Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

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Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

ddauer
Hi all,

we're building a customer model for an EV and have the following (simplified) scenario:
  1. The EV is initially subscribed to the default tariff from the default broker with the customer count of 1.
  2. The EV can subscribe to multiple tariffs.
  3. Assuming we have 3 tariffs:
    1. Default tariff
    2. Simple tariff A with rate 0.1 from 3am-5am. According to the wiki, this basic tariff design should be possible.
    3. Simple tariff B with rate 0.4 from 6pm-10pm
  4. We know beforehand that our EV is likely to only consume power between 6-8pm, so we unsubscribe from default tariff and subscribe to tariff B.
We've already been looking at the game spec/wiki in order to answer the following questions but would appreciate your input on this:
  1. Can we unsubscribe from the default tariff at all? I can't find anything in the game spec/wiki/code saying we can't.
  2. If we can unsubscribe from the default tariff, what's going to happen in case we need to consume power outside the specified time in tariff B (6-10pm)? I guess we would need to subscribe to another tariff immediately since we need to report power consumption per TariffSubscription.
  3. What's going to happen if we report power usage to a TariffSubscription outside the valid rate (e.g., report in tariff B at 4pm)?
  4. Since we need to report power consumption per TariffSubscription, we could be subscribed to 20+ tariffs but not report any usage (assuming there is no periodic payment)? E.g., assuming we are subscribed to the default tariff and tariff B, we could decide from which tariff we would like to consume power at 6pm?
Thanks much,
David

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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

achryso
I will try to answer this to the best of my knowledge out using the tariffs for my customer models hoping to be corrected if I am wrong at any turn.

1. In the beginning you subscribe to the default tariff just to be in a tariff, but you can always unsubscribe from it as, as you can with every tariff you find.

2. Yes, you will have to subscribe to another tariff that contains the specific timeslots in order to consume power. If you timeslot of interest are not in any of the tariffs subscribed you cannot consumer - produce. Even though I think that tariffs of this small duration are not going to be easy to find.

3. I am not pretty sure what is going to happen.

4. Of course you can. You can select one of the available tariffs for that timeslot and run the consumePower() function of this particular subscription only.

Does this makes sense?
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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

grampajohn
Administrator
In reply to this post by ddauer
I assume this model extends AbstractCustomer as does Village, right?
ddauer wrote
   1. The EV is initially subscribed to the default tariff from the default
   broker with the customer count of 1.
Why a count of 1? It should be the number of customers in the model. So if you are modeling 1000 EV customers, the customer count would be 1000.
ddauer wrote
   2. The EV can subscribe to multiple tariffs.
An individual customer within the model can only subscribe to one tariff. The total of the customer counts in all the subscriptions needs to be equal to the number of customers in the model.
ddauer wrote
   3. Assuming we have 3 tariffs:
      1. Default tariff
      2. Simple tariff A with rate 0.1 from 3am-5am. According to the wiki,
      this basic tariff design should be possible.
      3. Simple tariff B with rate 0.4 from 6pm-10pm
   4. We know beforehand that our EV is likely to only consume power between
   6-8pm, so we unsubscribe from default tariff and subscribe to tariff B.
Yes, this is done through AbstractCustomer.changeSubscription (but see #259).
ddauer wrote
We've already been looking at the game spec/wiki in order to answer the
following questions but would appreciate your input on this:

   1. Can we unsubscribe from the default tariff at all? I can't find
   anything in the game spec/wiki/code saying we can't.
Yes, of course. Individuals within the model can switch subscriptions at any time. This may result in signup bonus and early-withdrawal penalty depending on tariff terms.
ddauer wrote
   2. If we can unsubscribe from the default tariff, what's going to happen
   in case we need to consume power outside the specified time in tariff B
   (6-10pm)? I guess we would need to subscribe to another tariff immediately
   since we need to report power consumption per TariffSubscription.
That's why the operation in AbstractCustomer only allows switching of tariffs, not independent subscribing and unsubscribing.
ddauer wrote
   3. What's going to happen if we report power usage to a
   TariffSubscription outside the valid rate (e.g., report in tariff B at 4pm)?
That's not possible, because a tariff that does not specify rates for all possible times is not valid.
ddauer wrote
   4. Since we need to report power consumption per TariffSubscription, we
   could be subscribed to 20+ tariffs but not report any usage (assuming there
   is no periodic payment)? E.g., assuming we are subscribed to the default
   tariff and tariff B, we could decide from which tariff we would like to
   consume power at 6pm?
No, each customer within the model is subscribed to exactly one tariff. When that customer consumes power, it is charged against that tariff. It is up to the model developer to allocate usage to tariffs.

Does this help?

John
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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

ddauer
Thanks for both your help, please see my answers below.

I assume this model extends AbstractCustomer as does Village, right?

 Yes, it will.
   1. The EV is initially subscribed to the default tariff from the default 
   broker with the customer count of 1.
Why a count of 1? It should be the number of customers in the model. So if you are modeling 1000 EV customers, the customer count would be 1000.

Because we're modeling a single EV and not a EV fleet for now.
 
   2. The EV can subscribe to multiple tariffs.
An individual customer within the model can only subscribe to one tariff. The total of the customer counts in all the subscriptions needs to be equal to the number of customers in the model.

I don't understand this limitation. Even as an individual customer, wouldn't it make sense to be able to subscribe to multiple tariffs? Especially for situations in which I'd want a different tariff for consumption than for production?

Thanks much,
David


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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

achryso
There can be a confussion between customers and customer population and maybe some things should be clarified.

An Abstract Customer can have population of 1 - as many as you like. For example a village is an abstract customer than can contain hundreds of households that are the population of this Customer.

So if you have an EV or a swarm of EV they can be contained in one Abstract Customer.

This Abstract Customer can have more that 1 tariff subscriptions (CONSUMPTION, PRODUCTION) but each one of the population of this Customer can be included only in one of this Subscriptions.

So you can have an Abstract Customer with 10 EV in one Subscription and the rest in another or on a third one etc.

Does this make sense?

Antonios.
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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

grampajohn
Administrator
In reply to this post by ddauer
ddauer wrote
>    2. The EV can subscribe to multiple tariffs.
>
> An individual customer within the model can only subscribe to one tariff.
> The total of the customer counts in all the subscriptions needs to be equal
> to the number of customers in the model.
>

I don't understand this limitation. Even as an individual customer, wouldn't it make sense to be able to subscribe to multiple tariffs? Especially for situations in which I'd want a different tariff for consumption than for production?
It would indeed be possible for a single EV to subscribe to separate consumption and production tariffs, but not to multiple consumption tariffs or production tariffs. But I would guess the best rates would be for interruptible consumption and production tariffs, or better yet to a single EV-oriented tariff that allowed for some flexibility in the timing of the charging process to allow the battery to be used for balancing. We don't have any defaults for this, nor do we have a broker that offers it, but it's in the design.

John
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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

ddauer
OK, thanks for clarifying that.

Cheers,
David
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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

jrichstein
Sorry for only belatedly adding to this discussion:

From my point of view having only one tariff for now (pilot phase) is better for two reasons (besides the balancing issue John talked about):

* Several tariffs would make tariff generation for the broker far more complex (estimating EV consumption is far more difficult  if the vehicle can charge/discharge somewhere else)
* Letting choose the EV between different tariffs in different time slots, also adds complexity to the consumer, and would enable opportunistic "hopping" between the many tariff+rate combinations different brokers offer

On the other hand, the possibility of multiple tariffs should not be strictly excluded forever, since different tariffs for different locations (work, home & quick charging, e.g. on long trips) might become a common case in the future and make sense (because of cost differences in charging infrastructure). Location-based tariffs however would also soften the 'tariff-hopping" problem, since it adds the transaction cost of travelling to charging and intuitively translates to simpler rules (charge+balancing at home/work whenever possible, only use expensive public charging for trips > max. travel distance).

If I understand the PowerTAC tariff structure correctly, for now your proposition would translate to two tariffs:

a) Default
b) One tariff with rate A=0.1 from 3am - 5am, B= 0.4 for 6pm - 10pm and rate C=Default for all other timeslots

Cheers
Jörn

On 02.06.2011, at 18:17, ddauer [via Power TAC Developers] wrote:

> OK, thanks for clarifying that.
>
> Cheers,
> David
>
>
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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

chris.flath
I pretty much agree with Jörn. We already have a fairly complex tariff model and the presence of population models further complicates the subject matter.

Imagine a situation where a customer model is a multi-contracting population of multi-contracting customers - this seems impossible to handle from both a customer as well as a broker perspective.

Most likely multi-contracting customers will only work if we have singleton customer model but we currently want to have population models for server load reasons.
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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

grampajohn
Administrator
In reply to this post by jrichstein
jrichstein wrote
On the other hand, the possibility of multiple tariffs should not be strictly excluded forever, since different tariffs for different locations (work, home & quick charging, e.g. on long trips) might become a common case in the future and make sense (because of cost differences in charging infrastructure). Location-based tariffs however would also soften the 'tariff-hopping" problem, since it adds the transaction cost of travelling to charging and intuitively translates to simpler rules (charge+balancing at home/work whenever possible, only use expensive public charging for trips > max. travel distance).
I think we should assume that anyone with an EV would pay for their power through a single account (a single tariff) regardless of location. This is equivalent to incorporating a card-reader into each charging hookup. Other than battery-swapping, I see little hope of widespread adoption of EVs without a scheme more or less like this.
If I understand the PowerTAC tariff structure correctly, for now your proposition would translate to two tariffs:

a) Default
b) One tariff with rate A=0.1 from 3am - 5am, B= 0.4 for 6pm - 10pm and rate C=Default for all other timeslots
There is nothing in the tariff specification that allows a single customer to subscribe to multiple tariffs for a given power-type. This is specifically disallowed, although of course a population model can have different tariff subscriptions for different members of its population.

John
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Re: Default Tariff, Tariff Multicontracting

chris.flath
Completely overread this section of Jörn's post - thanks for making this clear!

Again I would very much hesitate to open this can as it will lead to a sequence of horrible complications in bookkeeping, customer modeling and broker learning strategies.