Internet of Things, together with Big Data and Analytics, can help reduce India’s power losses, thereby providing electricity to millions of households that go without power every day. Smart Grids with automation, integrated controls, and new technologies such as connected sensors can help in faster restoration of electricity after outages, efficient power transmission, reduced management expenses and integration of energy systems that are based on green and renewable sources of energy like wind and solar energy. This would thus help in managing energy while reducing dependency on non-renewable sources.

Colossal power wastage during transmission in India

Industry experts say that the main culprit behind the acute power shortage is not insufficient generation, as many would like to believe, rather it is the huge wastage that takes place during transmission and usage. They are of the view that if transmission losses (40-48% against the world standard of 8%) are reined in power crisis could be managed. The World Resources Institute puts losses due to transmission and distribution (T&D) at around 27% in India—the highest in the world. Millions of tons of coal and billions of cubic meters of natural gas are used to produce the electricity that goes waste. All this while 40% of Indian households go without electricity and 400 million people remain in the dark. Additionally considering the amount of fossil fuels burnt and the colossal pollution that takes place due to it, the losses are mind-boggling. Initiatives such as Smart City and Digital India heavily rely on consistent power supply.

“An important attribute of smart cities should be self-sufficiency. Energy efficiency and producing power from clean technologies like roof top solar by using space optimally should be an integral part of the city,” said Nandikesh Sivalingam, senior campaigner, Greenpeace.

But without the technology to make green energy use viable, it would be mighty difficult to use the full potential of non-renewable sources, which produce erratic power and have supply issues at times.

Sensor-enabled digital substations look promising for future power distribution

Together with Smart Grids, digital substations could bring in smarter power systems that have the potential to digitally transform the Indian power sector. Power generation is distributed over many locations; effectively replacing the traditional model of one-way power supply by multidirectional flow. That would lead to more intelligent power management. A digital substation would have communication and control systems, high-tech monitoring, together with transmission, distribution, consumption, and storage, leading to a more automated system.

A digital substation typically includes digital communication through fiber optic cables, replacing the traditional copper connections. It would also enable enhanced availability, greater flexibility, and improved safety in the sector. Additionally, it would cut risks and costs, and would also lessen the deleterious impacts on environment. Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) and integrated communication technology form the foundations of a digital substation. The IED is basically a microprocessor-dependent control and protection tool used for power equipment, including circuit breakers, transformers, and capacitor banks. The overall hike in data input would help in monitoring, protection, and optimization of assets.

“Utilizing the IoT, ICT, and Cloud computing, one could pave the way for greater grid automation as well as more efficient energy management. It would also lead to improved services for the common man. It would also bring about better optimization of the power supply chain,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global leader in Cloud-based business software.

In conclusion, hi-tech solutions lie at the heart, for optimal utilization of renewable sources of energy and cutting down on pollution, technologies such as IoT, Cloud computing, smart metering, and sensors are a must for efficient energy management. 

(Sourced from: CXOtoday.com)