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First step towards Smart grid

by Team Digireach

The world is now moving towards Electricity 4.0. Energy efficiency is an inherent component of Industry 4.0. A smart grid which monitors the inflow and outflow of energy data collected through strategically placed sensors is the first step in realizing Electricity 4.0.

Various parameters as mentioned below track the usage of energy, both from a quantity and quality perspective.

1. SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index)
SAIFI is measured in units of interruptions per customer. It is usually measured over the course of a year, and according to IEEE Standard 1366-1998 the median value for North American utilities is approximately 1.10 interruptions per customer.

2. SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index)
SAIDI is measured in units of time, often minutes or hours. It is usually measured over the course of a year, and according to IEEE Standard 1366-1998 the median value for North American utilities is approximately 1.50 hours.

3. CAIFI (Customer Average Interruption Frequency Index)
CAIFI is designed to show trends in customers interrupted and helps to show the number of customers affected out of the whole customer base.

4. CAIDI (Customer Average Interruption Duration Index )
CAIDI gives the average outage duration that any given customer would experience. CAIDI can also be viewed as the average restoration time.
CAIDI is measured in units of time, often minutes or hours. It is usually measured over the course of a year, and according to IEEE Standard 1366-1998 the median value for North American utilities is approximately 1.36 hours.

5. MAIFI (Momentary Average Interruption Frequency Index)
MAIFI is useful for tracking momentary power outages, or “blinks,” that can be hidden or misrepresented by an overall outage duration index like SAIDI or SAIFI.

All these are reliability indicators used by electric power utilities.
The availability and reliability of electricity is crucial and an interruption or diminished quality would lead to serious consequences.

Power disturbances/blackouts or poor quality power impact critical power buildings on the level of business continuity, costs, safety or all of these.

The ultimate aim of Electricity 4.0 is to enhance maintenance and minimize disruptions. Tracking the indices listed above helps to monitor these important data points. Necessary alterations can be made as necessary once these data is available with the concerned authorities.

Power is the backbone of the industry. It is extremely important to make the foundations sturdy before we venture into implementing Industry 4.0 in other segments. A failure in a critical component in the manufacturing process results in enormous costs, so do issues with regards to electricity and power.


Electricity Reliability Indices

by Team Digireach

We are entering an energy intensive world. It is very important to keep track of the energy utilized by the consumers so that necessary action can be taken to optimize it’s usage. There are various reliability indices which help us in determining the efficiency of distribution system.

SAIFI is the average number of sustained interruptions per consumer during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of interruptions to the number of consumers.

SAIFI = (Total number of sustained interruptions in a year) / (Total number of consumers)

SAIDI is the average duration of interruptions per consumers during the year. It is the ratio of the annual duration of interruptions (sustained) to the number of consumers. If duration is specified in minutes, SAIDI is given as consumer minutes.

SAIDI = Total duration of sustained interruptions in a year / total number of consumers

CAIFI is the average number of interruptions for consumers who experience interruptions during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of interruptions to the number of consumers affected by interruptions during the year. Consumer is counted only once regardless of the number of interruptions.

CAIFI = Total number of sustained interruptions in a year/Total number of consumers affected.

CAIDI is the average duration of an interruption, calculated based on the total number of sustained interruptions in a year. It is the ratio of the total duration of interruptions to the total number of interruptions during the year.

CAIDI = Total duration of sustained interruptions in a year/total number of interruptions.

MAIFI is the average number of momentary (less than 5 minutes) interruptions per consumer during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of momentary interruptions to the number of consumers.

MAIFI = (Total number of momentary interruptions in a year ) / (Total number of consumers)

The above indices are the commonly used parameters used to judge the reliability for electricity generation, transmission and distribution. These outage indices are based on the duration of each power supply interruption & the frequency of interruption. It is clear that all three major functional components of the power system – generation, transmission & distribution contribute to reliability.

IoT and monitoring of electrical parameters enables to keep track of the various energy parameters which can be used to further judge the reliability of electricity distribution. The tariff can be adjusted according to this reliability indices. It would be a win-win situation for the all the stakeholders in electricity domain. Also, the end consumers will be benefited and charged according to the quality of power delivered. It would be a step towards Electricity 4.0.


The Internet of Electric Cars

by Team Digireach

Electric cars are the heroes that humanity needs

Electric cars are the need of the hour with global warming looking over our shoulders every second. They’re eco-friendly, highly responsive to controls, quiet and less maintenance. The perfect counter to the alarmingly high carbon footprint on Earth.

Of course, they come with disadvantages too. With a range of 60 to 130 miles per charge on an average, they have mileage significantly lesser than gas powered cars. That can be a quite a hassle if you frequently take long trips. Few can afford the luxury models that give an output of 300 miles per charge.

Charging an Electric car is a time-consuming task as the process can take up to whopping 8 hours to complete. Even if you opt for fast charging, it will still take 30 minutes for you to be on your way. It is a major disadvantage when time is of essence. Time is of essence and this delay can be a major deterrent for people considering buying an electric car.

EVs and their battery packs are expensive, and they need frequent replacement. However, state incentives and fuel cost savings can make up for the difference in cost incurred. And of course, contributing to a cleaner environment and save the human race from extinction due to global warming is both the goal and the reward in itself.

These problems need not be the end of the world though. Even electric cars deserve a hero and that hero is called the Internet of Things.

All of the problems mentioned above can be resolved to one degree or the other with IoT. With its remarkable ability for remote monitoring, predicting, identifying and resolving the problem can be done in a jiffy. The result is the reduction of unnecessary expense, and a hassle free trip. IoT also provides valuable information about charging stations nearby. And of course, you can access updates in your EV as soon as they are launched.

10 percent of transport vehicular emissions are just from vehicles stuck in traffic jams. With IoT connecting the car to traffic signals, public transport timetables and real time updates of traffic, harmful emissions will reduce drastically. By the year 2025, more than 50 billion vehicles enabled with IoT will hit the road. Just enabling a car with IoT is doing a lot to reduce emissions. IoT in an electric vehicle is a planet saver.




Do Solar panels and Smart meters make good partners?

by Team Digireach

By now, we’ve all heard about the Internet of Things. This concept involves connecting mundane devices to a grid, thus enabling them to communicate either with each other or a central base.

IoT is user friendly. The daunting factor of technology is omitted by the simple measure of providing an interface that compacts heavy technological information into short, precise capsules that can be accessed with just one click. Mobile phones are the most popular choices for the interface but there are a lot of options that are available to suit different needs.

IoT’s biggest achievement is the ability to monitor devices remotely and take the necessary actions. The ramifications of this power is astounding. For one, it gives us a way to solve the current crisis of global warming that could mean the end of our existence by enabling us to use inexhaustible sources of energy like Solar power. Solar panels require constant maintenance and checks to function smoothly which is impractical in terms of cost labour and viability. Remote monitoring changes that scenario drastically.

With the increasing popularity of smart meters provided with the current electricity supply system, it was only natural for solar companies to also jump on to the bandwagon and provide customers with its myriad benefits.

So what are the advantages of smart meters?

It is installed at no extra cost.

It saves time and human resources by eliminating the need to manually check meters.

Smart meters give an exact record of electricity used and hence allows companies to charge accordingly as opposed to bills calculated on estimated usage.

But how beneficial has this really been for solar energy users?

While solar panels and smart meters are definitely compatible, there have been issues that have resulted in irate customers.

Foremost among the complaints are that bills are calculated on the basis of estimated usage or on the amount of electricity supplied. This happens because supplier does not get accurate export data from the network that connects them to customers’ smart meters. As a result, bills get doubled or tripled.

Getting a smart meter installed isn’t compulsory. You can hang on to your old meters as long as they function well.

But all hope is not lost. The benefits of smart meters can still be accessed with the help of the Internet of Things.

With IoT’s characteristic detailed monitoring and hyper alertness for any discrepancies, it is possible for solar energy providers to circumvent the problems of inaccurate billing. The quality of service and billing accuracy really depends on the supplier you choose so always ensure that you research your solar energy provider in detail.