Closer Monitoring of Wind Power Generation Could Better Optimize the Charging of Electric Vehicles

Patrick Rock Berg


Wind turbines are used to inexhaustibly generate electricity in an environmentally responsible manner. However, a challenge with using wind turbines is that the electricity produced depends on the speed of the wind. In many places it is windier late at night, when the demand and price for electricity are lowest, and calmer during the day, when the demand and price for electricity are highest. At times, there are such powerful winds at night that there is more electricity being generated than can be used, forcing the wind turbines to be shut down. This reduces the revenue of the wind farms which dissuades further investment. Electric vehicles, however, have a complementary profile: they tend to be recharged during the evening with little recharging done during the daytime. Electric vehicles are potential customers for the electricity wind turbines produce at night. Matching supply and demand in this manner could increase investment in wind turbines and the number of emission-free electric vehicles. This research investigates the potential synergy between wind turbines and electric vehicles. At a glance, this scheme appears to be sensible, but additional analyses must be performed. This research investigates the correlation of electric vehicle charging and wind power generation in the Pacific Northwest using data from 2011-2012. The wind data comes from the Bonneville Power Administration, who has over 3000 MW of installed wind power across the Northwest. The electric vehicle data comes from the EV Project who has over 1000 charging stations in Washington that are collecting data. The data sets were quality-controlled and then divided into both 15 minute and 1-hour intervals. To investigate the influence of seasonal trends on the correlation, the data sets were partitioned into monthly subsets. Pearson, Kendall and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated for each month as well as other statistical measures of association. Preliminary results show that there is indeed a correlation between the two green technologies, but it is lower than anticipated. However, it was discovered the correlation is dependent on the time of year. During the summer months, from April to August, the correlation values are at their greatest, around 0.3.


Keywords: Wind Power, Electric Vehicles, Correlation, Renewable Energy

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