PhD Position – Enhancing the role of Electric Vehicles for Balancing Distributed Resources Driven Power Systems

DTU Elektro
onsdag 29 mar 17

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Frist 12. maj 2017
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The Center for Electric Power and Energy (CEE) at the Department of Electrical Engineering invites applications for a 3-year PhD position associated with the Danish project ACES (Across Continents Electric Vehicles Services).

The project ACES aims at holistically investigate technical and economic system benefits and impacts by large scale electric vehicles integration on Bornholm, augmented by real usage patterns, grid data and field testing for across continents replicability. ACES includes partners from DTU, the car manufacturer Nissan, the service provider NUVVE and Bornholm local utility (Bornholm Energi og Forsyning).

The successful candidate will mainly be associated with project ACES. The PhD study will consider a full-scale penetration scenario of EVs (electric vehicles) on the island Bornholm which will be simulated in order to assess how aggregating functionality both technically and economically can support a successful integration of EVs into the energy system. A selected number of system services will be tested in order to validate their effectiveness on the real power system.

Responsibilities and tasks
The candidate work will streamline through two main research areas. Simulations and experiments in both Bornholm and in PowerLabDK will support the theoretical investigations: 

  • DSO (distribution system operators) and TSO (transmission system operator) coordination and grid modeling
  • EV (electric vehicles) aggregating functions and grid services techno-economic analysis

The first research topic has been receiving increasing attention recently. In the Danish power systems, with the expected development towards a power system based on intermittent renewable energy sources, the need for most of the ancillary services is likely to increase. However, it is pointed that in certain conditions distributed energy resources (DER) based service provision will introduce operational challenges to distribution system operator, that means voltage problem and power transformer/line congestions. In this context EVs play a major role, being a large flexible unit typically connected to low voltage feeders and capable of providing services to both DSO and TSO. By using Bornholm as test case, the PhD student will try to address the following research questions: 

  • Can a large set of EVs contribute to balance an islanded power system without inducing local grid issues?
  • Will Bornholm power system safely and securely supply a 100% EV penetration scenario and which guidelines could be defined for the findings to be replicable?

In term of the second research topic there have been so far several assumptions on the driving pattern of EV users when designing the EV aggregator functions, due to the lack of real driving pattern. The PhD student research questions will therefore additionally include: 

  • Contract phase: for how long, how large, and how fast the aggregated power of EV fleet should be ready on a daily, weekly or monthly basis when contracting with the system operator?
  • Real time operation phase: how to ensure the control signal given by the system operator will be strictly followed?

Candidates should hold an MSc in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the MSc in engineering. The applicants should fulfil the following requirements: 

  • Background in electrical power engineering.
  • Understanding of power systems operation and distributed energy resources (DER) grid integration issues in terms of frequency and voltage control.
  • Knowledge of simulations software (Matlab-Simulink) or power systems specific tools (PowerFactory or SimPowerSystems).


  • Experience in experimental work with DER, especially EVs.
  • Ability to simulate power systems with large shares of distributed energy resources
  • Proficient use of the English language.
  • Ability to present results in technical reports, and prepare scientific papers for publication in international journals.

Approval and Enrolment
PhD scholarships are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general PhD programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please read the DTU PhD Guide.   

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The place of work will be at DTU Risø Campus, Roskilde, Denmark.

Further information
You are welcome to contact Associate Professor Mattia Marinelli, or Associate Professor Chresten Træholt,

You can read more about DTU Electrical Engineering on and about CEE on  

Please submit your online application no later than 12 May 2017. Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:  

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their MSc, but cannot begin before having received it. The candidate is expected to begin latest August 2017.  

All qualified candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Electrical Engineering is the central department at the Technical University of Denmark in electrical, biomedical engineering and acoustic technology. It is our goal to ensure an engineering training and research, which matches that of other leading universities around the world. The department is organized into sections each covering important areas of electrical, biomedical engineering and acoustic technologies. Including PhD students we have a total of 275 staff members.   

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies