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15-10-2016, 04:28 PM
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Smart Grid Initiative for Power Distribution Utility in India


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Abstract - After enactment of Electricity Act „2003 in India, a comprehensive change is
happening in Indian power sector, and Grid is sophisticated, digitally enhanced power systems
where the use of modern communications and control technologies allows much greater
robustness, efficiency and flexibility than today‟s power systems. A smart grid impacts all the
components of a power system especially the distribution level. One subset of smart grids is
smart metering / advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) etc. In a smart grid, all the various
nodes need to interconnect to share data as and where needed. Smart Grid envisages providing
choices to each and every customer for deciding the timing and amount of power consumption
based upon the price of the power at a particular moment of time, apart from providing choices
to the consumer and motivating them to participate in the operations of the grid, causing energy
efficiency and accommodating all generation and storage options, Smart Grid also envisages
various properties for the Grid like self-healing and adaptive . The suite of Smart Grid products
and technologies help maximizing system uptime, while also helping the utility more quickly to
restore power to homes and businesses in the event of an outage. Government of India has
recently formed “Smart Grid Forum” and “Smart Grid Task Force” for enablement of smart grid
technology into Indian Power Distribution Utilities as a part of their Smart Grid initiative to meet
their growing energy demand in similar with the developed country like USA, Europe etc.
Introduction - Indian economy is forecasted to grow at 8 to 9% in 2015-2016 fiscal year, which
in the coming years is set to reach double digit growth (10%+). But India suffers from grave
power shortage which is likely to worsen over the next few decades. On one hand, there are
problems with the lack of adequate generation capacity with power cuts ranging to several hours
still prevalent in many cities. On the other hand, there are problems with the lack of transmission
infrastructure with several thousand villages still not connected to the national grid. 15-20%
power transmitted is lost in the transmission and distribution network while 10 to 20 % is lost to
theft across the utilities in India. While these losses have been coming down slowly over the
recent years, there is still a long way to go for the utilities to achieve the desired state of
operations. India has also been missing its generation infrastructure expansion plans for the last
several decades.
Recently the Government of India announced the National Mission on Enhanced Energy
Efficiency which aims at improving energy efficiency in industrial as well as commercial and
residential sectors. While for the industrial sector a scheme similar to the carbon trading, called
the energy efficiency certificate scheme is in works, the case with the commercial and residential
sector is slightly complicated. The industries can take care of themselves once the binding
efficiency targets have been stipulated to them but the government needs to put in more effort for
improving efficiency in the commercial/residential sector. Therefore, such a situation calls for
the implementation of the smart grid. A smart grid would help the utilities get information about
the electricity use by the consumers and can potentially adapt it distribution process with respect
to the time and quantum of power demand. The smart grid which uses smart meters could
potentially be used for detecting power theft. In addition, the info that the consumers would have
access through the smart meters would possibly help them manage their energy use in a better
and more efficient way. Such hyper growth will need unprecedented amount of energy that can
only be met through efficient energy utilization through smart metering and smart grid
technology. The substations, transformers, and energy meters, which are important part of the
energy infrastructure are sort of standalone silos in India, and have no real-time monitoring .
Smart Grid - Smart Grid is the modernization of the electricity delivery system so that it
monitors, protects and automatically optimizes the operation of its interconnected elements from
the central and distributed generator through the high-voltage network and distribution system, to
industrial users and building automation systems, to energy storage installations and to end-use
consumers and their thermostats, electric vehicles, appliances and other household devices.
Smart grid is the integration of information and communications system into electric
transmission and distribution networks. The Smart Grid in large, sits at the intersection of
Energy, IT and Telecommunication Technologies. The smart grid (Refer Fig1) delivers
electricity to consumers using two-way digital technology to enable the more efficient
management of consumers‟ end uses of electricity as well as the more efficient use of the grid to
identify and correct supply demand-imbalances instantaneously and detect faults in a “selfhealing”
process that improves service quality, enhances reliability, and reduces costs. The
emerging vision of the smart grid encompasses a broad set of applications, including software,
hardware, and technologies that enable utilities to integrate, interface with, and intelligently
control innovations.
Some of the enabling technologies & business practice that make smart grid deployments
possible include:
• Smart Meters
• Meter Data Management
• Integrated communications systems
• IT and back office computing
• Data Security
• Electricity Storage devices
• Distributed generation
• Renewable energy

Key objectives of Smart Grid -
• Self-healing: The grid rapidly detects, analyzes, responds, and restores
• Empowers and incorporates the consumer: Ability to incorporate consumer equipment and
behavior in grid design and operation
• Tolerant of attack: The grid mitigates and is resilient to physical/cyber-attacks
• Provides power quality needed by 21st-century users: The grid provides quality power
consistent with consumer and industry needs
• Accommodates a wide variety of supply and demand: The grid accommodates a variety of
resources, including demand response, combined heat and power, wind, photovoltaics, and enduse
efficiency
• Fully enables and is supported by competitive electricity markets.
MAIN DRIVERS FOR SMART GRID INITIATIVE IN INDIA –
 Aggregated Technical & Commercial (AT&C) Loss Reduction : In response growing
concern about AT &C loss across all power distribution utilities India, Smart Grid
Technology will contribute to reduce the losses to achieve the target goal of AT &C loss
around 15% across all utilities against presently 30 to 35%. It will do by collecting data
through AMI (Automated Metering Infrastructure), cleansing and analyzing the data
through MDM, developing energy audit mechanism to identify the loss prone areas, and
finally reduce the losses by effective energy conservation measures
 Consumer Price Signals : Smart Grid aims to create an understanding among consumers
that pricing of electricity varies significantly during the day. Facilitating consumer
readily accesses it and which will influence their behavior, encourage initializing the
wiser use of energy.
 Integration of Renewable Energy Sources : The two most common form of commercial
renewable energy available in India are Wind and Solar. Both are intermittent and tend to
be geographically dispersed than conventional generation. In this case smart grid will
help the utility to deal with this non conventional energy sources, especially when these
resources are becoming prevalent in India.
METHODOLOGY FOR SMART GRID PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION IN INDIA –
The Smart Grid project mainly comprises three technological areas as follows:
1. Metering & Meter Data Management :
• AMI/AMR (smart meters/modules, AMR application and relevant server
• Meter data transport infrastructiture and communication network
• Meter Data Management (MDM) application & relevant Server
2. Distribution Automation (DMS/SCADA):
• DMS/SCADA application , Server , RTU and
• Communication network.
• Distribution peak demand reduction application
• Conservation of voltage regulation system
3. Demand Response :
Industry and home automation along with dynamic electricity tariff



CHALLENGES FOR SMART GRID PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION IN INDIA –
The challenges for implementing the Smart Grid project in India are much the same as the
challenges faced during reformation due to market liberalization was first announced nearly 20
years ago. The problems that afflict India‟s power sector are many and serious, and are very well
known to all stake holders. The loss of 30% of total electricity generated, the sector‟s legendary
voltage fluctuations, chronic blackouts in rural areas, the lack of electricity connections for
almost half the population, and so-called “free” power to the 25-30% of farmers with irrigation
pumps are not simply unfortunate happenstance. All these outcomes persist despite the
Government of India‟s huge annual subsidy to the sector and what must now be the equivalent of
many billions of dollars in time, effort and capital that have been invested in power sector
reforms since the early 1990s. There are causes for these effects and, if left unaddressed, they
could dampen the impact of any smart grid scheme as they did in the past for other initiatives.
The power sector‟s chronic problems must be acknowledged, but not accepted. Despite the
troubled state of the industry, there have been some notable successes, including the Delhi
public-private partnership, under which DISCOMS operated by Tata Power‟s NDPL and two
Reliance-owned DISCOMS are revitalizing one of the most intractable electricity distribution
systems in the country, and the franchise concept that offers intriguing potential 38 as does an
early trial of an agricultural demand-side management (DSM) project currently under contract
with an electricity service company (ESCO) with BESCOM in Karnataka. In addition to
BESCOM, several other state-owned DISCOMS are moving forward with impressive
accomplishments, including MSEDCL in Maharashtra, MGVDCL in Gujarat and APCPDCL in
Andhra Pradesh, but even with these successes, the pace of change is too slow in India.
The major hurdles for smart grid project implementation are:
• No proven commercial viability for large-scale smart grid roll outs
• Poor financial health of most state-owned T&D companies
• Low awareness of technological developments in the utility sector
• No coordinated national road map for smart grid deployment
Some basic benefits of a smart grid are:
• Peak load reduction: TOD price signals have unique potential for India.
• AT& C loss reduction: This is a major commercial and regulatory consideration. DICOMS
may consider communication technology.
• Self-healing: A smart grid automatically detects and responds to routine problems and quickly
recovers, minimizing downtime and financial loss.
• Consumer motivation: Smart grids give consumers visibility into pricing offers an opportunity
to control usage
• Improved power quality. A smart grid helps provide power free of sags, spikes, disturbances
and interruptions.
• Accommodation of all generation and storage options
• Enables interconnection to distributed sources of power and storage
• Optimized assets and operating efficiently: Lowers need for construction of new infrastructure
and enables sale of more power through existing system.
However in nutshell following are the direct benefits to power utility as well as to consumer in
India:
• Reduced generation operation costs
• Deferred generation capital investments
• Reduced ancillary service cost
• Deferred transmission capital investments
• Deferred distribution capital investments
• Reduced equipment failures
• Reduced distribution maintenance costs
• Reduced distribution operations costs
• Reduced electricity theft
• Reduced electricity losses
• Reduced electricity cost to consumers
• Reduced major outages
• Reduced restoration costs
• Reduced momentary outages
CONCLUSION –
This paper discusses about the smart grid initiatives in India, implementation methodology,
challenges and benefits. The paper discusses the need for smart grid technology to minimize the
AT & C losses which is a burning issue across all power distribution utilities in India. Also
elaborates the methodology to implement the smart grid project in Indian power scenario.
Highlights the various challenges to implement smart grid in India. Finally elaborated the
benefits which will be achieved through successful implementation of smart grid for the utilities
as well for the consumers, and obviously will benefit to the Indian economy.
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