THE ANALYTICAL REVOLUTION OF SENSORS

YOTTAASYS BLOG

The Analytical Revolution of Sensors

Speaking during Question Hour in the upper house of Indian parliament on Thursday 11-June-2015, Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal claimed that electricity was available at zero rupees per unit at the Power Grid’s Monitoring Office. When there are continuous power cuts across so many cities and only a few hours of power supply at majority of villages, this actually is a good indicator towards the unbalanced demand/supply situation.

We will do a deep dive into how can this problem be addressed but let’s start with understanding a few basics. Over the past year or two, we have read story after story about how big data and Internet of things is changing the way we look and interact with everything around our immediate ecosystem. We have also seen how a significant amount of automation is happening using IoT enabled devices and latest development in sensor technologies. These developments have suddenly opened a completely new perspective at the way we analyze and react to our problems, the first aspect is implementation of a smart grid.

WHAT IS A SMART GRID AND WHY DO WE NEED IT?

A smart grid is an energy delivery system that moves from a centrally controlled framework to a more consumer driven and auto-correcting iterative system. Smart grids should rely on bi-directional communication to constantly adapt and tune the delivery of energy. The overall objective being to deliver optimum amount of energy at the right time and at the best price. A smart grid includes many components, including a broad range of sophisticated sensors (over 50 plus specific types of sensors are used from the power generation unit to the meter into your residence). These components are constantly assessing the state of the grid, the availability of power flowing into the grid, and the demand on the grid. They are also capable of collecting a vast amount of this information over time, to determine what “behaviors” can be changed to optimize energy delivery.

CONTROLLING POWER THEFT USING SMART GRIDS

Energy theft is a big problem for many of the emerging economies, according to a recent survey by smart infrastructure consultancy* India’s economy loses up to $16.2bn a year due to widespread practice of electricity theft, The state of Maharashtra – which includes Mumbai – alone loses $2.8bn per year, more than all but eight countries in the world. The power meter, considered the foundation of a more modern and intelligent grid, is perhaps the component element of the network that has most evolved in order to make energy consumption measurement more efficient. The new age smart meters and the upgrade plug ins for existing meters enable instead of the consumer controlling access to the meter, and utilities needing to announce when the reading will occur, power meters bring an avalanche of data directly to the utility, often in real or near-real time.

MANAGING PEAK DEMANDS USING SMART GRIDS

The most important concept in the delivery of electricity is peak demand, managing load during peak demands and offering cost benefits to end customers for becoming a part of the larger solution are key strategies in the overall smart grid solution. A smart grid has the net effect of offering consumers the ability to participate in managing peak demand, In essence we all become actors in the larger integrated solution. Smart Grids through smart meters employ techniques to run home equipment’s at slightly reduced levels during peak loads and also can schedule non priority activities to off peak times. Phasor measurement Units (PMU’s) are becoming the “health meter” for the grid, the amount of information collected on the status of the grid will close to more than 100 times than today. We will be continuing our discussion on smart grids in the next article where we will compare the top 5 industry solutions and also do a deep dive into the yottaasys offering in the segment, see you all till then and have a good day!


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