Tekn. Dr.Contact Carolina
Price peaks of electricity and power tariffs makes it more appealing to control and change electricity use in households to reduce costs. This project investigates how the heat pump and the charging of an electric car can be coordinated and controlled to avoid increased costs and still function in the everyday life of households.
One of the goals of this project is to develop a simulation model to control a heat pump and and charging of an electric car in a household to avoid power peaks and high electricity prices, based on driving and charging patterns, as well as the electricity consumption of the heat pump. We will test different controlling strategies, for example different ways of charging the car, or to what extent the control can be optimized according to price. We will then calculate what effect this has on the household's electricity bill. We will further examine how this type of control could be combined with different types of flexibility services*, to provide financial incentives for households. Another goal of the project is to investigate how a coordinated control would potentially work in practice, by including the perspectives, needs and activities of real households. To do this, we will conduct interviews with various households in detached houses to understand how such a control may need to be designed to function in their everyday life. Another purpose of the project is to increase the interdisciplinary cooperation between different scientific disciplines, as well as between academia and practitioners from the industry, in research on flexibility and time-shifting of electricity use.
A changing power system and increased demand for electricity will likely lead to more dynamic pricing of electricity and power tariffs in the future. These are introduced by electricity network companies and electricity trading companies to provide incentives for households to change the timing of their electricity consumption to avoid power peaks and not run all their appliances at once. For households in detached houses in Sweden, heat pumps are one of the most common ways to heat your home, and a growing share of these households are also getting an electric car. In such households, the charging of the electric car and the heat pumps represent a big share of the house's total electricity consumption and power use. Therefore, we found it interesting to examine if the heat pump and electric car can be controlled in a more cost efficient way, to not reinforce price peaks and power peaks further. This may benefit both the economy of the households, as well as lightening the burden on the power grid, while at the same time enabling a renewable power system and electrification of society.
We are also interested in understanding the prerequisites for a potential future service offering coordinated control of the heat pump and electric car charging. That households are willing and able to implement such a service in their everyday life is a condition for such a service to be functional and efficient in a real setting. Previous research has shown that technical systems that do not consider user needs and behaviour often turn out to be inefficient in practice. Furthermore, there is a risk of such systems resulting in undesirable consequences such as reinforced gender rolls or unjust burden sharing of costs in society. Because of these important aspects, we are working interdisciplinary in the project, including both technical and social perspectives on the coordinated control system.
In the project we are cooperating with researchers from Dalarna University, and with actors from the industry such as network companies, electricity trading companies, heat pump companies, companies working with smart steering of energy technologies, as well as manufacturers of charging stations for EVs.
*Flexibility services in this contexts means services where households can be compensated or have reduced costs by offering flexibility by changing their electricity use.
The electric car moves in!