Trustworthy Framework for Mobile Smart Meters

Activity Leads: 
Research Summary: 

TCIPG researched electric vehicles (EVs) and diverse themes around EVs.  We investigated a Mobile Smart Meter (MSM) that monitors energy usage by the car and communicates with the utility for periodic reporting, billing information, or route suggestions in a secure and private manner. The overall research made contributions in these four areas: (a) development of secure storage system on the mobile meter within an EV, (b) design and validation of secure protocols between EVs and Grid Infrastructure in case of dynamic wireless charging, (c) placement algorithms for EV charging stations, and (d) integrated security and privacy preservation protocols for EVs reporting.

  • Secure storage in mobile meters enables us to track energy usage during driving and also track energy using dynamic wireless charging, and then provide reports to the utility in efficient manner as well support information retrieval for audit. The developed key management framework in this scope of mobile metering embeds contextual information when generating symmetric keys.
  • Fast authentication protocols address the challenges of secure communication between mobile smart meters and the utility, which may be routed through a combination of wired networks, open WiFi, and cellular networks. This activity focused on the question of how a mobile smart meter communicates with the dynamic wireless charging coils in the road, as well as with the utility office, in a secure and reliable manner. The ultimate goal was to design a trustworthy framework for communication between meters and the utility; a fast authentication scheme so that MSM can prove their identity to other smart meters or to roadside units; and a periodic reporting scheme for MSM that preserves users’ location privacy. We pursued approaches such as full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and Portunes key management. We included a proactive key dissemination approach for EV-utility authentication; key pre-distribution-based fast authentication for EV-charging pad authentication; and a flow-based model for charging pad/charging station location optimization. We also considered cyber-physical authentication that binds an EV’s physical presence with its digital identity. Benefits of this work included support for easy monitoring and accurate tracking of energy usage (a meter is directly associated with the car that consumes energy); a flexible pricing model (wherein a mobile smart meter receives pricing information specifically targeted at the associated car); and flexible energy exchange (such that meter-to-meter communication allowing cars to sell energy directly to each other and record the exchange correctly).
  • We have explored the optimal placement of charging stations and charging pads for EVs depending on the traffic flows in a city. The challenging aspect is to take into account very different patterns of traffic and other social points of interest, in addition to the distance between charging places from and to destinations of EVs. We have worked on optimization problems to provide trustworthy placement of charging stations and wireless pads for different city topologies, different patterns of traffic and different points of interest that would change the traffic pattern in time.
  • We have researched not only a secure communication among roads, EVs, telecommunication and power grid, but also enabled real-time authentication between EV and power grid while maintaining location privacy. Our Lynx system provides this integrated security and privacy for EV drivers. With Lynx, the power utility will know in secure fashion how much electricity the user charged and how much electricity the user used over certain distance, but the utility will only gain aggregate information about the region regarding the electricity usage, since each EV driver will report region information instead of exact GPS location of charging.
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