In the past few years, we’ve witnessed major developments in the electricity distribution sector in India. We have finally achieved universal access to electricity.
That said, power distribution is still to be the weakest link in the power supply chain. Utilities, as they are, can’t make investments to improve the quality of energy supply and prepare for the broader adoption of renewable energy. And financial losses are the number one factor behind these shortcomings, losses which are a direct consequence of poor infrastructure, inefficient operations, and expensive long-term purchase agreements that are bleeding utilities dry.
However, there are many ways through which you overcome the many distribution challenges. So, here are some methodologies, compiled by Genus Company, to help you attain peak distribution efficiency.
There are plenty of ways you ensure efficient energy distribution in your power grid. Here are some of them.
As discussed above, costs are one of the primary barriers standing between utility operators and efficient electricity distribution. Long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) are the primary culprit in this, proving quite detrimental to the power sector.
Bound under these contracts, utilities are unable to divert resources to the things that matter the most – renewable and efficient power distribution. And most of these agreements are based on incorrect demand estimates, which inevitably translates to a scenario where discoms pay fixed costs for excess capacity, even when no power is required.
However, with the availability of short-term power, this problem can possibly be solved. The short-term power market has seen a CAGR of 8%, which is a testimony to its effectiveness. By tapping into this market, utility providers can purchase power on a need-basis, averting the bounds of a contract. And the money saved can thus be used to revamp infrastructure and supplement the grid with smart functionalities.
Talking about smart, let’s move on to the next section, which talks about smart grid solutions.
As of today, the national billing efficiency stands at 83 percent. To improve this number, smart and prepaid meters be an important solution to allay the current billing and collection challenges.
Smart meters improve billing efficiency and collection processes by reducing the human element in the infrastructure, and the delays and errors that come with it. Consequently, this empowers both discoms and consumers alike.
But that’s not it. Smart meters also have another attractive benefit – they allow for the development of smart grids. What are they? Well, they’re electrical grids with interwoven communication, automation, and IT systems that can control and monitor electricity distribution in real-time.
Such a revamped distribution system — with DMS (demand-side management), smart meters, AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure), and other IoT components, including SCADA — facilitates improved analytics, data transparency, and detailed and granular tariff design, and better control of demand management.
To integrate smartness into your grid, connect with Genus Power today, get our smart meters, and tap into the gold mine of convenience, insights, and efficiency a Genus meter brings to the table.
Even though AMIs can greatly improve billing and collection, their core competency is somewhere else entirely. AMIs can pave the way for better load management and energy efficiency numbers, facilitating a reduction in peak power needs and better management of renewable resources and distributed assets. How? With the help of granular, real-time data, combined with dynamic tariff frameworks and controllable devices.
This, inevitably, sets the scene for demand-side flexibility, which can immensely improve the efficiency of electricity distribution. And with power requirements for residential, industrial, and commercial spheres always on the rise, efficient distribution, made possible by demand-side flexibility, can be the answer to the call for sustainability.
As mentioned earlier, many loss-making distribution companies are unable to invest money in the maintenance and upgradation of equipment and machinery due to the paucity of resources. Damaged conductors, poorly-built transformers, and other low-quality energy equipment can lead to unreliable electricity distribution and huge technical losses.
For instance, only 75% of consumers are notified of power cuts via prior notification. This creates a vicious cycle of inefficiency, as poor grid quality leads to lesser revenue, which, in turn, leaves utility providers short on money to invest in the upgradation of the grid itself.
Fortunately, you can easily cut down on such losses, and there are many ways to do it. For example, if you’re installing new cables in your peri-urban grids, you can lay them underground rather than overground to prevent thefts. However, if aerial is the only option, you can go with aerial bunched cables (ABC) to prevent power theft through hooking, and bring down fault rates simultaneously.
Moreover, you can also study and modify the load profile of a distribution transformer based on the connected load. Doing so will help you reduce losses and enhance its voltage profile.
The Indian energy sector is undeniably one of the largest and most complex in the world, with so many variables and endpoints. Therefore, to ensure peak reliability and efficiency, improving the distribution infrastructure is of key importance. By following some of the ways mentioned above, you can bring order to your distribution infrastructure, and ensure end-to-end power efficiency.
Reject traditional grids and accept the smart revolution with Genus Power’s top-of-the-line smart metering solutions, along with other grid integrables. Get in touch with us right away to start your smart transition today!