Power generation, transmission and distribution are the three activities in power industry. Energy is consumed and loss is incurred in every step of the above activities. Among the three activities, losses in power distribution is the maximum as it has grown up in an unplanned manner. It is around 35% in India. The figure varies widely in every state (varies from 9.13% in Pondicherry to 85.49% in Manipur: AT&C Loss, PFC Report 2012-13). Power utility company suffers for high loss. And some steps have been taken in some states to reduce losses. Further initiative and activities are required to improve in this area. Innovative idea and its implementation, R&D in this field are the prime requirements for reduction of loss. In this article, different losses and remedial activities thereupon have been stated. Some innovative ideas have been described as well.
Distribution loss consists of two parts: a. Technical loss and b. Commercial loss. It is also called AT&C loss.
AT&C loss is nothing but the sum total of technical and commercial losses and shortage due to non-realization of billed amount.
AT&C Loss = (Energy input – Energy billed) * 100 / Energy input.
Technical loss depends upon losses incurred from machinery (Transformers), lines and improper maintenance of plant and machinery etc. By taking care of these areas, we can reduce these technical losses. To reduce technical losses the following action can be taken:
- Network reconfiguration: It gives an option to handle the increased demand – and increases system reliability. Construction of more numbers of high voltage distribution lines as and where they are techno-commercially feasible.
2. Reduction of LT lines – so that current in the line reduces and hence copper loss of the line. Introduction of HT distribution system, where it is possible.
3. Power factor improvement, close to 1, by automatic power factor controller, using at different places.
4. Regulating voltage in distribution circuit by automatic voltage booster.
5. Balancing load in three phase distribution, thus reducing losses and neutral current. Better management of distribution transformer, SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition System) is an effective tool for load management.
6. Improvement in transformer design to reduce iron loss and copper loss as well. Amorphous core transformer may be used for reduction of iron losses.
7. Periodic audit may be introduced to know the scope of loss reduction.
8. Load research is needed.
9. Coating is necessary on bare conductor to reduce copper loss.
10. Periodic maintenance of distribution system is needed for loss reduction.
Power Generation / Transmission / Distribution…
Long time loss reduction: strengthening, upgrading and improvement of sub-transmission and distribution system:
Commercial loss reduction
Commercial loss in developed countries is negligible but the situation is opposite in many developing countries.
Theft is the one of the main causes of the high losses. Theft occurs in several ways, viz: by tapping power lines and tempering / by passing meter etc. The following points are important for reduction of these losses.
- Replacement of defective meters by electronic meters / smart meters.
2. Development of process and ways for theft detection and suitable correction of the same.
3. Introduction of remote disconnection / reconnection and meter reading arrangement so that appropriate action may be taken as and when required.
4. Law enforcing and stringent action to the theft of power.
5. Introduction of several communication systems for load side management.
6. Substation automation and distribution automation for loss detection and corrective action.
7. Process reengineering for improvement of existing customer complaint, improvement in all sorts of delay in billing, arrangement for spot billing etc. Improved process with IT application may reduce this loss.
8. Customer oriented management approach, like implementation of call centre for 24 hours, improving customer care, implementation of MIS.
Some projects like integrated volt / VAR control (IVCC) involves near real time control of distribution and minimises losses by about 2% and
Capacitor control algorithm for distribution capacitor Automation project to optimise regulation of voltage.
Delayed distribution series reactors enable 2.5 to 5% change in impedance – ensures the flow on the line within allowable limit.
Best practices of AT&C loss reduction
a. HVDS: Introduction of high voltage distribution system.
b. AB Cable. : Replacement of bare conductor by AB Cable for shielding of possibilities of power theft.
c. Metering: AMC / Smart metering to the consumer for reduction of commercial losses and billing and collection ease.
Smart meter has the following capabilities:
a. It can register real time or near real time consumption of electricity or export both.
b. Read the meter both locally or remotely
c. Remote connection or disconnection of electricity
d. Remote communication facilities through Power Line Carrier (PLC) / wireless modem (like GSM ) etc.
Smart meter is also referred to as Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
From various reports it has been found that the theft of electricity in many developing countries ranges from 20 to 35 % in distribution network. Different ways and means are proposed by different authors for reduction of losses.
Some ways to abvoid these are: Automatic meter reading system incorporated with communication system (GSM), Artificial intelligence system based on energy consumption pattern, Power line impedance technique, and Injection of unwanted harmonics to illegal consumers.
Electrical waveform with harmonic distortion…
Application of intelligent control in electric system can improve power quality – and at the same time it can prevent illegal activities. To get these benefits, the intelligent control system should be customised as per the specific situation to get better results.
The emerging new technologies and planning have direct impact on power industry and its loss reduction. Quality of power may also be improved by these combined applications.
A. IT – development of communication technology and its application,
B. Power Electronics – development of remote control arrangement,
C. Artificial intelligence, D. Satellites,
E. Distribution system planning – like custom power devices: power quality analysis, filter design, harmonic analysis etc.
For AT&C loss reduction, the Government of India has taken some flagship schemes, like R-APDRP (Re-structured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme ).This scheme is a revised version of APDRP, which was started in 2002-03.
Two more schemes are also coming, namely:
- Deen Dayal Upadhayay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for strengthening and augmentation of sub- transmission and distribution infrastructure for rural area. This will lead to reliable and quality power and loss reduction as well.
2. Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), for urban area, where loss reduction is one of the main targets.
Loss reduction in distribution sector can be ensured by application of different technological approaches, different govt schemes – and application of strict law and order. Penalty for theft of electricity may be stringent and action to be taken immediately by disconnecting the supply and restricting of reconnection for a period of few years. Application of intelligent control in electrical system can improve power quality to great extent, and it can prevent illegal activities. Besides availability of funds in different schemes, strong will force with ownership of the distribution system and active participation in the process can lead India to theft free distribution sector and can save around 35% losses annually (equivalent to Rs. 40,000 crore ) approx.
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