BESSs can support the grid, as well as the EV owners, during unwanted power outages caused by inclement weather conditions.

“The project is very timely given the recent passage of the infrastructure bill and acceptance of the proposal from the State of Louisiana pertaining to installation of the fast-charging stations throughout the state by the federal government. Entergy is sponsoring this project, as they see the need for preparation for the widespread use of EVs, which is taking place throughout the US and the region.”

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