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Master theses

Current and past ideas and concepts for Master Theses.

Design, Implementation and Evaluation of a Charging Station and Charching Station Network for Electric Vehicles

Subject

The company Go Watts is a Charging Point Operator (CPO): they place, maintain and manage charging infrastructure for themselves and/or third parties. The following explains the current CPO situation and what Go Watts hopes to do in this rapidly growing market and they will develop their own charging stations as well. Multiple thesis subjects are possible across many fields: the electronics of the charging points, both the charger’s controller and the high-power safety security and privacy of the communication and user data intelligent pricing and load balancing using AI, based on a flexible energy market development of a novel backend and frontend for CPOs with complex user and access management … The final subject will be determined in August after discussion with Go Watts and the promotor.

Existing CPO platforms are mainly focused on public charging with public charging cards (cfr. fuel cards from the gasoline era). However, the people at Go Watts are convinced that there are many business cases in which the customer or intermediary parties want to set up communication with the charging stations but that no public charging cards are involved. The current platforms are not flexible enough for this. Just think of situations of companies that want to place charging stations at their employees' homes but pay the employees for the electricity that is consumed for that purpose.

Therefore, they want to set up their own CPO platform. Starting small by just setting up basic communication so that the charging stations can be accessed from above and exchange information (about errors, charging sessions, etc.).

The system will need to handle various forms of energy flows (and not just charging stations). We expect that soon these assets will have to be controlled based on the price and availability of energy (high wind = high energy = low price and vice versa). So there will always be a trade-off between availability, price and the wishes/needs of the end user. There are situations (e.g. for couriers) where one simply must be able to charge within a certain timeframe or the business comes to a halt. Then a stationary battery, for example, can become important.
Promotor: Tom Hennes, CEO from GoWatts
Contact at VUB: Kris Steenhaut
Co-promotos, depending on chosen subject: Peter Van den Bossche/Kris Steenhaut/An Braeken/Abdellah Touhafi and Dario di Zenobio

On the other hand, in this way you can create a kind of virtual power plant and offer it to the energy market. It's a lot of power (energy capacity) that can be used flexibly. Just think of the possibilities if you could turn on or off 1000 charging stations with linked cars together and the impact you could have with that. This would require some (AI based) load balancing

Some local hardware can also be developed, to measure the current and data from other components (batteries, solar panel inverters, …)

To connect to the platform to the energy market, several APIs already exist. These need to be evaluated, also on a financial basis. It is also important to have good models to determine the own consumption/capacity based on historical data and predictions of e.g. the weather (AI).

The info must be made available to the rest of the CPO platform so that end users can also help to respond flexibly to energy prices. Someone who is more flexible, we will be able to give lower prices. This will become even more important from V2G (vehicle to grid) and V2H (vehicle to home) applications onwards.

Promotor

Prof. Dr. Ir. Kris Steenhaut

+32 (0)2 629 2977

ksteenha@etrovub.be

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