Featuring advanced solutions that help in dealing with AT&C losses
Power generation, transmission and distribution are the three activities in power industry. Energy is consumed and loss is incurred in every step of these activities. Among the three activities, a loss in power distribution is the maximum as it has grown up in an unplanned manner.
The parameters of aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) loss, that provides a realistic picture of energy and revenue loss situation, consist of two parts that is technical loss and commercial loss. Technical loss depends upon losses incurred from machinery (transformers), lines and improper maintenance of plant and machinery etc. However, under commercial loss, theft is one of the main causes of the high losses. Theft occurs in several ways like namely by tapping transmission lines and tampering by passing meter.
Dr Sanjiv Kawishwar, Sr. Vice President, ReGen Powertech outlines the various aspects of distribution loses as:
- Theft of electricity means unlawful usage of electricity by individual or industry or commercial premises.
- Due to unaccounted consumption of electricity by various entities, India loses billions of rupees because it becomes unbilled consumption.
- Non-payment of bills is another type of loss incurred by the electricity supply companies and boards and it is estimated that only half the revenue is realised.
Power theft losses are also termed as commercial losses that are difficult to estimate but run into huge amounts.
- It is evident that electricity theft occurs across domestic users commercial users and industrial segments in rural areas and also in large cities.
- Mostly the electricity is stolen by tapping it from live wires that also poses life risks.
The scope of AT&C loses in a developing country like India is very high – ranging from 11 to 71 per cent across States. However, putting corrective measures in place will help to curb it. Commercial losses contribute to maximum percentage and this can be corrected with better billing and collection efficiency. However electricity theft is an important aspect to be plugged.
Commenting on advanced solutions for power theft loss detection, Anil Kadam, Senior Manager – Solution Architect (Utilities), Schneider Electric, India said, “Smart gird technologies bring in various solutions like online energy audit and big data pattern recognition to help reduce AT&C losses due to electricity theft. Technical losses can be reduced by implementing with increased operational efficiencies using advanced distribution management systems and of course with low loss equipment.”
Dr Kawishwar also highlights some of the advanced solution for power theft loss detection:
- Use of smart meter is one of the most effective ways to prevent electricity theft. Smart meter is used to measure electricity remotely and can switch the power supply off for individual appliances based on demand response. It can remotely control electricity consumption to maximize energy efficiency and load balancing.
- Smart Grid refers to a network of transmission lines, substations, transformers and more that deliver electricity from the power plant to consumer with improved security measures from theft and safety.
- Electricity theft detection using GSM is a smart preventive means. Most common way of theft is by-passing the meter using a piece of wire, people simply bypasses the electricity meter by placing a wire before and after the meter. Hidden GSM system sends a SMS to electricity board as soon as an attempt is made for the theft.