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Edge intelligence and data analytics will harness India’s smart grid

July 26, 2022 6:33 pm

Edge intelligence and data analytics will harness India’s smart grid

This article outlines the essential developments occurring in the electricity industry that will improve and advance the reliability of our grid while also increasing its efficiency.

The demand for smart and reliable electricity is growing with the world’s population. Furthermore, the most recent trends and developments in the power grid and grid networks suggest new developments and advancements in the smart grid scenario.

Intelligent grid integration is technically a two way connection that integrates information and communication technology with the
existing power network. Smart grid systems and solutions can help to reduce transmission and distribution losses, manage peak loads,
improve service quality, increase reliability, manage assets, integrate renewable energy, and provide access to quality power.

Discussing the importance of smart grids and smart electricity, Raghavendra Mirji, Senior Vice President and Head – Electrical and Electronics Business, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. “Smart grids are an essential component of smart cities and smart electricity. A smart grid does not always imply substation automation. A smart grid integrates power generation, transmission, and distribution to end users, ensuring a continuous flow of electricity to consumers with minimal power loss.” Being smart relies heavily on efficient two-way communication via SCADA systems and other critical software and smart solutions to develop a more resilient power system and deliver reliable and efficient power.

If we compared India’s grid scenario a decade ago and now, we can see that we have covered last-mile connectivity in most states. The challenge that remains is ensuring a continuous power supply for everyone. “Here, dependability and efficiency play a significant role,” Raghavendra adds.

 “A grid refers to the electric grid, a technological marvel—the vast network of transmission lines seen alongside roads and substations, transformers, and everything else that helps deliver electricity from the power plant to your home or business,” says Shriprakash R. Pandey, CMD, Commtel. He said that while you may have heard of the smart grid in the news unless you work in the utility industry, you may only know what a grid is and not what a smart grid is.

Sustainability in smart grid infrastructure

 Sustainability will play a significant role in reshaping the grid structure and our energy scenario with green energy. India’s ambitious renewable energy targets of 500 GW by 2030 are unattainable. So, when we plan to add such a large amount of alternative energy, integration becomes critical, as does the grid trying to balance to control the excessive number of outages caused by instability. This also necessitates a real-time, data-driven action plan to address the effluent power sector’s insecurity. 

In today’s urbanised and modernised era, balancing the demand and supply of power is the biggest challenge. Because the increase in Sustainability in smart grid infrastructure Sustainability will play a significant role in reshaping the grid structure and our energy scenario with green energy. India’s ambitious renewable energy targets of 500 GW by 2030 are unattainable. So, when we plan to add such a large amount of alternative energy, integration becomes critical, as does the grid trying to balance to control the excessive number of outages caused by instability. This also necessitates a real-time, data-driven action plan to address the effluent power sector’s insecurity. In today’s urbanised and modernised era, balancing the demand and supply of power is the biggest challenge. Because the increase in urbanisation and modernisation has driven changes in electricity consumption in a big way. Though our per capita consumption is still low compared to other developed countries and the world, we have constantly been witnessing peak power demand in a specific period. This is becoming a huge concern to the power regulator and the utilities to balance the demand and the supply.

Smart infrastructure for smart grid

 Even in the energy industry, smart has become popular and is replacing infrastructure improvements. We talk about SCADA, data mapping, and datadriven smart grid activities, but don’t forget about smart metres, which round out the smart electricity aspect. “Advanced metering infrastructure provides efficient monitoring and measurement of the power consumption pattern and can transfer the data to distribution companies,” Raghavendra says. This also enables them to investigate consumption and peak load patterns and recommend appropriate measures to provide fair pricing for consumed power per unit. As a result, peak load management is achieved via an algorithm-based real-time load shedding system, which can be used in the smart grid to reduce the frequency of power tripping via load curtailment.

Shriprakash, on the other hand, believes that the energy landscape will change significantly in the next decade compared to the previous century. With the emphasis on renewables and decarbonisation to ensure sustainability, grids will need to become smarter at the edge, right at the consumer premises.

 “The way forward is to harness advances in edge intelligence and data analytics,” he adds. With advanced control systems and an explosion of data powered by IIoT sensors deployed at every level, from generating stations to consumer metres, smart grids are ready to be “smarter” to deliver next-level performance, efficiency, sustainability, and energy security.

Progressing towards technology 

It is now time for India to advance in terms of realising its capabilities in other areas. We are the market leaders in software, whether for mobile communication, the internet, or networking. Even in terms of technology, India is at the forefront. Raghavendra believes that the progress of digitalisation in the power sector will happen soon in our power sector. And, perhaps, in the next 3-4 years, the Indian power sector will be digitalised rapidly, with smart metres installed everywhere.

Shriprakash agrees with Raghavnendra’s observations. He also emphasises that “new communication solutions are required that keep pace with the demands of the new smarter grids by incorporating cutting-edge developments in information and communication technologies and merging them with both legacy power infrastructure and the latest advances.” 

Future power grids will evolve into complex cyber  physical systems where the digital and the physical systems intertwine seamlessly. The importance of the information and communication network is far higher and more critical than in traditional power grids. For this reason, we call our solution ‘Unified Critical Communications. 

Over the years, Commtel has deployed Unified Critical Communications (UCC) for national power grids and citywide distribution networks to support the smart grids’ operations, security, and safety, making them ‘smarter’. 

Sustainability will play a significant role in reshaping the grid structure and our energy scenario with green energy.

 

 Raghavendra Mirji, Senior Vice President & Head – Electrical and Electronics Business, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.

With a greater emphasis on sustainability, grids will need to become smarter at the edge, right at the consumer premises. 

Shriprakash R. Pandey, CMD, Commtel

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