Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Power Theft-will it build darkness in India?




                       India, the largest democratic country of the world, provides shelter to more than 1.25 billion people. It is home to three times the population of the US though geographically only one third of it. The infrastructure has been developed enormously since its independence in 1947 but, even now many villages do not have electricity. Uninterrupted power is dream for most of the population. In this scenario, strange it may sound about 132 Billion units of electricity is pilfered in India during 2011-12. About 70% of population of India still lives in rural areas where agriculture provides the main livelihood to the majority. Many people do not have electricity supply and even when it is available, supply of electricity is erratic. When a utility starts providing 24 hrs power supply to certain area, it finds a major place in the newspaper. The Ministry of Power, though announced ‘Electricity to all by 2012’ as its objective, could not achieve it so far and now extended traget to 2019.
 People have to wait for hours to get the electric supply restored once a snag develops somewhere, especially in rural area where ‘no power’ is accepted as destiny. Development of energy sector does not take place in tandem with the increasing demand and ever spreading menace of Power theft has worsened the situation. The rapidly growing population and rising urbanization has put great stress on energy sector. India is power stressed. Increasing vitality of economy is not matched by similar vigour in the Power sector which is yet to wake up to the 21st century challenges.
It is a fact that installed capacity has recorded growth. From a mere 1713MW installed capacity in 1950s, it has risen to about 314642 MW by 2017. (CEA-Installed Capacity, 2017)About 33% of Generation capacity comes under the states, 25 % under the Central Government and the rest in private sector, which is now substantially increasing role, thanks to new policies of the Government that gives increasing thrust to Mega projects and Renewable sector with private partnership. Vertically integrated State Electricity Boards and private utilities exist in Indian power sector where electricity is a concurrent subject as both the center and state governments have definite role in evolving direction and guidelines. But it is sad fact the power theft has not been given due importance in the scheme of things.
India has approximately 6-10% shortage in energy demand and the peak demand deficiency in some states is nearly 25%, compels the Load Despatch Centres to throttle down resulting brown out everyday peak period.  About 80% of the villages are electrified but it doesn’t mean that all households are benefited. The Transmission and Distribution losses are restricted to around 10% in better managed utilities in the developed countries. Of the every 100 units generated in India, 35 units are lost on an average due to technical and non-technical losses. (Power Sector, 2017) This staggering figure 77% in some states! This sorry state hinges as much on inadequate development of transmission and distribution lines as on other factors including Power theft and irrational tariff structure.
Raising tariff even for good reasons may not go well with the people. The distribution companies take care not to antagonize the public as they know the proclivities of the public. People are happy if a utility charges less and ready to overlook the poor standards and service they receive. This is the basic attitude of the middle class Indians which forms the majority of electricity consumers. Perhaps this might have prompted to play safe by keeping current charges low thus making it difficult to go for the necessary upgrading of lines and renovations which requires huge investments. It is a sad fact that the Power sector is concentrated mainly on increasing generation capabilities resulting in increased capital cost  rather than loss reduction exercise which includes implementation of a mechanism to thwart  power pilfering..
The distribution loss in India has increased by 432% over a period of about a quarter of a century due to the reasons explained above. No country can claim a fair position as far as losses are concerned. The approximate cost of the distribution loss for the last quarter century comes to around $100 Billion. India has adopted the European system of drawing more Low-Tension lines, thanks to the British rule, which passed on certain technical legacies along with culture and arts!. Many European countries are very small, even smaller than majority of Indian states. Hence their distribution loss is considerably low.
How have we reached here? Theft of energy is the major singular cause of all disorders and problems in power utilities. The money value involved in theft is about $4.5 Billion dollar i.e., about 1.5% of GDP as per the statistics of the World Bank, few years back. [Bhatia & Gulati, 2004] Poverty drives many to steal electricity and they form a majority, while a few consider it as a white collar theft. (Prashar, & Sreenivasan, ,2015) Delhi, the capital city, stands out as the worst case of power theft. As much as 45% of the power generated was lost in the capital even after 2-3 years of private participation .Now it has been brought down substantially but few Divisions under BRPL and BYPL   are notorious for 40-60% loss.
 What stops utilities from eliminating Power theft? Vested interests of the stake holders including appeasing vote bank, consumers, utility employees, poor enforcement of law, habit of utilities to compound the power theft cases, prolonged litigation and, of course, the socio- political situations. The poor performance of state owned utilities in reduction of loss is due to weak accountability, poor governance and inadequate investment. They have little incentives to improved performance and any hard work goes unappreciated. Private participation has raised hope of better efficiency and accountability .However, it turns out that privatization of power sector   is not a panacea for eliminating power theft.
             India is world’s sixth largest energy consumer, accounting 3.4% of global energy consumption. Due to its economic rise, the demand for energy has grown at an average of 3.6%per annum over the past three decades. Distribution loss of Indian Power sector, having long low tension lines, is ‘surrogate’ to Power Theft. [Steadman, 2011]  Even after engaging the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Delhi continues to enjoy the status of ‘capital of Power theft in India’ and here even 20% AT&C loss is considered as fair. The problem of corruption and  vested electoral interest have prodded authorities to  turn a  blind eye to theft of power  and many go Scot free  if they are very close  to  ”power”. The erstwhile Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking was fed up with Power theft at the connivance of employees. Now the power distribution has private participation. When the new power companies have started conducting surprise inspections to detect power theft, the unscrupulous people have shown signs of panic.
               It is estimated that about 777 Million units of electricity is being pilfered in Hyderabad city, the cyber capital of India, in a year alone.(Sreenivasan,2017) The cost works out to $ 75 Million.In some part of the city designated as ‘’sensitive,” less as 50% of the consumers pay electricity charges, even though thousands of electricity meters are installed on poles. Here, professional power theft perpetrators are available who perform tampering of energy meter either permanent or temporary nature. The Power sleuths in India has the credit of detecting more than 75 varieties of high-tech Power theft in India in Electronic meters, though these meters are claimed to have state- of-the- art technology. Remotely operated Power theft, Frequency manipulation, Theft using Electro-static discharge (ESD) on energy meter, Harmonics and other spurious signal injections, umpteen methods of hardware tampering on energy meters are few methods to mention. (Sreenivasan, 2017) The power sector all over the world is closely observing new products that meet the challenges raised by the perpetrators and recently an Indian Company has found  a partial solution to Power theft using Electro-static discharge in high end meters.A lot more is expected from meter manufacturers all over the world.
        Even meters installed in substations are not spared by perpetrators.   The feeders of a Sub- station in Musafar Nagar, a city in North India were tampered with a remote operated shunt. The Substation was feeding power supply to steel furnace factories nearby. The raid was conducted under the leadership of the Minister and found energy meter- not at the consumers’ premises, but at the Substation- was tampered with modern-day technology, reminding us the usage that ‘fence itself eating the crop’. This may be a joint effort of many who wanted to sabotage the energy audit system also.
         In Punjab, Power theft is rampant in border districts especially for operation of tube wells and steel re-rolling mills which are current intensive in nature. Unfortunately, any officer who puts an effort to tackle this menace invites transfer, harassment, victimisation and a host of troubles .Farmers have been provided with subsidized or free electricity through out the country and it is one of the zones where electricity theft and misuse are maximum. In the state of Punjab, when the technicians of utility went to attend a fuse off call from a consumer, were surprised to find that even the Distribution Transformer (DT) was stolen for its metal parts to be sold after taking them apart in scrap market   . This is not an instance of isolation.
          If we think that power theft is a rural phenomenon or only prevalent in slums, we are for a rude shock. In Mumbai City alone, irregularities involving 1280 Million units were detected in 3 years. Even the constitutionally recognized bodies such as Zilla, Taluk and Gram Panchayath (Local self Government) in Bangalore are reported to have performed power theft sending a shock message to the society!  Even the small state of J&K is losing $ 0.25 Million a day by way of energy theft. With the onset of winter, the energy consumption moves up by 20%.The resort to unscrupulous method is rampant even among the people at the topmost rung of the society who have developed meanest trick of pilferage according to the Power Development Department. The department has no effective Anti Power theft squad but a few officials who could not unearth even a small fraction of abnormality.
    Pilferage of power in the name of religion is taken for granted in India. It occurs during almost all festivals, irrespective of the community or the state. A report says 97% of the organizers of festivals in Maharashtra State commit power theft. It’s very difficult to detect power theft during that time, as all devotees gather and attack the enforcement officials, as if the officials are from other communities or an atheist deliberately disturbing the festival. Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) has gone to the extent of advising various organizations that conduct festivals, not to venture into theft during the time of festivals. Usually the light and sound contractors arrange generators for temporary use; but they seldom operate them, instead venture into stealing electricity.
        General elections are yet another occasion to perform power theft in India. The police are pre occupied with keeping the law and order and usually the menace of Power theft goes unnoticed. In Tamil Nadu, during general election the venue of a leader’s campaign spot was illuminated with about 300 fluorescent lamps. The party had stolen electricity using hooks to add colour and light to the huge hoardings and stages and also to display the huge election symbols which are decorated with small bulbs. When top leaders come to political meetings, an engineer is used to be posted at the place to ensure uninterrupted supply of stolen power! In India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, large scale Power theft is reported during general election time. Another significant aspect is the abnormal use of electricity for agriculture purpose during these times, a clear indication of misuse and theft. This has been done with the connivance of local leaders of ruling party.( Golden & Min, 2012)
        The abduction of an engineer belonging to a utility from one of the North Eastern states forced the utility to postpone the implementation of a plan to revamp collection procedure.  This happened when the utility was just about to collect arrears and check power theft. In order to boost the morale of the employees, a Managing Director and Senior officers of a power Utility in North India, who decided to have first hand information of theft detection had to face unruly mob and to retreat after stone pelting .A senior Power sleuth in the Cyber city of Hyderabad had to seek police protection even after his retirement from service, following continual threat of perpetrators
                                             The mighty people and even the law makers indulge in theft of electricity. The Indian laws are  stringent to punish the guilty in the case of electricity theft but the time spend to conclude a case is too long. The state of affairs in Power theft is pennywise and pound foolish. As the law permits to compound the offence, its magnitude comes down to the level a petty traffic violation case, where discharge of offence can be done by paying a small penalty. Utilities across India have not treated power theft seriously the way it should be. The reply to RTI to Discoms across India yielded poor responses and many utilities even do not have the statistics of theft detected.
                                         Indian power sector is crippled by theft on one side and misuse on the other side. Energy wasted in daily life on account of less efficient electrical appliances is shocking. The simple guesstimate of waste and power theft says even the best stabilizers are only 80% energy efficient. Considering 10 million odd Air Conditioners in India, which are in operation for 5 hrs a day, the loss would be 20 MU per day! And the annual loss would be $600 Million!!. With 314 GW power generation capacity, the energy available per day will be 5275 Million units at 0.7 plf of which 20-25% ie. 1055 Million Units of electricity is lost by way of Power theft every day causing annual loss of  6.5 Billion to the exchequer!
Energy meters are no more instruments for recording electricity consumption. Consumer Metering and feeder metering are  one of the key approaches to reduce losses and theft, coupled with the replacement of the conventional electro mechanical meters with new electronic meters and the deployment of state-of-the-art emerging technologies such as, AMR and AMI etc.to assist in loss reduction and improved revenue collection. This may be more intensively done with the aid of centrally aided Schemes and the requirements of energy meters in coming decade will be more than of 100 million. The possibility of rolling out smart meter technology is yet another way of controlling power theft.Utilitiles are different in nature in India and hence the strategy to reduce theft also varies. There should not be a common system thrust upon to Discoms as strategy to reduce theft in one utility need not be successful in another. Unless 100 % consumers are metered and electricity at various distribution points are monitored, the Discoms can never think of attaining a healthy financial status.

Conclusion
                      The above instances are only tip of the ice berg.   Many utilities, now at a snail's pace, realize the need to control Power theft, lest they should fall into darkness. Various training to power engineers are being arranged and regularly updates them with latest happening around the world. But crooks always have the ability to stay one step ahead of the anti power theft detection system. They stay in their business purely through their flair to circumvent any challenge that comes their way. The R&D of electricity theft is moving faster than the best metering system available in the world, which was revolutionized with the advent of ICs and programmable logic circuits. India is now aiming at application of Information Technology in Power sector especially for controlling Power theft and losses. The R&D units of meter manufacturers have a great role to play in designing tamper resistant energy meters with more features to withstand the challenges from field. The repercussion of privatization on long run is not clear as of now and the present indication points finger that privatization is not the single remedy to control power theft. As the Indian power sector has now realized need of controlling power theft incorporating latest technology, it can be brought back to the right track and effective laws and updated theft detection system with the aid of modern power system tools would help control power Theft.(The author can be contacted  tamperfinder@gmail.com)

References


Bhatia, B., Gulati, M.[2004]. Reforming the Power Sector: Controlling Electricity Theft and Improving Revenue. Public Policy for the Private Sector Note 272, World Bank, Washington, DC.

CEA-Installed Capacity.(2017).Cea.nic.in. Retrieved 11 February 2017, from http://www.cea.nic.in/monthlyinstalledcapacity.html

Golden, M. & Min, B. (2012). Theft and Loss of Electricity in an Indian State. Seattle: International Growth Centre
 http://powermin.nic.in/, Ministry of Power, Government of India

Parashar, A. and Sreenivasan, G. (2015) Power Theft and Glorification of Crime by Indian Media –A Case study based on the campaign organized by India Against Corruption [IAC] in Delhi, THE DISCUSSANT, Journal of Centre for Reforms, Development and Justice, Jan—Mar 2015 Vol.3 No.1,Pp 47-54

Power sector (2017). Retrieved 11 February 2017, from http://www.icra.in/Files/ticker/SH-2014-Q4-1-ICRA-Power.pdf

Rengarajan.S & Loganathan.S[2012] Power Theft Prevention and Power Quality Improvement using Fuzzy Logic, International Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IJEEE) ISSN (PRINT): 2231 – 5284, Vol-1, Issue-3
Sreenivasan, G,Power Theft(2016) M/s PHI Learning (P) Ltd,New Delhi.

Steadman, K. U.[2011] Essays on electricity theft, Essays on electricity theft, State University of New York at Binghamton,Retreived from http:// www.binghamton. edu...spectus-by-k-steadman.pdf

.[Courtesy-IEEMA Journal.,March 2017]

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Solar Power-A single solution for Power sector issues??

: Solar power curtailment in Tamil Nadu is mostly due to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) opting to buy cheaper power from the exchanges at Rs 3/kwh rather than paying Rs 7.01/kwh to independent producers/developers with whom it has signed agreements, according to a report by Mercom Capital Group. Curtailment refers to energy produced that is not taken up by the grid.
The average market clearing price in July was just Rs. 2.16 on the Indian Energy Exchange, a 7 per cent drop month-over-month, the research firm said in its India Solar Quarterly Market Update.
Spike in generation
The increase in renewable energy addition has caused some solar power curtailment issues in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu where discoms (distribution companies) have flouted the ‘must run’ status of solar power, thereby negatively affecting developers, as per the report.
Mercom said the problem was more pronounced in Tamil Nadu, especially in high wind energy density areas when wind and solar generation peak simultaneously.
Earlier this month, The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission had asked TANGEDCO to technically justify why it had asked solar power plants to back down from the grid, in a petition filed by the National Solar Energy Federation of India.
A senior official from TANGEDCO said that cheaper power gets picked up first. “There is no must-run status to solar as in the case of wind. The utility is buying almost 3,500 MW of cheap wind power.
“So with renewables itself, we have this system of picking up the cheapest,” he added.
In Tamil Nadu, solar projects commissioned before March 2016 has a tariff of Rs 7.01 per kwh, while projects commissioned after April 2016 has a tariff of Rs. 5.10 per kwh.
Mercom also said any solar project development in Tamil Nadu was at the developer’s own risk. “Unless things change drastically, we advise investors to stay away from the State,” it said.
Tangedco is also gearing up to launch a tender for procuring 500 MW of solar power through competitive bidding.
Asked whether the current curtailment issue would hurt the tender process, the TANGEDCO official said cheaper power gets better evacuation.
“Solar power at Rs. 5.10 is now getting priority evacuation ahead of the power that costs Rs. 7.01 a unit.”

TANGEDCO has managed to buy power at a significantly lower rate of Rs. 3/kwh[The Hindu]

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Energy Conservation in fans using inverter technology

Inverter technology uses a variable speed compressor motor similar to a car. It simply slows down and speeds up as needed to hold a selected comfort setting. Inverter technology provides a more precise room temperature without the temperature fluctuations of fixed speed systems.
Air Conditioners are a pain point for most people in our country who are concerned about their electricity bills. The moment an air conditioner is added to the list of appliances used in a household, the electricity bills increase significantly. Although it is difficult to significantly reduce the “big” impact of an air conditioner on your electricity bills, but still some of it can be managed by choosing the right technology, doing the right installation/maintenance/operation and by doing the right insulation of the room where the air conditioner is used (more details in our articles listed at the end of this article). When it comes to technology, there were not many available till sometime back. When BEE actively started analyzing and labelling the air conditioners, we got some good one in form of 5 star air conditioners. The latest and the most efficient technology that is available in market today is the Inverter Technology for air conditioners. Inverter technology is designed in such a way that it can save 30-50% of electricity (units consumed) over a regular air conditioner. How does an air conditioner work?
What is benefit of Inverter Technology?
Are Inverter technology air conditioners slow in cooling?
For most people, air conditioner just throws cool air at the temperature one sets it at. But does it really work that way? In fact air conditioner during cooling process, takes the indoor air, cools it by passing it through evaporator and throws it back in the room. It is quite opposite to how our good old air coolers used to work. Air coolers used to take outside air, cool it with water and throw it in. But air conditioners just work on internal air. Along with evaporator air conditioner also has a compressor that compresses the gas (refrigerant) in the AC to cool it that in turn cools the incoming internal air from the room.
The compressor is either off or on. When it is on, it works at full capacity and consumes full electricity it is designed to consume. When the thermostat reaches the temperature level set in the AC, the compressor stops and the fan (in AC) continues to operate. When the thermostat senses that the temperature has increased, the compressor starts again.
In an Air Conditioner with Inverter Technology:
The inverter technology works like an accelerator in a car. When compressor needs more power, it gives it more power. When it needs less power, it gives less power. With this technology, the compressor is always on, but draws less power or more power depending on the temperature of the incoming air and the level set in the thermostat. The speed and power of the compressor is adjusted appropriately. This technology was developed in Japan and is being used there successfully for air conditioners and refrigerators. This technology is currently available only in split air conditioners.
Every air conditioner is designed for a maximum peak load. So a 1.5ton AC is designed for a certain size of room and 1 ton for a different size. But not all rooms are of same size. A regular air conditioner of 1.5ton capacity will always run at peak power requirement when the compressor is running. An air conditioner with inverter technology will run continuously but will draw only that much power that is required to keep the temperature stable at the level desired. So it kind of automatically adjusts its capacity based on the requirement of the room it is cooling. Thus drawing much less power and consuming lesser units of electricity.
Although air conditioner with Inverter Technology adjusts its capacity based on the room requirement, it is very important to install a right sized air conditioner in a room. Please make sure that you evaluate the room and air conditioner capacity before you make a purchase. Keep watching for this space as we are in process of creating a comparator for electricity savings in various air conditioners.
Several people have concerns that Inverter Technology air conditioners do not cool well or cool slowly. However let us take this image as reference to understand how inverter AC works:
Non inverter ACs are fixed speed ACs, where as inverter ACs are variable speed ACs. Non inverter ACs have compressors that go “On” and “Off”. Whereas inverter ACs have compressors that are “On” all the time. As non inverter ACs are sized for peak summer heat load, they are over-sized all the other times (in fact most of the time people oversize even for peak summer season). The drawback of the same is that the AC “Over cools” most of the time. So if you set AC at temperature of 25, it will cool it down to 23 or 22. Now one would question: then what is the use of thermostat? Well the thermostat (in a non inverter AC) switches off the compressor when the outside temperature has reached 25. But a lot has happened before that. In an AC, refrigerant moves from liquid to gas (by taking heat from the room) and then back from gas to liquid as the compressor compresses it. But if the refrigerant is more and heat in the room is less (which happens in over sized AC), it does not get enough heat from the room to convert from liquid to gas and it keeps moving as liquid. Now when the thermostat detects temperature and switches off the compressor, the refrigerant still remains in liquid state and thus has capacity to take heat from room to convert to gas. And so it takes more heat from the room and cools the room below the set temperature.
In comparison, the inverter tech AC changes the flow rate of refrigerant based on the heat of the room. When heat is less, the flow rate is less, when heat is more, the flow rate is more. And it does not switch off the compressor ever. It just makes sure that if temperature setting is 25, it is maintained at that level.
So the difference is: non inverter AC would over cool as shown in the picture. Whereas inverter AC will cool optimum. And thus one may feel that inverter AC does not cool or is slow.
Lesser known benefits of Inverter Technology
§  Regular motors need 3-4 times more current (more than running current) at startup. So the inverter/generator size needed to run any AC or Refrigerator increases significantly. But Inverter Technology air conditioners and refrigerators have variable speed motors that start up gradually needing much lesser current at startup. Thus the size of inverter/generator required to startup is less. For e.g. A 1.5 ton fixed speed AC that runs at about 10 Amp current may need up to 30 Amp current at startup and thus a 5 kVA inverter/generator. But an inverter technology Air Conditioner needs about 6-7 Amp current and not much more at startup and thus a 1.5 kVA or 2 kVA inverter/generator is good enough to support it.
§  Regular motors have much lower power factor. In commercial and industrial connections there is penalty for low power factor and rebates for higher power factor. An inverter technology motor will have power factor close to unity (or 1) which not only results in lesser electricity consumption but also help get rebates on better power factor.
§  If you are planning to use Solar PV for air conditioner, then it is the best to use inverter technology air conditioner or refrigerator as it not only reduces the size of PV panels because it consumes lesser electricity, it also reduces the size of inverter to be put along with the PV panel.
Inverter ACs are 20-30% efficient as compared to same EER fixed speed AC model. So if you find an inverter AC with EER of 3.3 then it is comparable to a fixed speed AC of EER 3.3/0.8 = 4.12 …. now most inverter ACs are efficient than BEE 5 star rated ACs, but some are not. For e.g if you get an inverter tech AC of EER 2.9 then its equivalent AC would be one with EER of 3.63. Now that AC would be a BEE 5 star rated one, but still you can get BEE 5 star rated AC with EER as high as 3.9. So it is not always that inverter tech AC is efficient than BEE 5 star rated AC.
BEE star rated does get updated every year as the efficiencies improve. We hope that soon BEE will include inverter ACs in the star rating as well. And then it will remove all ambiguity (Inverter Tech Refrigerators are already included in BEE star rating). What sized model are you looking for? We can suggest you some models that have high EER.
ACs are designed to cool enclosed space. So when you use an AC in a room you should keep the doors and windows closed (unlike a desert cooler). Even when sizing is done, it is done considering the volume of air to be cooled. Now if your kitchen is connected to the hall the AC will also try to cool the air in the kitchen. So for sizing the AC you will also have to consider the volume of the kitchen. Also kitchen will involve cooking which will increase the heat load on the AC.
Now fixed speed ACs have constant Energy Efficiency Ratio …. while inverter ACs have variable energy efficiency ratio. Inverter ACs are more efficient when they are running at lower capacities and less efficient when they are running at capacities higher than the marketing capacity or tonnage. If you have sized your AC as per your hall without including the kitchen then the inverter AC will always run at capacity higher than the marketing capacity and thus it will not provide you electricity savings that you expect. And that is why we suggested you to go for BEE 5 star rated AC as it will run at constant energy efficiency.
Mostly when the AC is sized for peak summer, it is sized in such a way that it can bring down the temperature to 25 degrees. And 25 degrees is the temperature in thermostat which is there on the internal unit of the AC (some ACs from bluestar have ifeel technology in which the thermostat is in the remote instead of the IDU). Now if in peak summer it can bring down temperature to 25, other times in the year it should be able to bring it down lower. Now when temperature of the air near IDU is 25, the room temperature will be about 26 (with good air circulation). If the circulation is not good then it can be higher as well.
Now I did not understand what you meant by AC is throwing cooling in between 10-12 degrees. All I can say is as long as the AC is able to make your room comfortable, it should be good. If your expectation is that it should bring down the room temperature to 16 or 18, then it will be difficult. It can happen only at nights when the heat load is less. But it should certainly bring down the room temperature to 24-25 which is more than comfortable. If it is not doing that, then there is a problem in the AC.
As far as current is concerned, Inverter AC starts with 0 and increases to highest current (9 amp in your case) and then settles to a stable current (most probably 6.77 in your case). If it is continuously consuming 9 Amp then it means that the AC is not cooling properly or is undersized. Improper installation can also cause improper cooling.[Courtesy]


Saturday, December 26, 2015

LOW LOSS CONDUCTOR CABLE An answer to high T&D losses

  In the process of supplying electricity to consumers, technical losses occur naturally and consist mainly of power dissipation in electricity system components such as transmission and distribution (T&D) lines, transformers, and measurement systems. T & D losses have I2R losses as a major component, and if one can reduce the resistance,the losses can be reduced.So, while resistance depends upon metal area and its resistivity,there is a need to improve both without changing the physical area of the conductor. This is besides improving compaction % i.e. Metal area/Physical area. Also, normal compacted conductors have a compaction of 87-91% causing a limit on metal area that can be fitted inside the physical area. These issues have been sorted by a unique design using 2 layers of trapezoidal wires. The electricity sector in India had an installed capacity of 205.34 Gigawatt (GW) as of June 2012, the world's fifth largest. Captive power plants generate an additional 31.5 GW. Thermal power plants constitute 66% of the installed capacity, hydroelectric about 19% and rest being a combination of wind, small hydro, biomass, waste-to-electricity, and nuclear. India generated 855 BU (855 000 MU i.e. 855 TWh) electricity during 2011-12 The per capita average annual domestic electricity consumption in India in 2009 was 96 kWh in rural areas and 288 kWh in urban areas for those with access to electricity, in contrast to the worldwide per capita annual average of 2600 kWh and 6200 kWh in the European Union. India's total domestic, agricultural and industrial per capita energy consumption estimates vary depending on the source. Two sources place it between 400 to 700 kWh in 2008–2009. As of January 2012, one report stated that the per capita total consumption in India to be 778 kWh. In terms of fuel, coal-fired plants account for 56% of India's installed electricity capacity, compared to South Africa's 92%; China's 77%; and Australia's 76%. After coal, renewal hydropower accounts for 19%, renewable energy for 12% and natural gas for about 9%. Further, the 17th electric power survey of India report claims: In December 2011, over 300 million Indian citizens had no access to electricity. Over one third of India's rural population lacked electricity, as did 6% of the urban population. Of those who did have access to electricity in India, the supply was intermittent and unreliable.
 In 2010, blackouts and power shedding interrupted irrigation and manufacturing across the country. The per capita average annual domestic electricity consumption in India in 2009 was 96 kWh in rural areas and 288 kWh in urban areas for those with access to electricity, in contrast to the worldwide per capita annual average of 2600 kWh and 6200 kWh in the European Union. India's total domestic, agricultural and industrial per capita energy consumption estimates vary depending on the source. Two sources place it between 400 to 700 kWh in 2008–2009. As of January 2012, one report stated that the per capita total consumption in India to be 778 kWh.

DEMAND TRENDS As in previous years, during the year 2010–11, the demand for electricity in India far outstripped availability, both in terms of base load energy and peak availability. Base load requirement was 861,591 (MU[) against availability of 788,355 MU, a 8.5% deficit. During peak loads, the demand was for 122 GW against availability of 110 GW, a 9.8% shortfall. In a May 2011 report, India's Central Electricity Authority anticipated, for 2011–12 year, a base load energy deficit and peaking shortage to be 10.3% and 12.9% respectively. The peaking shortage would prevail in all regions of the country, varying from 5.9% in the NorthEastern region to 14.5% in the Southern Region. India also expects all regions to face energy shortage varying from 0.3% in the North-Eastern region to 11.0% in the Western region. India's Central Electricity Authority expects a surplus output in some of the states of Northern India, those with predominantly hydropower capacity, but only during the monsoon months. In these states, shortage conditions would prevail during winter season. According to this report, the five states with largest power demand and availability, as of May 2011, were Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
According to 17th EPS
Over 2010–11, India's industrial demand accounted for 35% of electrical power requirement, domestic household use accounted for 28%, agriculture 21%, commercial 9%, public lighting and other miscellaneous applications accounted for the rest. The electrical energy demand for 2016–17 is expected to be at least 1392 Tera Watt Hours, with a peak electric demand of 218 GW. The electrical energy demand for 2021–22 is expected to be at least 1915 Tera Watt Hours, with a peak electric demand of 298 GW. Also, if the current average transmission and distribution average losses is around 32% then India needs to add about 135 GW of power generation capacity, before 2017, to satisfy the projected demand after losses. Item Value Date Reported Total Installed Capacity (GW) Available base load supply (MU) Demand base load (MU) Demand base load (GW) Available base load supply (GW) 201.64 837374 118.7 933741 136.2 April 2012 May 2011 May 2011 May 2011 May 2011 Electricity sector capacity and availability in India (excludes
McKinsey claims that India's demand for electricity may cross 300 GW, earlier than most estimates. To explain their estimates, they point to four reasons: sterlitetechnologies.com India's manufacturing sector is likely to grow faster than in the past Domestic demand will increase more rapidly as the quality of life for more Indians improve About 125,000 villages are likely to get connected to India's electricity grid Currently blackouts and load shedding artificially suppresses demand; this demand will be sought as revenue potential by power distribution companies THE CAUSE FOR LOSSES A demand of 300GW will require about 400 GW of installed capacity, McKinsey notes. The extra capacity is necessary to account for plant availability, infrastructure maintenance, spinning reserve and losses. India currently suffers from a major shortage of electricity generation capacity, even though it is the world's fourth largest energy consumer after United States, China and Russia. The International Energy Agency estimates India needs an investment of at least $135 billion to provide universal access of electricity to its population. The International Energy Agency estimates India will add between 600 GW to 1200 GW of additional new power generation capacity before 2050. This added new capacity is equivalent to the 740 GW of total power generation capacity of European Union (EU- 27) in 2005. The technologies and fuel sources India adopts, as it adds this electricity generation capacity, may make significant impact to global resource usage and environmental issues. India's network losses exceeded 32% in 2010 including non-technical losses, compared to world average of less than 15%. Both technical and non-technical factors contribute to these losses, but quantifying their proportions is difficult. Some experts estimate that technical losses are about 15% to 20%, a high proportion of non‐technical losses are caused by illegal tapping of lines, but faulty electric meters that underestimate actual consumption also contribute to decrease in payment collection. A case study in Kerala estimated that replacing faulty meters could reduce distribution losses from 34% to 29%.
In 2010, electricity losses in India during transmission and distribution were about 24%, while losses because of consumer theft or billing deficiencies added another 10–15%. Power cuts are common throughout India and the consequent failure to satisfy the demand for electricity has adversely effected India's economic growth. SUSTAINABLE OPTIMAL REDUCTION OF TECHNICAL LOSSES Optimization of technical losses in electricity transmission and distribution grids is an engineering issue, involving classic tools of power systems planning and modeling. The driving criterion is minimization of the net present value (sum of costs over the economic life of the system discounted at a representative rate of return for the business) of the total investment cost of the transmission and distribution system coupled with the total cost of technical losses.Technical losses are valued at generation costs. Technical losses represent an economic loss for the country, and its optimization should be performed from a country's perspective, regardless of the institutional organization of the sector and ownership of operating electricity utilities. LOSSES - RESISTIVE Transmitting electricity at high voltage reduces the fraction of energy lost to resistance, which averages around 7%. For a given amount of power, a higher voltage reduces the current and thus the resistive losses in the conductor. For example, raising the voltage by a factor of 10 reduces the current by a corresponding factor of 10 and therefore the I2R losses by a factor of 100, provided the same sized conductors are used in both cases. Even if the conductor size (cross-sectional area) is reduced 10-fold to match the lower current the I2R losses are still reduced 10-fold. Long distance transmission is typically done with overhead lines at voltages of 115 to 1,200 kV. STERLITE's SOLUTION Sterlite ULTRAEFF low loss MV Power Cables consist of conductor made from very compactly packed trapezoidal cross-section aluminium strands which are prepared from specially treated aluminium having improved conductivity, high performance XLPE insulated, armoured and unarmoured power cables as per IS-7098-PII and equivalent standards.
METHODS TO REDUCE RESISTANCE As resistance of a conductor is dependent on resistivity, length and area, we can improve the resistance by following: Improving the conductivity of aluminium by annealing and heat treatment. The metal is heat treated for a preset amount of time at a preset temperature improving the conductivity to 62.5 %. 1) Putting more metal area in the same physical area by improving the compaction of the conductor. 2) A stranded circular compacted conductor is made of wires, stranded and compacted to a form of conductor.Two methods of conductor making are prevalent: die compaction with a maximum possible compaction of 90-91 %, Roller compaction for sizes of 240 sq.mm and above with a max possible compaction of 92- 93%. This leads to presence of air gaps and limits the amount of metal area that can be put in the same physical area. If trapezoidal wires are used in place of circular wires, this compaction can be increased to 97 % increasing the metal area and thus effectively reducing the resistance and hence the losses. Sterlite with its background in metallurgy and conductor making adapted this concept for overhead conductors as well as underground cables. With enhanced conductivity and higher compaction, 300 sq.mm conductor with trapezoidal wires was produced to have a conductor resistance of 87% value of that specified by IS 8130.

Lower I2R losses for the transmission /distribution network for the same transmitted current. Higher current rating for conductor temperature of 900C. Higher short circuit rating because of higher metal area in the conductor. CONCLUSION With the extensive use of electricity, and the wide geographical distribution of users, an effective transmission and distribution system is essential. The history of electricity transmission can be dated back to 1883, when Thomas Edison first introduced an economically viable model for generating and distributing electric power. Edison's greatest achievement was perhaps not the invention of the light bulb or any other single application, but the universally applicable electricity transmission system which has lit up the whole world. Modern electrical transmission and distribution systems are the result of conscientious efforts and design skills of engineers to ensure high energy efficiency and safety. Thus, high energy efficiency means the loss of power through transmission is minimized.[  Pranav Vasani is Head – Quality Assurance, Power Cables Business, Sterlite Technology & courtesy-sterlitetechnologies.com]

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Accuracy of Energy Meters

                       Reliable and accurate metering system is a vital link between a power utility and consumer, acquiring more significance day by day. In terms of Electricity Act 2003, CEA has notified a metering code for all the utilities to adopt appropriate metering technologies together with various associated methods to reduce commercial losses. Hence it is pertinent that the power utilities have to upgrade their metering system with the state-of-art technologies which are accessible, for reducing losses, improving financial status and better load management.
                        It is a standard utility practice to test consumer's metering equipments in situ and has many advantages over laboratory tests .The meters need not be de- installed and transported to other locations in order for the necessary tests to be performed. This is particularly important for transformerrated metering installations. If the measuring circuit is faulty the electricity meter receives voltages and currents which differ phase and/or amplitude from those it would receive. Faults may occur when metering equipments are under ongoing operation also. The surest way to find such faults is to check the meter as well as the associated instrument transformers.
                          The specification of LT, HT and EHT metering system in India are based on the guidelines of Central Electricity Authority (Installation and operation) Regulations (2006) which are already in practice all over India. Few area where electricity metering needs attention are
 1 3 phase 3 wire measurement system instead of 3 phases 4 wire meter.
2 Poor accuracy standards of Instrument transformers and Energy meters.
3. Installation of same rated CTs irrespective of contract demand.

1.  Effects of selection of higher burden values of   instrument transformers than actually required.


It can be seen that  at many instances the burden of CT is very high when compared to that of the associated metering equipment. (2-2.5VA).In EHT consumers, a slightly higher burden can be expected for pilot wires. However, a very high burden of instrument transformer gives a prima facie indication that the CT is not working in the defined accuracy range described in the IS. For eg. for a 20VA CT with a secondary current of 1A,  the load must be 20 Ohm. If only 3 Ohm loop resistance and digital relays with almost 0 Ohm impedance is connected, the accuracy may be outside specification since the accuracy is only guaranteed when the load is nominal (20 Ohm) or 1/4 of the nominal load (5 Ohm).Using CTs of burden values higher than required is unscientific since it leads to inaccurate reading (meter) or inaccurate sensing of fault / reporting conditions. Basically, such high value of design burden extends saturation characteristics of CT core leading to likely damage to the meter connected across it under overload conditions.
The CTs designed with a particular burden connected with lower burden application results to erroneous measurements. With the advent in technology, the burden of individual instrument has come down considerably.
                     It can be seen that for  indoor CTs, though the burden(VA) specified for the metering Core is 10-15 VA, it is unlikely to exceed even 3 VA.Hence, it is suggested that the rated Burden for the Metering Core of the CT may be a standard value as close to the connected Burden as possible. Even though a direct conversion of this abnormality into loss is not accurately estimated, a marginal error of 0.25 %   results into a substantial loss of revenue .

2) Adverse effect of using 3 phase 3 wire meters instead 3 phase 4 wire meters

Three phase three wire System of power measurement is in vogue in many utilities .This is two watt meter system of power measurement in which current of R& B phases are measured along with three line voltage. This system measures energy accurately both in balanced and unbalanced load conditions provided there is no neutral current flow. This system is just right so long as the conditions behind it are meticulously followed. However field conditions are entirely different. The present day practice of using star-star solidly earthed transformer permits the consumer to load on each phases heavily (for eg.single phase furnaces etc.) thus making erroneous reading, as current in Y phase of high voltage side is not recorded. If the consumer is intelligent enough to add single phase load deliberately at Y phase in above such condition, it is as good as a power pilferage situation. If a three phase four wire system is adopted, this tricky condition can be avoided. Morever, when CT/PT units of one phase becomes faulty, the total consumption of the system can be arrived more accurately. Hence it is high time for utilities to adopt three phase four wire system as already done elsewhere to plug the drain of revenue leakage.
3. Effects on adoption of Poor accuracy standards of Instrument transformer and Energy meters.

As per regulations 2, 5,8,12 and 16 of Central Electricity Authority (Installation and operation) Regulations (2006) and the schedules, the standards of measuring equipments have been specified. For HT consumers, class 0.5S or better is specified where as for EHT consumers its Class 0.2 S.The accuracy class of Current Transformers and Voltage transformers shall not be inferior to that of associated metes. The regulation states that the existing CTs and VTs not complying with these standards shall be replaced by new CTs and VTs. Thus the regulation is very specific in defining the accuracy class of both instrument transformer and Meters. However superior an energy meter may be, if the associated instrument transformers measure the actual energy with an element of error, the same will be replicated. The current transformer is Class 0.5 (HT) and Class 1.0 for EHT which is not in line with the standards of Central Electricity Authority, 2006.Though a direct conversion of this non compatibility is hard to achieve, revenue loss per month on installation of lower accuracy class CT and Energy meters on the EHT / HT consumers are sgnificantly high.




Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ezhilampala

 Ezhilampala (Indian Devil tree.)

The smell, that, comes from a tree named Alstonia Scholaris or Saptaparni or Ezhilampala (Indian devil tree) attracts the people of Delhi on the onset of winter. The presence of this tree just near to my office attracts people by smell of flowers and can be felt even 100 meters away. The tree bears a fruit which ripens and break open at night, spreading the aroma and the pollen. In Indian mythology, Yakshi the female goddess associated with the fertility of the earth, love, and beauty lives in Ezhilampala

                       In Kerala Yakshi is a very popular folklore character. Similar characters are known in many parts of the world. While the Yakshi of Kerala folklore prefers white robes, similar characters, the Scottish and Malaysian prefer green apparels. It is said that whenever a Yakshi appears there would be fragrance of Jasmine or Pala (Alstonia scholaris) - common name Indian devil tree.
                                                 A soft-stemmed tree with highly fragrant tiny flowers that open during night. Seven leaves arise from a single nod and several braches start from the same joint giving the tree a particular shape. Fruits are long shell that hangs in clusters. Ezhilampala is believed to be the habitat of fairies by Indian myths! The fragrance of its flower is sweet when light but causes giddiness when smelled; may be the reason for this innocent tree being called devil tree!

                                                                                                                              
This Ezhilampala is a dwelling place for parrots, dove, squirrel, crows, humming bird, pea cock apart from  Yakshi!!.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

GOD'S OWN TRAIN



                                                              The northern state of India - Himachal Pradesh have the benefit of two narrow gauge Rail tracks - Kalka/Shimla and Pathankot/Jogindernagar. Kalka Shimla toy train run on these treks popularly called 'Toy Trains' by the tourists. Roundabout on Shimla toy train is a stimulating experience as one passes through the breathtaking landscapes of splendid Himalayas, tunnels, bridges and fertile green dale embroidered with pine, oak trees, leaving a long lasting memory of ecstasy and accomplishment.


At Shimla Station
                                                 The longest tunnel in the route is named after Barog, the engineer, responsible for scheming a tunnel near the railway station. He started digging the tunnel from both sides of the mountain, which is relatively common as it hustles up construction. However, he made mistake in calculation and the two ends of the tunnel did not meet. Barog was fined an amount of 1 Rupee by the then British government. This is equivalent to millions of dollars today. 
                                     Unable to withstand the embarrassment, Barog committed suicide. He was buried near the incomplete tunnel. The area came to be known as Barog after him and the tunnel is called unlucky tunnel. It is said that his dog upon seeing his master bleeding profusely ran in panic to a village, near the present Barog railway station, for help. However, by the time people reached the spot, Barog had breathed his last. There are different versions about the suicide as some say the dejected engineer shot his dog before he shot himself. He was buried in front of the tunnel, near the Kalka-Shimla national highway, about 1 km from Barog. It is now even difficult to locate the whereabouts of the dejected tunnel which has now been closed.

IN FRONT OF BOROG  TUNNEL

Later the mantle fell on Chief Engineer H.S. Harrington's supervison escorted by a local learned, Bhalku, in a short period from July 1900 to September 1903 at a cost 8.40 Lakh rupees (Rupees 840,000).This tunnel is the longest of the 103 operational tunnels on the route of the Shimla-Kalka Railway, which is 1143.61m long. Barog station is right away after the tunnel. Barog tunnel is the straightest tunnel in the World.Trains takes about 2.5 minutes to cross this tunnel, running at 25 kilometres per hour.Trains take about 2.5 minutes to cross this tunnel, running at 25 kilometres per hour.

MOTHERHOOD

                                                 JOURNEY THRO' JUNGLE.
Kalka Shimla Toy Train has about 7 coaches that can accommodate least 200 passengers in a single trip. The diversities of challenging weather do not extricate the pertinacity of the 700 horsepower B-B type diesel engines. They run vigorously taking up the hazards of adverse weather conditions - temperatures ranging from 0 to 25°C, heavy snowfall -average recording 2 feet during winters, and the annual rainfall of 2000-2500 mm, professed by the valley. The train acquires up a moderate average speed of 25-30 km throughout its passage imparting its travelers to delight in the full magnificence of the pleasing valley. 
                                                                                                            


Perhaps this is the only train in India which waited for me to finish my refreshments at Barog station  !