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Powering India With RE Integrated Smart Electricity

June 28, 2022 12:14 pm

Powering India With RE Integrated Smart Electricity

Smart electricity refers to the intelligent operations of the entire power system, from generation to transmission and distribution, to ensure optimal performance. Many control and monitoring technologies and automation systems help us run and maintain a power system with optimal functions.

Moreover, with the increasing demand for efficient power transmission and distribution, the Indian grid is being taxed to its capacity. As a result, the need to have smart meters and smart power systems to monitor and manage the complexities of energy infrastructure has deepened.

The present scenario in distribution and AT&C losses

According to Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President – Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA Limited, “The AT&C losses at present are around 20 per cent.” But it varies widely across states in urban areas, where it is naturally in the sub-10. But in states like Gujarat, where there is a large amount of rural supply, we have seen their ability to bring down their overall AT&C losses across the discounts to a little over 10 per cent. But then again, in states like Bihar, UP and others, the AT&C losses are very high. “ 

Every unit of power injected into the grid should be built and collected. This is possible only if we maintain timely billing, especially in the remote and rural areas where billing and collections are usually carried out once every six months. “This shadily halts the payment process for DISCOMs because most consumers across those areas can’t afford to make a lump sum payment,” says Sabyasachi. Therefore, we need smart infrastructure, smart meters, and rigorous operations to mitigate the managerial challenges, even at remote locations.

It must be evident that every unit of power that has been injected into the grid has to be built, and it has to be created and collected. And at that time, billing was also referred to very often, particularly in rural areas where billing and collection are carried out only every six months. We need to ensure that all buildings, infrastructure, and metres are put into place; and two, billing and collection are done. And finally, there is a managerial willingness to build and collect this unit. What needs to be done is very simple and achievable, provided the intent is there on the part of the government. That is why it is seen as a big challenge.

Intelligent software and solutions for smart power distribution

“Because software operates on its protocols, it may not be standardised,” says Ripunjay Parikh, Director, Eaton Electrical Sector India. Communication data primarily operates on input data and performs analysis on specific outputs. Today’s software is standardised to accept input from any protocol source, whether it’s a modelling protocol, a specific bus protocol, or an Ethernet protocol. And smart devices can primarily communicate over those protocols without using any of the software. As a result, it is now essentially vendor-neutral software that can integrate devices from any supplier.

According to Sonjib Banerjee, Chairman & Founder, Manav Group of Companies, “Today, IP belongs to the understanding of physics and software is made based on these IPs.” Physics communication has defined protocols for software that are then used in power systems for efficient distribution communication. “ 

Maintaining power quality at the distribution level. 

At the urban level, power supply quality has dramatically improved, with less power loss and outages. However, several other issues, such as scheduled load shedding, are more concerned with the overall state of DISCOM’s finances. However, we see a fair amount of investment in comprehensive measures in terms of standard measures across urban areas, at least in the better-run states where they are better. Commenting on the same, Sabyasachi explains, “It is important to note that DISCOMs have realised that the customer base in urban areas is much more favourable, which ensures high uptime and high collection, resulting in higher revenues.” It is in the best interests of the DISCOMs to ensure high uptime and adequate supplies in urban areas. “

In terms of obtaining reliability and power stability, Sonjib elucidates that DISCOM can supply the voltage. It is the force, but we are bypassing the mechanism. The load draws current. As a result, the load’s characteristics are critical, and current harmonics are not driven. As a result, the board can alter the power quality. We have enough mechanisms to minimise many things where the load centres are responsible for not discouraging them from using power quality, which can be detrimental to the source.

Sonjib adds, “When we think of safety and dependability, we think of wholeness.” “Aging occurs in an electrical system when power quality deteriorates.” So, why is an electrical 

system supposed to last 30-35 years reminded of water after only ten years? It was supposed to last 40 years. So, the design lifetime is altered when the value iteration occurs. “All these power qualities can now be monitored and integrated into Smart Metering power quality monitoring systems,” he adds. Smart metres are now available that can not only measure but also monitor various properties globally by incorporating collection and penalisation.

Addressing the increasing power demand by reviewing safety guidelines

Sonjib has been actively interacting with the safety team to discuss the required guidelines. The understanding of contingency and safety in India today is limited. We’ve become more operational. So, we operate things, but we fall short when it comes to contingency and safety. Numerous improvements must be made, such as the ELCPs and other protection systems that have entered the picture. But we’ve barely touched on electromagnetics. There are numerous radiative and conductive issues that are extremely important. So, because we don’t have those rules, the kind of equipment we make in India gets through. However, we can, and a vast domain of safety requirements can be improved.

Importance of Energy Security for smart electricity and smart cities


“Energy security will happen by focusing on Sustainability, Digitalisation and decentralised distribution and decision making,” says Rajiv Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, CyanConnode India. India faces the dual challenge of bridging the energy divide along with transitioning to low-carbon energy systems. This pursuit of building a decarbonised grid with large renewable penetration in the energy mix brings issues of intermittency and unpredictability of energy flows, which in turn risks grid reliability. 

“Further, with the advent of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and a renewed focus on the Smart Metering National Programme (SMNP) through Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), the country is taking critical steps toward sustainability,” says Rajiv. 

The Function of Smart Meters

To obtain a delicate balance in the power distribution scenario and to curtail additional costs being forwarded to the DISCOMs, efficient implementation of an intelligent metering system at all levels should be ensured, Sabyasachi explains. Today, we have successfully installed smart meters at 33 feeder levels, and to a great extent, we have achieved it at the distribution level too. This is significant in terms of alleviating DISCOM’s payment and debt problems.

Rajiv, on the other hand, explains that the Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS) could be very well driving the decentralisation of the energy grid, they connect all parts of the ecosystem, where consumers are being enabled with the flexibility and choices for the source of power. The imminent renewable integration and digitalisation will change the way energy is managed, distributed and utilised.

Sonjib mentions metering power consumption with solar panels and renewable energy sources. The solar panels or other renewable energy sources we are installing on our roofs may produce 108 watts per square metre today. Still, the hot weather barrier only permits this generation to reach 33.7 per cent. This is crucial to note because power is metered today. This is the highest level of effectiveness. However, several technologies have already been created that could eliminate the necessity for an electrical metre in the home.

The impact of the geopolitical situation

The global geopolitical system has been disrupted on three fronts, including supply chain logistics, and highlights Ripunjay. One is the logistics part. Dependence on global logistics puts time and cost pressures on consumers. The second thing is that they have a very well-coordinated system in terms of multinational companies that depend on their supply chain. And lastly, today’s systems benefit companies like Eaton, exporting back while importing and trading.

A self-manageable power sector in India

“We are primarily self-sufficient in distribution and transmission. The majority of our equipment is designed and built in-house. Critical components in the T&D chain, such as semiconductors and others, will be imported from abroad, “Sabyasachi added

“Digitalisation has not only led to the enhancement of grid stability by granting access to remote management and real-time information system but also triggered an increase in efficiency and thereby, increasing the savings. One of the most important benefits of digitalisation is access to actionable intelligence, which has helped in curbing theft and bringing transparency into the system”, Rajiv conclude.

It is in the best interests of the DISCOMs to ensure high uptime and adequate supplies in urban areas.
Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President – Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA Limited 

We need a smart power device that can primarily communicate over the defined protocols without using software intelligence.
Ripunjay Parikh, Director, Eaton Electrical Sector India

Today, India has a limited understanding of contingency and safety. We’ve become more efficient.
Sonjib Banerjee, Chairman & Founder, Manav Group of Companies

Renewable integration and digitalisation will change the way energy is managed, distributed and utilised.
Rajiv Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, CyanConnode India.

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