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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.

13Jun

Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding

by Team Digireach

The maintenance of maximum service reliability has always been the primary concern of the electric utility industry. To ensure this, power systems are always designed and operated such that working is not affected in any system conditions and load requirements are always met. Usually the designing is such that it can hold up service continuity even under emergency situations, but sometimes, unpredictable conditions of faults, forced outages, etc. may occur. When this happens, it is important to ensure that steps are taken to ensure that a major system outage doesn’t occur.

Any part of a power system will begin to deteriorate if there is an excess of load over available generation. If there is an excess of load over generation ratio, the frequency decreases. It is generally recognised that a sudden drop in generating capacity results in a drop in frequency. This drop is not immediate, but rather, happens gradually.

One way to attain the balance between generation and load, before the decaying frequency affects performance, is to increase generation. However this isn’t always possible practically due to system limitations or due to time constraints. So, a more common method is to employ Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS). What this does is that it employs a quick and effective means of attaining a balance of generation and load. The application of AUFLS relays throughout the load area, preset to drop increments of load at specific values of low frequency, provides a simple and direct method of minimizing service interruption and alleviating system overloads.

The Load Shedding function provides under-frequency protection at the main distribution substation. As system frequency decreases, load is disconnected in discrete steps according to frequency thresholds. Protective relays are used for automatic gradually under-frequency load shedding. Under and over-frequency relays are specified by frequency settings and delays. And all this can be incorporated by using IoT Gateway which requires minimum system integration and is fully compatible with most of the applications.

3Jun

IoT in Textile Industry

by Team Digireach

The textile industry has come a long way from the old handcrafting days, but it still has a huge potential for progress. As an industry which used to be highly labor intensive but has now achieved a high degree of automation, textile has been and will continue to be at the forefront of the adoption of new technologies.

Foremost among these new technologies is Internet of Things (IoT). Being an industry which relies heavily on fine details such as equipment monitoring, stock management for dyes and raw material, supply chain visibility, workforce management and coordination, and analysis, textile is the most suited industry for digital transformation.

Scope of IoT innovations in Textile Industry-

  1. Factory Operations Monitoring- Factory environment parameters such as humidity, temperature, etc., can seriously affect the quality of fabric and thereby the entire manufacturing process. Using sensors connected to the cloud, we can keep track of these conditions and regulate them, as necessary, using air conditioners, de humidifiers, etc.
  2. Equipment Maintenance- Machine properties and outputs can be synced to cloud data and monitored in real time. Necessary periodic and/or preventive maintenance can also be set to trigger when certain conditions are met.
  3. Energy/ Efficiency – The energy consumed in each of the machines can be monitored. Data can be collected and algorithm can be fad into the system to determine the efficiency of each of the unit. This would enable to do proper planning and lead to better efficiency.

While there is a huge scope for progress, there are also challenges which have to be overcome to make IoT in textile industry a reality-

  • Connection overhead and huge bandwidth consumption of multiple weaving machines connected over Ethernet
  • Administration and management of voluminous structured and unstructured data
  • Compatibility of ERP and Operations, Administration & Management System with IoT Service Management Platform
  • With huge amounts of data transferred online every second, the biggest challenge to IoT platforms is security and data protection.

If these challenges can be dealt with successfully textile industry can be optimized to its full potential with the incorporation of IoT.

30May

Deployment of IoT

by Team Digireach

The Internet of Things (IoT), also sometimes referred to as the Internet of Everything (IoE), consists of all the web-enabled devices that collect, send and act on data they acquire from their surrounding environments using embedded sensors, processors and communication hardware. These devices, often called “connected” or “smart” devices, can sometimes talk to other related devices, a process called machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. This technology allows for a level of real-time information that we’ve never had before. We can monitor our homes and offices remotely to keep them safe and efficient. Businesses can improve processes to increase productivity and reduce material waste and unforeseen downtime. Sensors in city infrastructure can help reduce road congestion and warn us when infrastructure is in danger of crumbling.

However while this may sound simple enough, its proper deployment is anything but that. An IoT deployment is a process. Unless a business undertakes and completes each part of the process, the deployment will be rich with problems as well as data. Around the world, businesses of many sizes are hitting roadblocks because their IoT deployment is delayed, stalled, refused to work as designed, failed to pass regulatory requirements or didn’t deliver the expected results–sometimes all the above.

  1. Planning- The first step to a good IoT deployment is its planning. This is more about the vision that the management team has in mind about the project than the actual technological aspect of IoT. The management team needs to have a clear grasp of what they and the project have to deliver or the project will be doomed to a premature and unfinished end.
  2. Designing- After setting business goals, designing a compliant network that will deliver them is the second stage. A thorough network design and specification needs to cover the schematic of the network, the choice of components, their locations and identify any issues that might crop up at any point.
  3. Certification- Cellular based IoT deployments also require certain certifications and clearances for the network as well as the devices on it.  Ensuring devices are approved is vital to get the regulatory and carrier sign-offs that mean your deployment can go live.
  4. Testing- No deployment can go live without a thorough period of testing. Testing should not just be about the technology. It is important also to check against the original business goals.

When this process is complete you get to the fifth and final stage where an IoT deployment begins a digital transformation, improves operational efficiency, cuts costs, drives revenues and unlocks profitability.

8Apr

IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme)

by Team Digireach

We are moving to an energy intensive world. Among the different stages of electricity generation and consumption, distribution is a primary area where we can make necessary adjustments in the power sector value chain to increase efficiency drastically.

One of the features of the Indian power sector reforms is the increased attention to the distribution sector. Systems and procedures for monitoring Quality of Service (QoS) of distribution utilities have been finalized by State Electricity Regulatory Commissions, especially subsequent to the Electricity Act 2003.

Distribution is the most important link in the entire power sector value chain.  As the only interface between utilities and consumers, it is the cash register for the entire sector. Under the Indian Constitution, power is a Concurrent subject and the responsibility for distribution and supply of power to rural and urban consumers rests with the states.

Systems to improve consumer interface, quantify performance and to monitor progress in a transparent manner are necessary and welcome steps. QoS process meets one of the many long felt needs to improve distribution sector. At this initial stage, it is crucial that the distribution utilities and regulatory commissions show serious end to end commitment in the QoS process. This includes the steps of formulating the system, reporting performance, monitoring progress and taking corrective measures. It is also important to proactively work for the active participation of consumers at all stages of the process. With such an approach, over the years, QoS process can evolve to be the necessary and sufficient condition for continuous improvement of the distribution sector.

Government of India provides assistance to states through various Central Sector / centrally sponsored schemes for improving the distribution sector. Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) approved on 20.11.2014 with a total outlay of Rs 32,612 crore which includes a budgetary support of Rs 25,354 crore from Govt. of India. The objectives of scheme are:

  • Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas
  • Metering of distribution transformers / feeders / consumers in the urban area.
  • IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network
8Apr

RT DAS (Real-time Data Acquisition System)

by Team Digireach

In today’s world, data is generated at a brisk pace in all domains. Data is the new oil. We help you capture the data and gain insights from them.

We install sensors and other electrical devices like CTs, PTs, circuit breakers, switches and circuit breakers to collect and register data points.

Real site photos of our successful implementation of RT DAS:

RT-DAS system for SAIFI/ SAIDI measurement: GOI is extending financial assistance through various programmes to establish Feeder Remote Terminal Unit (FRTU). FRTU is an intelligent electronic device designed for use in feeder automation.

FRTU based SAIFI/ SAIDI measurement system in Non SCADA towns to accurately measure reliability of power distribution network and facilitate utility to take suitable administrative action for enhancement of power reliability. The same can be ensured by real time data acquisition system (RT-DAS) using FRTU at substation. It shall also facilitate utility to take appropriate measures for improvement of SAIDI/ SAIFI by knowing the reason of poor values of indices

IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme) was approved by the government to strengthen sub-transmission and distribution network inlcuding metering at all levels in urban areas.

Earlier scheme of Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) is subsumed in the new scheme of IPDS.

Major components of the scheme are:

  • Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network
  • Metering
  • IP application – ERP and cuustomer care service
  • Provisioning of solar panels
  • Ongoing works of R-APDRP to be completed

Advantages of implementing RT DAS:

  • Reports (SAIFI/ SAIDI reports for regulators and as per IEEE norms etc.)
  • Operation monitor to operative cycles of switching devices to have preventive maintenance
  • Data in the form of analytics
  • Historical data and MIS (Management Information System)
  • Future compatibility for controllability and technologies such as SCADA/ AMI etc with addons.

Similar projects undertaken by us in Substation Monitoring (RT DAS):

MSEDCL (Maharashtra State  Electricity Distribution Company Limited)

Photos of our successful implementation at site:

Snapshot of our successfully implemented software for RT-DAS:

We have project (field/ office) installations of the following devices:

ConnectedSCADA makes RT DAS a possibility for you. Step into the future of electricity with us.

Electric reliability indices like SAIFI, SAIDI, SAIFI, CAIDI, MAIFI can be gathered from these data collected at your centers.

For more details feel free to contact us

27Mar

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
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
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
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
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
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.

16Mar

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.

 

 

 

 

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