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Need help with a thesis topic withing electric power distribution. Please help!

  1. Jul 30, 2009 #1
    Hello guys,
    Please I need help in getting ideas for my masters thesis, I am a electrical (electric power distribution) engineering student and I have been searching for a long time with no good results, if anyone has links or good ideas please help me. My latest idea was the impacts of plug-in hybrid cars on the distribution system, but there aren't many cars out there, so how would I do a thesis topic on their impacts with no data? Maybe I should look into another area, eh? Any suggestions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Well, the SmartGrid would be an obvious choice right about now. What can you tell us about the SmartGrid?
  4. Jul 31, 2009 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Hi milesba44, and welcome to PhysicsForums!

    That's probably something you should bring up with your thesis advisor. However, I'd propose that the following may be a starting point:
    • Use the Chevy Volt, or other in-the-news vehicle with actual numbers associated with it--required energy per km, charge time, average utilization of average commuter--as an 'exemplar' vehicle, and figure out the impact of one of these
    • Estimate the impact a tiny amount of ownership (e.g. 0.001% household ownership)
    • Estimate the impact a large amount of ownership (e.g. 10% household ownership)
    • What might this happen to "off-peak" power rates, and how much additional capacity might be required for in-peak charging at various levels of utilization?
    • What ramifications might there be if "capacitive quick charging" schemes are employed in terms of power factor and utility loading?

    Those were questions that popped in my head when I heard the Chevy Volt was going to be commercialized and start reflecting a new trend (maybe).
  5. Jul 31, 2009 #4
    Those ideas are cool, but I'm afraid I may not have enough data to provide enough to convince someone examining me. My advisor has a laid back attitude and he thinks I should do something related to the smart grid of plug-in hybrids as well. I'm just not sure how to show the impacts with no data. I would be using the IEEE test feeders for my research as well.
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