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  • (2022) Fan, Hui
    The integration of variable distributed energy resources and vehicle electrification has come to focus over the last few years. While much work has been done to address the challenges that arise in modern distribution system planning and operation, continuous improvement to the models with the change is essential. The objective of this thesis is to improve the distribution network planning and operation models in the presence of distributed generation and electric vehicles. It aims to build stochastic models including the power generation and the charging demand, determine the location and sizing of the energy resources and charging stations in the coupled systems, and evaluate the impacts of the new low-carbon technologies on the network. Using a mixed-integer nonlinear programming framework through an optimal power flow analysis, this thesis presents three major methodological contributions including uncertainty modelling, coordinated mathematical formulation, and conflicting objective solutions. First, a multivariate stochastic process based on the notion of copula is applied to derive probabilistic charging patterns and to obtain the stochastic charging profiles. Second, a two-stage stochastic program based on statistical analysis and numerical simulation is introduced to generate synthetic time series of solar and wind power generation. The continuous distributions are discretized to generate the scenarios and the number of scenarios is reduced using Kantorovich metrics. Third, a two-dimensional Pareto front of dominant solutions is given for the competing objectives using a multiobjective Tchebycheff decomposition-based evolutionary algorithm. Case studies are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed methods. An optimal charging scheduling problem is formulated to assess the stochastic charging models. The problem is formulated as a conic quadratic optimal power flow model and solved with a convex optimization algorithm. Network expansion planning problems are presented with carsharing and non-carsharing models, as well as the distributed energy generations. Overall, these problems aim to minimize the planning and operational cost of feeder routing, and substation alterations while maximizing the utilization of charging stations. It is found that an accurate estimation of the randomness intrinsic to the network is critical to ensure the secure and economic operation and planning of the distribution system intertwined with the transport network.

  • (2023) Luo, Xiaoxuan
    Complex borohydrides have the potential to act as solid-state electrolytes for all-solid-state batteries. In this respect, sodium borohydride (NaBH4) is of high interest because it is thermally stable (up to 500 degrees celsius), and it has a high deformability and electrochemical stability against sodium anodes. However, its ionic conductivity at room temperature is extremely low ( ~ 10-10 S cm-1). Accordingly, this thesis aimed at investigating means to create defective NaBH4 structures with the intent to significantly enhance its ionic conductivity. To this aim, several strategies were investigated including the creation of intermediate interfaces, partial anionic substitution, the generation of defects and conducting interfaces through partial hydrolysis. By converting the surface of NaBH4 particles into Na2B12H12 of higher Na+ conductivity, to form NaBH4@Na2B12H12 core-shell structures, the resulting interface was found to lead to an ionic conductivity of 4 × 10-4 S cm-1at 115 degrees celsius, i.e., significantly higher to that of pristine Na2B12H12 (10-7 S cm-1). This demonstrates that it was possible to generate disordered interfaces trough anion mixing. The results suggested that the creation of defects may be more prone to lead to high ionic conductivity. Through partial substitution of BH4- anion by I- in NaBH4, defective NaBH4 structures with varied lattice constants could be created. This anion substitution strategy enhanced the ionic conductivity of NaBH4 doped with NaI to 1.6 × 10-3 S cm-1 at 65 degrees celsius. To further improve upon this, the idea of partial hydrolysis was also investigated with the idea to create both conductivity interfaces and defective NaBH4 structures by exposing NaBH4 to controlled amount of water. The disordered trapped interface located between alpha-NaBH4 and NaB(OH)4 showed fast Na+ dynamics, which led to a Na+ conductivity of 2.6 × 10-3 S cm-1 at 75 degrees celsius. Further addition of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) was found to help better control the levels of hydrolysis and the hydrolysed NaBH4-PEO composite electrolyte reached an ionic conductivity of 1.6 × 10-3 S cm-1 at 45 degrees celsius. These results indicate that the controlled formation of defects within NaBH4 is key to the conversion of such hydrides into superionic Na conductors.