Microgrid-Based Sustainable E-Bike Charging Station

Microgrid-Based Sustainable E-Bike Charging Station

Ghanishtha Bhatti, Raja Singh R.
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7626-7.ch006
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This chapter focuses on developing a sustainable architecture for public electric motorbike charging stations. Electric motorbikes or electric bicycles (both referred to as e-bikes) are compact electric vehicles which are primarily battery-powered and driven solely by electric motors. This work conceptualizes a microgrid architecture which utilizes the integration of distributed generation energy resources providing the charging station nodes with sustainable power and increased fault tolerance. The charging stations proposed in the study increase the long-time energy savings of the infrastructure maintenance authorities while also reducing reliance on the public grid during peak hours. The photovoltaic-based DC microgrid is integrated with e-bike charging infrastructure, moving towards a future of eco-friendly and power-efficient technology.
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The rapid depletion of polluting resources such as petroleum is a threat to existing technology and the civilization that it supports, and this has proliferated to a scale which cannot be ignored. As a result, sustainable technology and innovation has become the central focus of industry and also policymakers worldwide. The increased support for sustainability has caused the emergence of various scientific studies into employing technologies with greater renewable penetration like distributed generation. Even so, energy harvesting technology and DG resources are still in their nascent stage. Therefore, shifting entirely to DG supplied infrastructure is not yet cost-effective or resource-friendly, and the multitudes of protocols, standards, and infrastructure that is predominantly compatible only with conventional power supply is an additional hurdle. To overcome this impediment, the concept of Microgrids has been emergent, combining conventional sources along with simultaneous injection from more sustainable DG resources (Locment and Sechilariu, 2015). This grid configuration is a feasible alternative to boost DG penetration during local utilization, while also truncating the cost of supply (Manna and Goswami, 2017; Patterson, 2012). The low-carbon automobile revolution is said to be spearheaded by plug-in electric vehicles, which are predicted to dominate the automotive market in the coming years. Presently, a noteworthy amount of car manufacturers have plug−in electric vehicle (PEV) options in their fleet, either battery-based or hybrid EVs. Another statistical forecast suggests that in the near future PEV models will be part of every major automotive company’s fleet (Locment and Sechilariu, 2015). Although there is considerable scepticism about shifting to electric vehicles within the mean consumer demographic, this shift attributes to various customer perks such as a reduction in fuel costs and minimizing maintenance as the electric vehicle have approximately a tenth of the moving parts that mainstream vehicles have. Government promotion is key in the public perspective towards EVs. Additionally, many state-owned communities and municipal authorities provide added incentives like free parking services and insurance waivers to encourage purchasing greener alternatives (Bhatti and Singh, 2020). So far we have discussed the numerous merits of EVs, however, concomitantly they also increase the loading of grid supply sizeably during charging. Studies show the substantial impact of PEVs on the supply, noting that distribution transformers saw up to 68% increase in loading during peak hours (Aljanad and Mohamed, 2015). The same study notes that the peak power requirement due to PEVs increased by 30% at a penetration level of 17%. A detrimental effect on the public grid has been observed due to the sizeable current that is drawn during EV charging. A study on constant voltage charging shows that PEV current demands can vary from 64A to 400A, in fast charging mechanisms (Dharmakeerthi et al., 2011). This substantial impact indicates the need for renewing the conventional charging architecture of PEVs. Furthermore, a solution to incentivize the purchase and use of electric vehicles may stem from innovating its commercial model and infrastructure.

To tackle the aforementioned problems, this study is focused on realizing an energy-efficient charging station and a viable commercial model to bring electric vehicles into the mainstream transportation, even in developing countries. While similar studies have developed models for charging stations, this work uniquely conceptualizes a comprehensive utilization scheme, whose merits are expounded through the usage of Electric Bikes. The novelty of this study stems from its multifaceted savings approach in every aspect including:

  • The development of Microgrid for charging over conventional grid-based charging.

  • The usage of a rental transport mechanism over personal ownership.

  • The usage of Electric Bikes over fuel-driven motorcycles.

  • The focus on two-wheelers for commuting over four-wheelers.

The impacts of these design choices are illustrated in the results section of this paper. To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first study of its kind that provides an exhaustive scheme for the sustainable charging of electric bikes, while also promulgating a viable commercial model for incentivizing EVs. This paper focuses on conditions and development in suburban India, to ensure that the model is viable for use in developing nations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Distributed Generation: An approach that uses small-scale sources and converters to produce electricity close to the utilization point of that power. This form of generation is commonly associated with modular and renewable-energy generators.

Photovoltaic: This refers to any technology or media that harness energy from solar irradiation and convert it to electrical energy.

Microgrid: It is referred to as a cluster of interconnected loads and various energy resources within electrical boundaries that are predefined, and can function as a sole controllable structure with respect to the grid.

Electric Vehicle: This is an emerging class of vehicles that utilize only electric motors or traction motors to propel themselves.

Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect-Transistor (MOSFET): A type of voltage-controlled field-effect transistor that is manufactured by the controlled oxidation of a semiconductor such as silicon. It is commonly used in automotive electronics for controlled switching applications.

Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT): A semiconductor device with three-terminal power majorly used as a controlled switch in applications requiring fast switching.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle: A type of electric vehicle which can be recharged by external energy sources, commonly electric sockets which gives rise to the term “plug in.”

Hybrid Electric Vehicle: This class of electric vehicles combine the conventional internal combustion engine with electric energy for propulsion.

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