by July 2, 2012 0 comments




Power is an essential commodity, which due to forced subsidies and increasing demands becomes a rare commodity, especially in the summer season. The mounting demand and the inadequate production, partly due to losses, from our power utilities has left the current power generation in India in a precarious condition. Losses incurred in the various stages of power supply due to power thefts, wastage and lack of user support, have exceeded 30% in recent times. Nuclear plants are seen as the only alternative, but there is a healthier choice. It is production and consumption of power in a smart way. Power can be smartly managed by monitoring who is using it, when and why. A major share of power is lost during distribution. So, making our power generation methods smarter is a necessity.

Snapshot

Applies to: SMEs and Homes

USP: How electricity would be generated and consumed in the future.
Primary Links: None
Search engine keywords: Smart grid, power grid, smart meters

The Ministry of Power has launched the R-APDRP program as part of the 11th Five year plan to ensure data acquisition at distribution level, monitoring the success of the IT backbone and strengthening the electricity distribution system across India with the goal of reducing transmission and consumption losses by 15% in Greater Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Amravati, Malegaon, Sangli, Sholapur and Kolhapur.


The future of power lies in smart grids

A grid is a network of transmission lines, substations and transformers that supply electricity from the power plants to consumers. So far, this link is unidirectional, from the power discom to consumer, but with the use of digital technology it can become bidirectional. Smart grid is a digitally enabled electrical grid that gathers, distributes, and acts on information regarding power supply, consumption in order to improve the efficiency, importance, reliability, economics, and sustainability of electricity services. In smart grid, a user doesn’t have to wait for the monthly bill to know his consumption. Smart meter helps consumers to check avoidable wastages of power.

Smart generation of power is another need of the hour. The sooner they switch to renewable sources, such as wind, water and solar energy, better the odds are of attaining sustainable power supply. Users can play a more interactive role in this by installing small units of solar cells on roof tops and generate enough power for household needs and the surplus is directed back to the power grid. It is essential to do more with fewer resources, since the resources in use are mostly non-renewable and are depleting with time. To meet the demand and have buffer as well, without increasing the carbon emissions is only possible if electricity is generated smartly by using automated devices for transmission and distribution. Distribution of power needs smart infrastructure too, such as photovoltaic panels on roof-tops, fuel cells, etc.


Smart metering

A smart meter is an electrical meter that records the volume of power consumption on an hourly basis and communicates it to the consumer and the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. It relies on existing solutions like cellular networks, satellite, Internet, Ethernet, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It offers bidirectional communication between the power utility and the consumer. Evening is the peak time when consumption is more, similarly during the middle of the night consumption drops. The retail electricity prices keep fluctuating to offer you the best price.

When demand is high, the utility company can pass high costs onto the consumer. Likewise, when demand is low the utility company can provide concessions to the consumer. This encourages consumers to use electricity when demand is low so they can save money. Power metering makes a user understand his usage behaviour better and how he can cut down on his consumption. Each unit saved can help in democratization of power supply.

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