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Shift to sustainability and T&M business

December 26, 2023 11:28 am

Shift to sustainability and T&M business

India’s power sector is undergoing a sustainable shift, driving demand for transformation.

India’s power sector is undergoing a remarkable shift towards sustainability, and this transformation is significantly impacting the industry’s demand for Test and Measurement (T&M).

Prabhakaran PV, Head of Product Management at Fluke India, notes that the nation’s aggressive goals in renewable energy, particularly in solar and wind power, necessitate a more intricate electrical grid. He says, “The non-linear behaviour of these newer power generation systems raises concerns about grid reliability, prompting the implementation of modern monitoring mechanisms at all levels from solar panels to the grid and from the grid to consumers.”

Zhong Ya, Product Manager, IRay Technology, emphasises the role of thermal cameras in reducing power loss and improving energy utilisation in existing power systems. “These cameras enable real-time temperature monitoring of critical positions in electrical equipment, enhancing production and operation efficiency. The visualised temperature measurement routine inspections play a crucial role in transforming the electric power industry toward sustainability,” he adds.

Shyam Ravindran, managing director of Sonel Instruments, highlights India’s pivotal role in the development of global sustainable power. He credits initiatives like GatiShakti and ambitious goals for New and Renewable Energy as catalysts for the increased demand for T&M in the industry. Shyam says, “Safety guidelines implemented by BIS, along with national standards, contribute to the safe and scalable implementation of these developments. The need for specialised T&M services in cybersecurity, harmonics analysis, and power quality monitoring is on the rise, driven by the adoption of digital technologies like remote monitoring and data analytics.”

Pointing out the shift to renewables, Imteyaz Siddiqui, Managing Director at Doble Engineering Pvt Ltd, says, “India’s power sector is driving the demand for T&M instruments. This surge is particularly evident in renewable energy projects, where advanced T&M tools are essential for design, installation, and maintenance.” “The growth of the sector also fuels the need for T&M instruments in innovation, research and development, and education, addressing the unique challenges posed by renewable energy’s intermittent nature,” he adds.

Commenting on the trend, TP Singh, Senior Director – Sales (Instruments) – Australia / NZ, ASEAN, India, Teledyne FLIR, says, “Overall growth of India and its power sector has been impressive in recent years and 2023 was in line with the expected flow. With the current focus on growing India’s GDP, the power demand and hence test and measurement is also expected to grow. We have received a good response from the market in 2023.” “FLIR Test & Measurement range solves many operational preventive and post maintenance issues and hence is a critical part of O&M kit for many power utilities across India,” he adds.

Smart grid emphasis boosts reliability

In enhancing smart grid reliability, Test and Measurement (T&M) instruments are stepping up to the plate, playing a crucial role in improving distribution systems. Prabhakaran emphasises the significance of up-to-date T&M tools in addressing the challenges faced by India’s ageing national grid infrastructure. With the integration of smart grids and distributed resources, the grid demands more attention than ever. “Cutting-edge T&M solutions, compliant with industry standards, are proving invaluable in closely monitoring the grid’s dynamics and preventing potential incidents,” he says.

Leading T&M manufacturers like Fluke are at the forefront of developing innovative solutions to ensure the safety and reliability of assets in power generation, transmission, and distribution. Fluke’s recent offerings include tools designed for monitoring the efficiency and performance of solar power systems, spanning from panels to inverters and the grid. Their state-of-the-art power quality analysers go beyond traditional parameters, addressing newer concerns, such as superharmonic, attributed to emerging systems like solar inverters.

Zhong Ya from IRay Technology highlights the inefficiencies of traditional manual inspection in power distribution systems. He advocates for using thermal cameras for real-time temperature monitoring, enabling timely fault identification and safety hazard prevention. This, in turn, allows operators to take swift measures against risks, ultimately enhancing system reliability.

Shyam Ravindran from Sonel Instruments underscores the pivotal role T&M plays in power systems. Through products like power quality analysers and disturbance fault recorders, critical parameters are continuously monitored, providing transparent real-time data for grid operators to make informed decisions. He says, “Recent advancements, such as Remote Terminal Units (RTUs), facilitate data collection from various sensors and devices, enabling remote monitoring and control for quicker responses to faults and disturbances.”

Imteyaz Siddiqui, from Doble Engineering, emphasises the pivotal role T&M instruments play in enhancing smart grid reliability. They aid in continuous monitoring and diagnostics, enabling early fault detection and maintenance of power quality, especially with intermittent renewable energy sources. He says, “Predictive maintenance reduces downtime, optimising energy efficiency and identifying and correcting energy losses. T&M tools are essential for integrating Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) like solar and wind power, ensuring smooth operation without grid disruptions.”

He further says that they support advanced data analysis for informed decision-making and play a crucial role in securing smart grids against cyber threats and maintaining the integrity and reliability of power distribution in an increasingly digital and interconnected energy landscape.

Reliable energy storage 

In tackling the intermittent nature of renewable power systems, Test and Measurement (T&M) instruments play a pivotal role in ensuring the effectiveness and reliability of energy storage solutions. Prabhakaran PV points out that the output of renewable systems, heavily dependent on weather conditions, introduces unpredictability to the grid. To counter this, energy storage solutions like batteries are employed. He says, “Leveraging the right T&M systems for maintenance and monitoring becomes crucial to sustaining their longevity and optimal performance. This not only extends their operational lifespan but also mitigates failures, directly contributing to the overall reliability of the grid.”

Zhong Ya from IRay Technology emphasises thermographic technology’s importance in ensuring energy storage systems’ safety and reliability. He says, “InfiRay’s thermal cameras provide precise measurements and real-time monitoring, enhancing the normal operation and reliability of the entire energy storage system.”

Shyam Ravindran, from Sonel Instruments, underscores the critical role T&M instruments play throughout the life cycle of energy storage solutions. From research and development to installation, commissioning, and ongoing maintenance, instruments like the battery tester (BT-120) are essential. They perform insulation and internal impedance tests, providing crucial data for health assessments, optimising system design, ensuring efficient operation, and guaranteeing long-term performance and safety.

Imteyaz Siddiqui, from Doble Engineering, highlights the vital contribution of T&M instruments in addressing renewable energy intermittency. They optimise battery performance through capacity and lifecycle testing, facilitate seamless integration with the grid and renewable sources, and conduct continuous monitoring for predictive maintenance. He says, “These tools also ensure safety compliance, adherence to standards, and manage thermal performance, playing a key role in stabilising the grid against renewable fluctuations and assessing performance under varying demands. As the adoption of energy storage solutions continues to rise, T&M remains an indispensable tool for securing a sustainable energy future.”

TP Singh from Teledyne FLIR has to say that in the T&M range, FLIR has more than 100 products. He says, “Few key products for Energy customers are Digital Multimeter with Infrared guided measurement, Clamp meter with Infrared guided measurement, Cat IV Utility Clamp meters, Voltage Continuity and Current tester, Non Contact Voltage Detector with flashlight, Infrared Windows for temperature measurement inside cabinets without opening the same., Insulation Testers, etc.” All these products help to boost the energy storage system.

Public-private collaboration

The power sector in a country like India must excel under Public-Private Collaboration (PPP) mode. Prabhakaran PV from Fluke says that private investment and entry into the renewable energy sector are significantly accelerating the adoption of innovative ideas. He highlights the efficiency of decision-making in the private sector, contributing to the swift adoption of new technologies, particularly in green tech and the integration of advanced Test and Measurement (T&M) tools.

Zhong Ya from IRay Technology underscores their commitment to providing competitive infrared thermal imaging products and industry solutions globally. He says, “Recognising the evolving demands in business models, we express our dedication to investing in Research and Development (R&D) to enhance adaptability and offer improved services to users, contributing to the evolution of T&M instruments.”

Imteyaz Siddiqui from Doble Engineering emphasises the significant impact of public-private collaborations on developing and deploying T&M instruments. He says, “These partnerships stimulate innovation and R&D efforts, creating advanced and efficient instruments.” Further, Siddiqui notes that such collaborations facilitate standardisation and regulation compliance, which are essential for global market interoperability. Expanding market reach into new regions and industries is another key outcome, making T&M instruments more accessible.

Efficiency in digitalised power distribution systems

In the era of digitalised energy operations, Test and Measurement (T&M) instruments are indispensable for optimising and monitoring power distribution system efficiency, as Prabhakaran PV from Fluke India emphasised. He underscores the interconnected nature of generation, transmission, and distribution efficiency, emphasising the need to verify efficiency at each level. He says, “Fluke’s latest innovation, the Solar Multifunction Tester (SMFT), stands out as an all-in-one solution for testing every solar system component up to the grid. Additionally, tools like thermal imagers and power quality analysers aid maintenance crews in swiftly assessing and improving the performance of each system component.”

Zhong Ya from IRay Technology emphasises using thermographic devices in a 7×24-hour online monitoring system for power distribution equipment. “The temperature measurement data effectively reflects safety hazards, allowing proactive measures to be taken, thus enhancing routine inspection efficiency,” he says.

Shyam Ravindran from Sonel Instruments highlights the transformative impact of digitalisation on energy operations. T&M instruments provide accurate data and enable advanced monitoring and analysis. Smart sensors for real-time data acquisition, cybersecurity solutions, and analytics software contribute to effectively monitoring and optimising power distribution networks. The implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is anticipated further to enhance T&M capabilities for advanced monitoring and analysis.

TP Singh from Flir has to say that it would be nice if more and more organisations fully understood the usefulness of investing in the right technology and instruments to increase efficiency.

Imteyaz Siddiqui from Doble Engineering stresses the essential role of T&M instruments in digitalised energy operations. He says, “These instruments enable real-time monitoring of key parameters, such as voltage and current, for immediate detection of inefficiencies. Power quality analysis identifies issues like voltage fluctuations and harmonics. At the same time, load management prevents system overloads”. “Predictive maintenance and energy auditing contribute to efficiency improvements, and T&M tools are crucial in integrating renewable energy and ensuring grid stability. Advanced instruments analyse data for informed decision-making and enhance cybersecurity in a digitalised environment, ensuring efficient and reliable power distribution,” he adds.

In conclusion, from addressing intermittency concerns in renewable energy to enhancing smart grid reliability, T&M tools play a crucial role in optimising power distribution systems.

Sustainable energy demands intricate grids; T&M ensures reliability, from solar panels to distribution – Prabhakaran PV, Head of Product Management, Fluke India.

Thermal cameras reduce power loss, enhance safety, and play a pivotal role in efficiency -Zhong Ya, IRay Technology Co Limited.

India’s role in sustainable power drives T&M demand; safety, efficiency, and innovation are critical – Shyam Ravindran, Managing Director, Sonel Instruments.

T&M instruments drive sustainability, from renewable energy projects to smart grids, ensuring reliability and efficiency – Imteyaz Siddiqui, Managing Director, Doble Engineering Pvt Ltd

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