Date of Award
MS in Electrical Engineering
The adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) as a means of transportation over conventionally fueled vehicles introduces new challenges to the existing infrastructure of the electrical transmission and distribution system. PHEV battery charging can represent a significant power demand that has the potential to overload electrical distribution components. This study examines the impacts of PHEV charging on household service transformers, distribution conductors and voltage levels of a Central California residential distribution system. The system is simulated using ETAP power system analysis software. Transformers are the most vulnerable to overloads, especially if PHEV charging occurs in clusters. Main feeder conductors will be overloaded if a large amount of high power, quick charging occurs. Branch conductors will not be affected by PHEV charging. Based on current PHEV market projections for the region this study shows that significant equipment overloads are not likely to occur until well after 2017.