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Home » Industry Analysis » Smart cities and next-gen cables

Smart cities and next-gen cables

June 26, 2024 3:48 pm

Smart cities and next-gen cables
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Indian smart cities are integrating advanced and sustainable energy infrastructure. This also brings into the picture the need for high-quality power and environmental sustainability. Industry experts share strategies aimed at reducing power losses and carbon emissions with the deployment of power cables that will persist in our generation and the next generation.

Sustainability goes beyond smart buildings and efficient transportation—it’s about addressing climate change and other environmental challenges. Smart cities need energy sources that are both low in carbon emissions and highly efficient. This includes integrating various energy forms into a unified system for improved quality of life.

Manjit Singh, Executive Director of Cables at KEC International Limited, says, “Using advanced technology to improve residents, quality of life and promote sustainability relies on carbon-efficient energy sources and a network of high-quality, reliable cables for seamless energy and data transmission to move towards smart cities.

Smart cities and sustainable cables can lead us to a future where we live in harmony with our planet, bringing prosperity to future generations. Now is the time to act with determination and purpose to shape a bright future with the advanced cable network.

Emerging technologies in cables and wires

Advanced cables are crucial for transitioning cities to renewable energy sources, ensuring optimal energy use, minimising waste, and supporting responsible consumption. They integrate ICT with urban systems, aligning with smart cities’ core principles. Digitalisation has impacted the role of cables, with emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, 5G, and edge computing needing robust infrastructure. Advanced cables support ambitious projects like autonomous vehicle infrastructure and smart traffic sensors, shares Bhushan Sawhney, Executive President and Chief Business Officer of Cables at Polycab.

“Advanced cable technologies are crucial for secure and efficient power transmission systems. These technologies offer enhanced durability, environmental resistance, and longer lifespans. Innovative products like high-voltage direct current wires made of recyclable materials mitigate safety risks. Smart monitoring and predictive maintenance systems revolutionise cable network management, enabling real-time identification and resolution of potential issues. Cybersecurity investments are vital as urban networks become interconnected, influencing the development of specialised cables that can withstand automation and manufacturing processes,” says Sawhney.

Advancements in cable technology

Advanced cable solutions enhance smart grid characteristics, including dynamic grid optimisation, cybersecurity, and renewable integration. They are crucial in integrating renewable sources like solar, wind, and hydropower plants. Medium- and high-voltage power cables facilitate efficient electricity transmission, minimising losses and ensuring reliability. High-voltage onshore cables enable grid development and upgrades. Underground and submarine installations enhance renewable system efficiency.

Singh shares that advanced cable advancements, such as green heat-resistant and hybrid cables, are crucial for the development of smart grids and renewable energy integration. These cables enable stable transmission of variable renewable energy inputs, maximising renewable utilisation. They support smart grid technologies by enabling real-time data and communication. They are made from eco-friendly materials for safety and sustainability, ensuring a robust, reliable, intelligent power grid.

“Advanced cables with embedded communication capabilities enable seamless integration and coordination within the smart grid, supporting real-time data exchange for dynamic load management and optimising power distribution. These high-capacity, low-loss cables transmit renewable energy from remote sites to urban centres, maintaining grid stability by balancing intermittent renewable sources with traditional power supplies. Investments in cable technology enhance urban network safety and reliability and are crucial for the evolution of smart grids and renewable energy integration,” Vinay Rathi, Director, Gloster emphasises.

Investing in smart technologies

Investing in smart cable technology is essential to move fast towards smart cities in a real manner. While sharing his views on investing in smart tech, Gaurang Punjabi, Sr. Technical Analyst at WAA Cables, shares, “At WAA Cables, we use advanced cable technology to ensure smart cities’ power quality and environmental sustainability by enhancing efficiency and reliability. Digitalisation has enabled real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance, optimising energy use, and reducing environmental impact.”

While proceeding with the advancement, we must not forget about India’s clean energy goals and the need for green and smart cables that offer energy efficiency and safety to fulfil them; hence, concentrating on green cables is the key step towards sustainability.

“Investments in advanced cable technologies, such as green, heat-resistant, and hybrid cables, are crucial for improving digital solutions and performance. Using lead-free and contamination-free raw materials and R&D in production, manufacturing, and testing ensures safety and reliability. Adherence to safety practices during installation, specialised software, and strict adherence to national and international standards like IS 1255 can prevent cable failures. These investments can transform urban cable networks, ensuring safe and reliable operation and supporting modern urban environments while prioritising safety and sustainability,” states Singh.

“Research investments can lead to safer cable materials, regular upgrades of ageing infrastructure, proactive maintenance through advanced monitoring systems, and redundancy systems to ensure continuous power supply, prevent accidents, and reduce outages,” says Rathi.

Punjabi insists on the importance of investing in advanced technologies like improved insulation and fault detection systems for the safety and reliability of urban cable networks and how advanced cables are essential for ensuring that smart cities have reliable power and are environmentally sustainable how do they improve energy efficiency, reliability, and the ability to integrate new technologies, helping cities meet their goals for clean energy and sustainability. By investing in these technologies, we can build smarter, greener, and more resilient cities for the future.

Green Cables

The cables are now designed to withstand temperatures up to 105 degrees Celsius. They are durable and reliable, complying with RoHS and REACH standards. They produce low smoke density and emit fewer toxic gases, enhancing safety in fire situations. Their advanced design and adherence to safety standards demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and proactive environmental stewardship. Green and smart cables are crucial for promoting energy efficiency and safety, helping India achieve its clean energy targets.

Green and smart cables are being developed to minimise environmental impact and improve performance. Advanced manufacturing technologies, such as automation and precision engineering, reduce waste and energy consumption during production. These technologies allow real-time monitoring of system health, facilitate predictive maintenance, and improve reliability. Manufacturers prioritise safety and sustainability, develop green cables with sustainable raw materials, and improve manufacturing processes.

High-temperature superconducting cables improve power quality, reduce losses, and are environmentally sustainable. They use eco-friendly materials and require less power. Digital sensors monitor performance, predict failures, and optimise maintenance schedules. These cables enhance power infrastructure efficiency and lifespan.

RDSS

Singh elaborates that the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) is a government initiative to modernise urban cable networks and increase power capacity and quality. The scheme supports prepaid smart metering and infrastructure upgrades, financial strengthening of distribution systems, and renewable energy adoption. Collaboration between the government and industry is crucial for achieving this goal.

Punjabi shares how they focus on developing eco-friendly solutions for green and smart cables to enhance energy efficiency and safety and contribute to a sustainable future by aligning them with government policies towards green and clean energy.

Sustainability with smartness

Hybrid cables are a new product designed to meet smart infrastructure demands by combining EHV/HV power cables with optical fibre cables. These composite cables offer real-time monitoring and diagnostic capabilities, enhancing the reliability and resilience of power distribution networks and making them essential for the future of smart cities.

Advanced cables are crucial in this transformation, ensuring smooth energy and data transmission. These cables are the backbone of urban infrastructure. Supporting reliable operations and investing in these technologies can help cities become smarter, stronger, and better prepared for future challenges.

“As societies transition towards sustainable energy and smart grids, cable advancements emerge as critical enablers. They facilitate seamless renewable integration while ensuring reliability, efficiency, and cybersecurity within the modernised power infrastructure, paving the way for a sustainable energy future,” concludes Sawhney.

With clean energy goals, boosting efficiency in electricity transmission, minimising losses, and ensuring reliability, advanced cable technology plays an important role. We need to insist on it for a brighter tomorrow.

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Quotes 

Manjit Singh, Executive Director KEC International Limited 

“Investing in advanced cables supports smarter, better connected, and sustainable urban operations.”

Bhushan Sawhney, Executive President & Chief Business Officer, Polycab

“Advanced cables are binding for ambitious, smart city projects and India’s clean energy goals.”

Gaurang Punjabi, Sr. Technical Analyst  WAA Cables Pvt. Ltd.

“Advanced cable technologies maximise transmission efficiency while maintaining grid stability.”

Vinay Rathi, Director Gloster Cables

“High-temperature superconducting cables enhance power quality and sustainability in urban infrastructure.” 

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