Agent coordinated virtual power plants of electric vehicles

Agent coordinated virtual power plants of electric vehicles

Micha Kahlen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Technology and Operations Management at Rotterdam School of Management. The topic of his PhD project is ‘Aggregating Electric Cars to Sustainable Virtual Power Plants: The Value of Flexibility in Future Electricity Markets’. In his research he focuses on the integration of renewable energy sources into complex energy networks. More specifically he investigates the possibilities of using electric vehicles to balance the grid by smart charging and vehicle to grid applications. Micha did his bachelor in International Business Administration and his master in Business Information Management at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Before he started his PhD he worked as a business analyst for Capgemini.

The key challenge associated with the transition to sustainable energy is dynamically balancing energy supply and demand. Information systems and smart markets play a vital role in this transition. We study electric vehicles as storage and demand response objects, which are a subset of the smart grid solutions to this societal problem. To elicit consumer behaviour and deduct inferences on their preferences towards demand response mechanisms and in particular their price elasticity over time we use field experiments. Based on this experimental data, data from driving behaviour, and other field experiments in smart grids we device information system artefacts such as machine learning algorithms as solutions to these problems. These artefacts assume the forms of intelligent software agents and decision support mechanisms that are used for smart energy trading and the operation of virtual power plants based on energy market signals. I validate my findings within the large scale smart grid simulation platform Power TAC. First findings underline the advantage of the trading strategy in terms of the triple bottom line: people, plant, profit. Also significant operational efficiencies in the operation of virtual power plants, in particular negative operating reserve capacity could be demonstrated.