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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.

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
2 comments

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

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