e-Governance:Smart Power Through Smart Grid
Intr: Adopting Smart Grid technology can overcome negative impact power outage has on economy
In 2012 India faced the biggest power failure in its history: More than half million people of the country were without power. Trains became motionless, and traffic snarled in most part of the capital. The second grid failure was more severe; the collapse of the Northern grid led to a cascading effect that saw the collapse of the Eastern and North Eastern power grids as well.
Astonishingly, the grid failure happened twice in a span of few days. According to reports this failure was due to states withdrawing excess power from the grid than required and stated that the grid failure could have been avoided had India been using Smart Grid technology.
Before we talk about Smart Grid, it is important to know what is a grid and, how it works.”The grid,” refers to the electric grid, a network of transmission lines, substations, transformers which deliver electricity from the power plant to your home or work stations. Infact, it’s what you plug into when you flip on your light switch or switch on your computer.
Smart Grid simply means, the internet brought to electric system
A smarter grid is an electrical grid that applies technologies, tools and techniques available to bring knowledge to power – knowledge which is capable of making the grid work far more efficiently, and ensuring…
-More efficient transmission of electricity
-Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
– Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers.
– Reduced peak demand, to help lower electricity rates
– Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
-Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems
– Improved security
A smart grid is thus an electrical grid that uses Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to gather and act on information for improving the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity. It can be used to automatically regulate not only the behaviour of the states in withdrawing power from the grid, but can also be used to monitor and regulate the consumption patterns of small domestic consumers or large industrial consumers, and can provide options for speedy fault detection and self-healing of the electrical networks without there being any need for human intervention.
|Taking lead, Gujarat has deployed Smart Grid technology, and now it needs to be replicated at national level|
The traditional grid faces the peak hours and the lean hours. It has been observed that the response to a rapid increase in power consumption if often faster than the start-up time of a large generator, so some spare generators have to be put on a dissipative standby mode. Put into use, a smart grid may warn a state or a large customer, to reduce the load temporarily to allow time to start up a larger generator. In the traditional grid, the failure rate can only be reduced at the cost of more standby generators. In a smart grid, the load reduction by even a small portion of the clients may eliminate the problem.
Gujarat is the first state in the country to get Smart Grid technology. Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Ltd. (UGVCL) is working to launch the country’s first modernized electrical grid, or the smart grid, in Naroda and Deesa in north Gujarat. In this project the electric metres embedded with SIM cards will be installed in 20,000 residential and industrial units in Naroda for monitoring data every 15 minutes on how a particular consumer uses power. The UGVCL pilot project will study consumer behaviour of electricity usage and propose a tariff structure based on usage and load on the power utility.
According to some estimates, the Smart Grid systems can lead to at least 15 to 20 per cent saving in energy. This is huge. And that is why many experts say that the Smart Grid is the future of energy conservation.
Developing proper infrastructure to meet the energy related needs of the country is one of the key priorities of the new NDA government under Narendra Modi. As Gujarat has already taken a lead in deploying Smart Grid, we can expect similar initiatives at the national level.