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Home » Power Talk » T&D is still dealing with integrating RE sources and AT&C losses

T&D is still dealing with integrating RE sources and AT&C losses

April 24, 2024 6:27 pm

T&D is still dealing with integrating RE sources and AT&C losses
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Smart grids address the challenges posed by variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind by forecasting energy generation and managing fluctuations in real time.

New power transmission and distribution technologies enhance efficiency and reliability through intelligent grids. Advanced metering, HVDC lines, and automation pave the way for sustainable energy infrastructure. EPR Magazine explores the latest trends in the transmission and distribution sector in talks with Hamza Arsiwala. 

How are new technologies improving efficiency and reliability in transmission and distribution networks?

New technologies are revolutionising power transmission and distribution networks, enhancing efficiency and reliability amid escalating demand and the integration of renewable energy sources. Foremost among these innovations are smart grids, which leverage real-time data, automation, and bidirectional communication to optimise grid operations. 

Additionally, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems deliver instantaneous energy consumption data, facilitating superior demand management and billing practices for utilities and consumers. Distribution automation (DA) streamlines switching and fault detection tasks, resulting in swifter response times and decreased outages. 

Moreover, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines offer more efficient long-distance electricity transmission, which is particularly vital for integrating extensive renewable energy projects located distantly from population centres.

What innovative methods are utilities using to address ageing infrastructure?

Utilities are using some key methods to address ageing infrastructure in the transmission and distribution sector. Utilities are deploying sensor-based monitoring systems to assess the health of transformers, lines and other equipment in real time. This allows for targeted maintenance, replacing only critical components when needed and extending the lifespan of existing infrastructure. Exploring techniques like conductor reconditioning, pole reinforcement, and transformer oil rejuvenation extend the operational life of existing assets, pushing off costly replacements.

Smart grid technologies like smart meters and distribution automation systems provide real-time data and automated control, enabling the grid to adapt to renewables’ power generation fluctuations. Utilities are deploying drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and thermal imaging to inspect transmission lines and substations visually. This improves safety, efficiency, and data collection for maintenance purposes.

How are smart grid solutions revolutionising electricity flow monitoring, control, and management?

Smart grid solutions are revolutionising electricity flow monitoring, control, and management through two main mechanisms: two-way communication and the integration of renewables. Smart grids facilitate communication between utilities and consumers, allowing for innovative strategies like time-of-day pricing and demand response programmes. This fosters efficiency by incentivising consumers to shift usage to off-peak hours and reduce consumption during peak times, thereby optimising grid stability.

Smart grids address the challenges posed by variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind by forecasting energy generation and managing fluctuations in real time. This ensures a stable balance between supply and demand, enhancing grid stability and reliable power delivery. These advancements offer numerous benefits for India’s power sector, including increased efficiency, reliability, and sustainability.

What regulatory changes are supporting advancements in technologies and incentivising grid modernisation?

Regulatory changes are underway to enhance connectivity and general network access, mainly through facilitating easier access to the interstate transmission system (ISTS) for power generators, particularly those utilising renewable energy sources. These changes foster competition and streamline the integration of clean energy into the grid.

The Ministry of Power has established policies to determine tariffs for transmission lines associated with Green Corridor projects. These initiatives prioritise the evacuation of power from renewable energy-rich zones, thereby encouraging investments in dedicated transmission infrastructure for clean energy. DSM regulations have been implemented to establish a framework for managing deviations from scheduled electricity supply. 

Spokesperson: Hamza Arsiwala, President- IEEMA

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