Concentrated purchasing patterns of plug-in vehicles may result in localized distribution transformer overload scenarios. Prolonged periods of transformer overloading causes service life decrements, and in worst-case scenarios, results in tripped thermal relays and residential service outages. This analysis will review distribution transformer load models developed in the IEC 60076 standard, and apply the model to a neighborhood with plug-in hybrids.

Residential distribution transformers are sized such that night-time cooling provides thermal recovery from heavy load conditions during the daytime utility peak. It is expected that PHEVs will primarily be charged at night in a residential setting. If not managed properly, some distribution transformers could become overloaded, leading to a reduction in transformer life expectancy, thus increasing costs to utilities and consumers.

A Monte-Carlo scheme simulated each day of the year, evaluating 100 load scenarios as it swept through the following variables: number of vehicle per transformer, transformer size, and charging rate. A general method for determining expected transformer aging rate will be developed, based on the energy needs of plug-in vehicles loading a residential transformer...(read more...)