Electric Vehicles and a Modernized Grid: Opportunities and Challenges

Mar 8, 2018  |  4:00pm | ESB 1001
Dr. Mahnoosh Alizadeh
Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC, Santa Barbara

Enabled through the rapid advancement of real-time sensing and communication technologies, we are seeing a more flexible resource consumption behavior in many of our societal infrastructure systems that previously faced "inelastic" demand. This transformation can provide us with new operational flexibility and potentially enable us to make our urban world safer and more efficient. However, dispatching this new form of flexibility requires modeling and influencing human behavior. Coupled with the inherent stochasticity and strict reliability requirements, this gives rise to the need for deployment of elaborate new control systems in our infrastructure systems. A prominent example of such demand flexibility and the new challenges it brings is in the so-called "smart charging" of Electric Vehicles (EVs), which aims to incentivize EV drivers to opportunistically charge EV batteries at times and locations with abundant energy supply and minimal grid congestion. This can help turn EVs into a significant grid resource offering flexible capacity to the system. Based on their travel needs and the cost of charging at various stations available to them, EV drivers decide on what I call a "charge and travel plan". The same can be said about autonomous electric vehicle fleets. At the system level, this joint planning will introduce an interdependence between intelligent power and transportation systems. In this talk, I will discuss pricing and vehicle routing schemes that allow power and transportation networks to cooperatively minimize the carbon footprint of EVs, while considering the stochastic mobility needs of customers, the limited capacity of charging stations, and the state of the power grid.


Mahnoosh Alizadeh is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining UCSB, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University from 2014 to 2016. She is broadly interested in designing monitoring, control, and economic mechanisms for societal-scale infrastructure systems and in particular smart power system. Dr. Alizadeh obtained her BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2009 and her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 2014, where she was the recipient of the Richard C. Dorf award for outstanding research accomplishment.

HostJohn BowersEvent TypeSeminar