Quick Inquiry

LOADING...

Category "IoT"

11Oct

Smart and pre-paid metering

by Team Digireach

How do we make the existing state utilities more efficient and bring down their losses? Smart prepaid electricity meters are one of the answers.

This step is likely to bring revolution in power sector by way of reduction in AT&C losses, better health of DISCOMs, incentivising energy conservation, ease of bill payments and doing away with the paper bills.

Smart meters are a part of the overall advanced metering infrastructure solutions (AMI) aimed at better demand response designed to reduce energy consumption during peak hours.

India plans to change all electricity meters to prepaid smart meters by 2022. This step taken by the government is to address the issue of energy efficiency and optimization. Electricity is the need of the hour. Electric power generation is a prime component in the development of a nation. It is the base to move any developmental activity in the right direction. Hence, it is being addressed on an urgent basis with help of schemes like IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme), RT DAS (Real-time Data Acquisition System). Energy metering system etc.

  • The government believes that the plan will increase distribution substation capacity by 38% by 2022

India has a beleaguered power sector. Proper monitoring and tracking of energy usage via smart meters would go a long way in addressing the problems of the existing energy infrastructure. The strategy is part of the government’s electricity distribution plan prepared by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), India’s apex power sector planning body, and comes at a time when the new government is trying to step up its efforts to supply 24×7 power to all.

Creating a smart meter architecture minimises human intervention in metering, billing and collection process and helps in reducing theft by identifying loss pockets. It requires a two-way communication network, control centre equipment and software applications that enable near real-time gathering and transfer of energy usage information.

Smart metering would empower consumers with tools to help them conserve energy and plan their electricity usage in an efficient and optimum manner.

The plan of introducing smart meters is part of government’s plan to fix the power sector in the country. Stopping the unwanted pilferage and making consumers accountable for the usage and wastage will usher India to a new dawn of electricity.

Smart meters, electricity usage tracking, reducing wastage and cutting down on the transmission and distribution losses are the need of the hour.

1Oct

What IPDS brings?

by Team Digireach

It is a flagship programmes aimed at increasing energy access among the poor. The IPDS is aimed at enhancing the power infrastructure in urban areas

Agenda of IPDS are as follows:

  • Reduction in AT&C losses
  • Establishment of IT enabled energy accounting/ auditing system
  • Metered consumption
  • Improvement in collection efficiency

Energy losses occur in the process of supplying electricity to consumers due to technical and commercial reasons.  The technical losses are due to energy dissipated in the conductors , transformers and other equipments used for transmission, transformation, sub-transmission and distribution of power.  These technical losses are inherent in a system and can be reduced to a certain level.

Pilferage by hooking, bypassing meters, defective meters, errors in meter reading and in estimating un-metered supply of energy are the main sources of the commercial losses owhen Commercial losses are added to Technical losses, it gives Transmission & Distribution (T&D) loss.

There is another component of commercial losses, which is attributable to non-recovery of the billed amount, which is reflected in collection efficiency. T&D losses together with loss in collection give us Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses.

Transmission & Distribution losses (T&D losses)

T& D Losses = { 1- (Total energy Billed/ Total energy Input in the system)} x 100

Aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C losses)

AT&C Losses = { 1- (Billing Efficiency x Collection Efficiency) } x 100 Where Billing efficiency= Total unit Billed/ Total unit Inputs Collection efficiency = Revenue collected / Amount Billed

Energy accounting is a system used in energy management systems to measure and analyze energy consumption to improve energy efficiency within an organization. Dashboards and sensor infrastructure can be arranged to collect and monitor data pertaining to energy parameters on a real-time basis. These systems can be used to track energy usage.

IPDS scheme, apart from ensuring 24×7 power supply in urban area, will also help in improvement in billing and collection efficiency which will ultimately result in reduction in Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C or distribution) losses.

These are some of the advantages India can assume on successful implementation of IPDS technology.

10Sep

Advantages of IoT in Solar

by Team Digireach

Renewable sources of energy are the way of the future. One of the primary sources of this alternative form of energy is solar. It’s abundant, it’s clean. It is the fastest-growing renewable energy source in the world, increasing in worldwide capacity by an average of 40 percent every year.

The Internet of Things Technology for supervising solar power generation can greatly enhance the performance, maintenance and monitoring of the plant. IoT can enable us to do intelligent fault detection and power optimization.

Photovoltaic (PV) array analytics and monitor is necessary for remote farms. Monitoring the solar energy incident on the panel can help us evaluate and plan the energy generation. Auxiliary electronics need to be attached to each solar panel to make this monitoring a reality. Real-time data generation of the efficiency of solar panel can help us sense the trend in solar array effectiveness and robustness.

In addition to providing companies with real-time alerts, leveraging IoT in solar energy can lead to improvements in smart metering. This makes energy production more efficient both in terms of cost and logistics. Solar contains a diverse portfolio of rooftop projects located across the city or large scale project installation in remote locations where high sunlight incidence is prevalent.

It is vital to track the data collection. Digital Reach provides the resources and installation expertise to handle the tracking of relevant data. The solar plant data for a range of parameters covering modules, inverters, arrays etc. are captured. The interval at which the data is captured can also be regulated as per the requirement. This data serves as a basic building block for further optimization and assessment of the working of the plant. Necessary changes and adjustments can be done to extract the maximum possible output from the existing installation.

The data which gets collected from the assembly of sensors can provide an array of reports that integrates power generation estimates. Data visualization options can be integrated in the software. The operator or the management can play with the appropriate display of relevant data, KPI construction, dashboards etc. to facilitate easy analysis.

Other operation and maintenance (O&M) details such as log report/ attendance of personnel/ service and other data can be integrated into the dashboard so that the management gets a holistic perspective of at the plant level. Also, the data which has been collected over a period can be integrated to new-age technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence to gather more insights.

1Sep

Energy industry – Smarter, Efficient, Distributed.

by Team Digireach

Optimizing maintenance schedules can significantly improve reliability. Preventative measures taken to improve reliability by keeping equipment in optimal condition and detecting problems so that necessary repairs can be done before it fails.

The energy sector is undergoing a massive transformation. IoT sensors measure parameters such as vibration, temperature and wear to optimize maintenance schedules.  Data and other energy parameters are tracked via energy meters. In addition to providing more information to utilities, IoT technology can help customers to be more informed about their energy usage. Internet-connected smart meters collect usage data and send it to both utilities and customers remotely.

The data collected can be used to generate reports. Based on these reports, action can be taken by the utility companies or the customers at a personal level. The reports and graphs can enable the authorities to take action and optimize the energy consumption by identifying leakages and optimizing generation, transmission and distribution.

IoT technology has improved to a great extent in the electrical utility sector. The data collection points, memory space, data processing at the edge-level or the cloud-level can be chosen appropriately so that optimized data collection and preventative action can be taken.

IoT technology can enable the integration of more distributed resources into the grid, but it can also improve grid management in other ways as well. Placing sensors at substations and along distribution lines provides real-time power consumption data that energy companies can use to make decisions about voltage control, load switching, network configuration and more. Some of these decisions can be automated.

Sensors located on the grid can alert operators to outages, allowing them to turn off power to damaged lines to prevent electrocution, wildfires and other hazards. Manual activity of isolating problem areas takes up a lot of time and leads to unwanted losses.  Smart switches can isolate problem areas automatically and reroute power to get the lights back on sooner.

Load forecasting is another aspect of smart power of the future. Power usage data is already collected using an assembly of IoT gateway, cloud, processing power and memory. There are pockets of high power generation and high power consumption both region-wise and time-wise. Load forecasting can help in managing congestion along transmission and distribution lines and help ensure that all of the connected generation plants meet requirements related to frequency and voltage control. This power consumption data can also help companies decide where to build new infrastructure and make infrastructure upgrades. More informed decision and investments in the power sector can go a long way in providing reliable power capacity for each location.

The IoT is transforming nearly every sector of our economy, including the one that powers — the energy sector. Over the coming years, the energy industry is going to get smarter, more efficient, more distributed and more reliable, thanks in part to the IoT.

21Aug

Why IoT Platforms

by Team Digireach

An IoT Platform enables direct provisioning, management, and automation of connected devices within the Internet of Things Universe. It’s basically a multi-layer technology that connects the hardware, irrespective of it type, to the cloud using flexible connectivity options, security mechanisms and data processing powers.

We’ve seen what an IoT Platform is (for more detailed information, click here), so now let us see why an organization should use an IoT Platform, and what factors to keep in mind before selecting a platform.

Because IoT is a system of systems i.e. it’s a network of devices and software applications, it has a lot of sub-domains of expertise, which is rarely accommodated by a single organization in itself. Since IoT depends on the correct synthesis of engineering fields as distinct as mechanical, electrical, software, etc, IoT Platforms are a great way to overcome technical difficulties arising from managing various teams of specialized engineers.

However, a single IoT platform cannot cater to all the various needs of the industry. Thus, there are a near infinite number of platforms for the various different breeds of applications, to cater to the needs of all industries and organizations.

Unlike other platforms (mobile platforms, desktop platforms, etc.), IoT Platforms have a lot more variety and customizability available to the businesses which employ them. This, in addition to the various benefits which IoT offers, is why IoT Platforms are in such demand in recent times.

There are some factors which need to be considered while deciding on the most compatible IoT platform-

  1. Scalability and Flexibility- whether the platform will scale with the changes in scale of the system. Also, it has to flexible for the various technological changes which will undoubtedly occur every few years, i.e. the network should be integrable with different networks.
  2. Stability- the platform provider should be trustworthy and be capable of providing the platform for a long term. If the provider folds, the business may crash.
  3. Model Pricing and Business type- whether the platform is suitable for the type of business it needs to be used for, and also whether the pricing is suitable for the services offered.
  4. Time to Market- i.e. the time it will take before the platform is up and running for use in public domain, and how the provider would help in getting there.
  5. Security- lastly, one of the most important factors, security. Security is absolutely critical to every IoT system. Each aspect of the platform should have security built into it. Device-to-cloud security, application authentication, data encryption, etc are some of the things to be on the lookout for.

IoT solutions are getting more and more complex and dynamic, involving larger ecosystems of devices. With all the new types of remote interactions between humans and devices, IoT platforms are spearheading a new model for the digital transformation.

11Aug

What are IoT Platforms

by Team Digireach

The idea of connecting the physical world to the Internet has been around since the 90s. But the idea didn‘t accelerate until twenty – or even ten – years ago. It is accelerating now. The phenomenon of an interconnected world is called “Internet of Things” (IoT) and it will dramatically change our lives in the coming years.

The surge in the uptake of IoT in recent years is due to various factors-

  1. Hardware has become cheaper, smaller and more powerful in recent years.
  2. Cost of mobile devices, bandwidth and data processing has reduced exponentially.
  3. Wide spread availability of supporting tools and cloud-based infrastructure.
  4. Increased awareness about IoT and its innumerable benefits and applications.

Now that we’ve seen WHY IoT is on the rise, let us look at WHAT makes up an IoT system-

  1. Hardware- such as sensors or devices, to collect data and/or perform actions.
  2. Connectivity- i.e. a way to transmit and receive data from the cloud such as gateway or routers.
  3. Software- hosted in the cloud, to analyze the data received and make decisions based on it.
  4. User Interface- a way for the user to interact with the system e.g. a web app.

One of the most important parts of the IoT System is the “Platform”. This Platform exists in the software and the user interface of the system. IoT platforms are the support software that connects everything in an IoT system.

IoT platforms help:

  • Connect hardware, such as sensors and devices.
  • Handle different hardware and software communication protocols.
  • Provide security and authentication for devices and users.
  • Collect, visualize, and analyze data the sensors and devices gather.
  • Integrate all of the above with existing business systems and other web services.

Thus an IoT platform facilitates communication, data flow, device management, and the functionality of applications. With all the varying kinds of hardware and the different connectivity options, there needs to be a way of making everything work together and that’s what IoT platforms do.

1Aug

Distribution Transformer Monitoring

by Team Digireach

Electricity plays a very important role in our daily life. We depend on it for light to see, energy to cook, water to drink and so much more. There are many components and equipments involved in regulating distribution of electricity according to usage. The most critical of these is the transformer. Distribution Transformers (DTs) play a crucial role and act as hub in electrical distribution network, and its correct function is essential for reliable power supply to consumers. Catastrophic failure of a critical transformer would result in power outages in the downstream network and could cause significant economic and environmental challenges.

Let us review some of the factors by which Distribution Transformers’ life cycle can get adversely affected-

  1. Unplanned expansion of networks which causes overloading, resulting in additional losses and generates waste heat.
  2. Incompatible devices being run on transformers, such as a 3 phase device being connected to a single phase transformer.
  3. Stealing of power by hooking from the main supply, unbalancing the transformer or overloading it.
  4. Oil drainage, poor power factor, etc. also cause the transformer to age rapidly.

In India, there is an increase of approximately 14% in the amount of DTs in the network. However, these transformers rarely have intelligence or communication capabilities. Lack of information on the loading of the transformer is one of the main reasons for inefficient distribution network. Transformers are to be monitored very cautiously on a regular basis to avoid unexpected interruption and to anticipate upcoming problem. This has led to the advent of smart grids in India.

Smart grids enable the company to monitor the Distribution Transformer’s working, provide the facility to measure critical parameter and transmit the information to remote data center for analysis and visualization which help system operators to monitor and control the system.

Today, most utilities focus on Smart Grid technology and other aspects that are crucial for the success of their Smart Grid vision. This Internet of Things (IOT) powered Smart Grid technology will help the utilities industry to optimally utilize transformers and identify problems before any catastrophic failure occurs. This online-measuring system is used to collect and analyze temperature data over time. Thus Transformer Monitoring will help to identify or recognize unexpected situations before any serious failure which leads to a greater reliability and significant cost savings.

21Jul

Automatic Power Factor Controller

by Team Digireach

Efficient generation of power at present is crucial, as in the present technological revolution, power is very precious and its wastage is a global concern. We need to find out the causes of power loss and remediate them to improve the power system. This is where the power factor comes into play. Power factor measures a system’s power efficiency and is an important aspect in improving the quality of supply. It is defined as the ratio between the KW (actual load power) and the KVA (apparent load power) drawn by an electrical load. It is simply a measure of how efficiently the load current is being converted into useful work output.

The actual amount of the power being used, or dissipated, in a circuit is called active power (P), and it is measured in watts. Active power is the product of the sinusoidal voltage and current wave form. Reactive power is the power consumed in the ac circuit because of the inductive and capacitive field. The unit used for measuring reactive power is KVAR. Apparent power is the combination of the active power and reactive power.

Hence, the lower the power factor is, the lower is the economic efficiency of the system. A low power factor can be the result of fluctuating current waveforms i.e. unstable input, or a significant phase difference between voltage and current at load terminals. Usually the presence of inductive loads reduces power factor by causing the current to lag behind the voltage and this can be corrected by power factor correction methods.

Power factor correction (PFC) is the process of compensating a lagging current by a leading current, through connecting capacitance to the supply. The capacitor draws current which leads the voltage, thereby offsetting the lag caused by the inductive elements. This Automatic Power Factor Controller (APFC) is designed such that they utilize the scope of the Internet of Things (IoT) to the fullest, to closely monitor the working of the system and make necessary changes to the capacitive components to ensure the power factor is made as close to unity as practically possible without causing unintended side-effects.

APFC devices find application in industries, power distribution system and commercial power lines to increase stability and efficiency of the system. They help in reducing charges on utility bills by pulling in high current drawn from the system. Lesser power consumed means lower greenhouse gas emissions and lesser fossil fuel consumption by the power stations, thereby benefitting the environment.

11Jul

Sensors and Data Streams in IoT

by Team Digireach

Internet of Things (IoT) brings a whole new world of data, real-time streaming requirements, operational difficulties, security, and a large stream of massive data that needs to be made available for use at scale. IoT devices find application in various settings- factories, industries, power plants, vehicles, etc. to name a few. These devices output massive amounts of data from the sensors they use. This data is streamed non-stop and is used for making future predictions, assess the current conditions, optimize the working, etc.

The data from the onboard sensors is based on things like humidity, temperature, air conditions, luminance, etc. The data from these sensors is used by billions of other devices, people, organizations and places. While the management of such a network has its own problems, the opportunities are abundant too.

First, let’s talk about the sensors. Sensors first appeared decades ago, as a means to detect changes in quantity and give the output as an electrical or optical signal. They have been used for many purposes and in various fields over the years, from utilities and energy, to manufacturing and industries. Now with the rise of IoT, the uses of sensors – and the data streaming from them – has diversified manifold and continues to do so. From the largest of aircrafts to the smallest of pacemakers, the data from the sensors flows from the devices to the network and back and this has made the IoT a major contributor to Big Data.

Today, organizations are investing heavily in capturing and store the data from the sensors, but it is extraction and analysis of that data which is the daunting task. To take full advantage of data streams in the IoT, organizations must understand the exploding number of ways “big” IoT data needs to be filtered, mashed up, compared, contrasted, interpolated and extrapolated. The 4 ‘V’s which need to be considered by the organization are-

  1. Volume- whether the massive amount of data being received can be accessed, stored, processed and analyzed.
  2. Variety- whether the various types of data and their formats can be managed on the fly.
  3. Velocity- whether the data can be captured and analyzed as fast as the rate at which it is being generated.
  4. Veracity- whether the data has been filtered, validated or cleansed and made trustworthy enough for use as basis of data-driven decisions.

If these conditions are suitably met by the organization, they can easily distinguish themselves from their competitors and be at the forefront of the IoT Industrial Revolution aka Industry 4.0.

×