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Powering The Future

What role does the electrical industry fulfil in a smart city?

Smart city concept is gaining accolades big time now. It focuses majorly on the development of clean and green cities which emphasises on no facility downtime. Electrical industry plays a justified role in this regard, for any smart city by ensuring safety, continuous operation of any set up, measuring and controlling several relative parameters.

Parag Yelegaonkar, Business Development Manager, Testo India Pvt Ltd says, “Cities depend extensively on the electrical industry for constant power supply right from generation, transmission, distribution and even to optimise the power usage, to achieve the status of smart and efficient. Electrical and power industry acts as a backbone for these kinds of plans.”

“Clean, continuous and reliable source of power is one of the key essentials of Smart Cities, where it becomes imperative to develop dedicated renewable sources generating clean and sustainable energy to cater to daily energy needs. Distributed microgrids through rooftop solar panels can be used to augment energy source and cater to localised energy requirements,” says Kaustav Sen, Business Head – Solar, KEC International Ltd. “Adoption of new age storage technologies at optimal costs will further boost renewable usage for smart cities because as of today, renewable continue to be an intermittent source of energy and needs augmentation through thermal or fossil fuel based generation sources.”

Other technologies such as digital sub-stations, smart meters and anti-theft cables will ensure seamless power distribution with minimal AT&C losses to further support smart city infrastructure.

The industry can also take the smart city mission forward by partnering with the Government at a macro decision-making level and with the city officials at an execution level to ensure success.

R A Gotur, Director – Indian Operations, Hongfa Group – India says, “Cities and utilities around the world are committing to clean energy objectives as they attempt to shape the development of more sustainable urban communities.”

Cities can independently support the adoption of clean energy technologies, but without buy-in and support from the utility that powers the electric grid, those resources cannot be used to their full potential. In some cases, clean energy resources such as distributed solar PV may even threaten the stability of the grid and universal access to power.

Cities and utilities, therefore, need to develop a cross-agency smart energy and smart city strategy to enable the optimal use of citizen and city-owned clean energy resources. Gotur acknowledges, “Such a strategy can harbour a safe and effective means of increasing sustainability of urban energy. It can also improve customer satisfaction by improving reliability and expanding the services offered to residential, public sector, and commercial energy users.”

Latest offering for smart city application
KEC has carved its presence in this sector by providing solar EPC services for large solar PV projects for private players and roof-top PV solutions for industrial and commercial consumers. Sen says, “We have leveraged our superior technological and project management capabilities built over the years in our core T&D business towards designing and executing world-class microgrids with solar rooftop solutions.”

Additionally Sen adds, RPG Group has recently formed a new business unit – RPG Smart Infra, part of RPG Ventures, which acts as a Master System Integrator (MSI) for smart infrastructure opportunities in smart cities, mobility, smart grid, and digital India and liaises with the smart city SPVs and the OEM ecosystem to execute the projects.

Jayant Kohale, Business Head – Smart Infra, RPG Ventures says, “RPG Smart Infra’s offerings are aided by technology products developed in-house like the RayPole, developed by Raychem RPG, which is a revolutionary IoT pole and includes multiple features such as smart lighting, Wi-Fi access points, surveillance cameras, environmental sensors and EV charging capabilities, amongst others.”
Kohale also adds, “We are also looking to act as the Master System Integrator (MSI) for optical fibre projects through Smart Cities and Bharatnet and execute projects utilising our EPC capabilities and our cable manufacturing arm, RPG Cables.

Another exciting space is smart metering (AMI/AMR) being undertaken by the National Smart Grid Mission. Raychem RPG is already working on several ‘smart products’ such as anti-theft cables, smart meters etc. to support smart city infrastructure.

As of today, around 8-10 cities have initiated their journey towards being Smart with Jaipur, Nagpur and Pune being shining examples. With another 90 plus cities set to follow, RPG Smart Infra aims to play a major role in contributing to the smart city mission.

Yelegaonkar informs, “Apart from the governance and infrastructural upgrades, smart cities also aim to use renewable energy resources, reduce carbon footprints and minimise emissions and wastage.”

Testo India has various test and measuring instruments that are useful for smart city applications. Starting from Testo Flue gas analysers that helps the industries and power plants nearby these cities, to check on their emissions and control the discharge of polluting gases. These instruments are highly accurate, robust and sturdy. Regarding noise pollution and other related health hazards, Testo 816-1, sound level meter is a very precise instrument that measures the noise level. It comes with an attachable portable battery-operated printer that records the readings in printable format which can be used as a proof by the regulatory and controlling authorities.

The range of Testo electrical instruments which are unique operationally as well as aesthetically. Products in this segment enable the end users not only for accurate parameter measurement and troubleshooting but also safety, due to their advance design and patented features. The latest offering has been the new Testo thermal imagers with smartphone interfacing designed to deliver networked thermography. They can identify the defects in solar panels at module level, help in building thermography and identify hot spots and abnormalities in any electrical network.These smart solutions from Testo extend a strong and reliable support to the smart city applications and utilities.

India is now being talked about at global level for the development of Smart Cities under PM Narendra Modi’s vision “Digital India”. This ambitious plan plans to build 100 smart cities across India in the period of five years and foresee India as a digital leader of services in various sectors including healthcare, education and financial.

Gotur informs, Latching relay is a newly developed relay in recent years which is also an auto switch. Like other relays, it fulfils the auto connection and disconnection of the circuit. The difference is the latching relay rely on the magnetic steel to maintain the NO or NC status. The on-off switch is triggered by a pulse signal with certain width.

Hongfa acquired KG technologies – USA a couple of years back. With a capacity of over 150 million latching relays, the combined companies have become the largest producer of latching relays in the world.

Hongfa/KG’s goal is to exceed it customer’s expectations and is constantly driven to provide excellent product quality and service.

The latching relay is mainly applied in 4 fields which are smart meter, relay protection for electric power system, industrial control and home appliance. In the first two fields, the product itself and its utilisation are both quite mature. While in the latter two, the latching relay has gained more and more favours as the time of “Energy saving and Environment protection” comes by.

Gotur says “Nowadays traditional relays all turn to latching relay in succession. Different from the power meter latching relay, the new latching relays are for more diversified loads in various applications. It is mainly utilised in intelligent building, energy saving for home appliance, relay protection and auxiliaries for power meter. Compared with the power relay, latching relay is with a magnetic steel in the magnetic system. Hence there is no need for continuous power supply. A 50ms electrical pulse can fulfil the switch of the relay. This makes the latching relay smaller in size, but with larger contact rating.”

Following are the main features of latching relay

  • The on and off status is kept by the magnetic steel, no extra need for continuous electrical power supply. Zero power consumption for circuit maintenance, energy-saving
  • It is suitable for concentrated installation in a limited room. Compared with power relay, the volume is smaller but with the same contact rating. It is more compatible with the digital logic circuit. There is extra magnetic steel which give the cost rise from 10 to 20 per cent compared with power relay Hongfa manufacturers various series of latching relay.
  • Hongfa product range rating from 2A~200A which can meet different customer’s requirement, the company can also provide customised relay assembly design base on customer’s requirement for smart metering projects. HONGFA relay can meet IEC62055
  • UC1, UC2, UC3; NASI standard, which have good ability of withstanding fault current, new function of explosion proof. Product obtained the US UL/CUL, Germany VDE, TÜV, China CQC, CCC and other safety approvals.
  • No heat generation of the coil.
  • Save room for installation.
  • Switch triggered by pulse voltage.
  • Higher cost.
  • It can satisfy different demand from customers with more competitive price in the market

Electrical and power industry acts as a backbone for these kinds of plans.
Parag Yelegaonkar, Business Development Manager, Testo India Pvt Ltd

Clean, continuous and reliable source of power is one of the key essentials of Smart Cities.
Kaustav Sen, Business Head – Solar, KEC International Ltd

Cities and utilities around the world are committing to clean energy objectives as they attempt to
shape the development of
more sustainable urban communities.
R A Gotur, Director – Indian Operations,
Hongfa Group – India

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