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Elon Musk unveils Tesla Powerwall batteries to 'change the world' | Mashable

Tesla founder Elon Musk just unveiled Tesla Energy, an ambitious plan to power the world with a new design of home battery called the Powerwall, with the aim ...

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Elon Musk unveils Tesla Powerwall batteries to 'change the world' | Mashable

Tesla founder Elon Musk just unveiled Tesla Energy, an ambitious plan to power the world with a new design of home battery called the Powerwall, with the aim ...

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Warren Buffett's Best Advice on Successful Investing

Warren Buffett, Brian Moynihan Speak at Georgetown
Rainer Poertner's insight:
Missed on amazon, but not much else.
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What's the best way to charge millions of electric vehicles at once?

What's the best way to charge millions of electric vehicles at once? | Finance | Scoop.it

About 350,000 plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) have been sold in the US from 2008—when they first entered the market—to mid-2015. Although EVs still represent a small fraction of the country's 250 million total vehicles, the continual increase in sales suggests that EVs will become even more popular over the next few decades. This raises the question of how millions of EVs may be charged at once on a grid that was not originally intended to supply such large amounts of power.

 

The main problem, as researchers Rui Carvalho and coauthors from the UK and Slovakia explain in a recent paper published in the New Journal of Physics, is congestion—not road traffic congestion, but charging traffic congestion. In their paper, they show that when the number of EVs being plugged into the network reaches a critical point, the system undergoes a phase transition from a "freeflow" state (where all vehicles can be fully charged within the expected time period, say 4 hours) to a congested state. In the congested state, some vehicles have to wait for increasingly long times to fully charge, resulting in queues of vehicles rapidly building up that will then face even longer charging times.

 

"With high penetration of electric vehicles, charging at home will increase the stress on the 'last mile' of local distribution networks," Carvalho, a researcher at Durham University in the UK, told Phys.org. "The conventional solution would be to lay copper under the road, so as to increase network capacity. The cost of upgrading the last mile of the network, however, would be prohibitive, and we present an alternative, much cheaper approach that could be implemented with minimal hardware requirements: a software layer and controllers at the point of charge."

 

As the researchers explain, the congestion problem can be avoided, at least to an extent, by managing how the power is allocated throughout the charging network. A good management strategy can increase the critical number of vehicles that pushes the system over the threshold into its congested state, thereby allowing more vehicles to be charged in their normal charge time.

 

In their paper, the researchers compared two charging strategies ("max-flow" and "proportional fairness") with the aim to guide network designers in deciding which algorithms to implement in the real world. Both algorithms investigated here rely on recent advances that combine tools from optimization and critical phenomena. As vehicles randomly plug in to the network, the network must continually solve the congestion control problem and allocate each vehicle an instantaneous power using the algorithm. The researchers compared the outcomes of both algorithms using simulations that are only possible due to techniques developed since 2012.


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