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29Mar

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.

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.

18Feb

Internet of Smart grids

by Team Digireach

A smart grid is an IoT enabled grid of geographically proximate devices which uses an Internet connection to receive and analyze sensory information.

Smart grids are generally classified according to the scope of their operations. These classifications are: home area network, neighborhood area network, access network, backhaul network, core and external networks.  

The devices connected in a smart grid include smart meters, smart appliances and renewable energy resources.

Benefits of a Smart grid

Smart comparisons

The information is gained in such a way that it is easy to compare readings on the various devices connected to the grid and take smart decisions.

Macro smart and micro smart

A smart grid enables you to look at the grid of devices as a whole and as individual devices. Gaining different perspectives is a very important factor in understanding the needs of an area and charting out a path that utilizes generated power in the most efficient and profitable way possible.

Smart energy resources

A smart grid makes using renewable environment friendly sources of energy a plausible reality. With IoT enabled devices, renewable resources like solar energy and wind energy can be harnessed to greater effect. Previously considered unwieldy, the extent of monitoring now makes it a feasible reality. Solar or wind setups generally consist of many units to generate sufficient power.

Smart energy usage

With a smart grid you can map the accuracy of electricity consumption of a particular area. A record of the surges and ebbs in the pattern of energy usage in a particular time period can help fine tune the services provided. This is cost effective and has the benefit of preventing electrical outages.

Smart grids for smart cities

In the near future, smart cities will emerge and rely on having smart grids to function. A smart city is one where digital technology and an Internet connection is used to gain data, analyse it and deploy solutions to create a sustainable city that uses its resources to the maximum.

Security risks

An IoT enabled Smart Grid is vulnerable to cyber attacks because of the Internet connection that enables a 2 way communication pathway.  

Ill intentioned hackers can easily exploit this weakness for crimes like identity theft, data tampering, unauthorized access, and eavesdropping with potentially disastrous effects.

Parting thoughts

IoT is ground breaking technology that is gaining momentum at astounding speeds. It won’t be long before there are inventive solutions to these challenging problems.

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