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The vehicle-to-grid (V2G) system enables energy flow from the electric vehicles (EVs) to the grid. The distributed power of the EVs can either be sold to the grid or be used to provide frequency regulation service when V2G is implemented. A V2G control algorithm is necessary to decide whether the EV should be charged, discharged, or provide frequency regulation service in each hour. The V2G control problem is further complicated by the price uncertainty, where the electricity price is determined dynamically every hour. In this paper, we study the real-time V2G control problem under price uncertainty. We model the electricity price as a Markov chain with unknown transition probabilities and formulate the problem as a Markov decision process (MDP). This model features implicit estimation of the impact of future electricity prices and current control operation on long-term profits. The Q-learning algorithm is then used to adapt the control operation to the hourly available price in order to maximize the profit for the EV owner during the whole parking time. We evaluate our proposed V2G control algorithm using both the simulated price and the actual price from PJM in 2010. Simulation results show that our proposed algorithm can work effectively in the real electricity market and it is able to increase the profit significantly compared with the conventional EV charging scheme.
Date of Conference: 17-20 Oct. 2011