The power grid or electrical grid is an interconnected network which recieves the electrical power from the generating station and delivers to the various consumers through transmission lines. In general, it operates like a bank, where the power can be deposited and withdrawn at centrally. The basic need of grid is to establish the connection between source and user - as electrical power is generated in specific places, so making it available all over the state or country is mandatory. The power station is located where the energy sources (Coal, Water, Wind, etc. ) are available and usually away from the populated areas. So while connecting them to grid, power losses will occur due to long distance lines and cables as voltage drops because of resistance. To compensate such issues, the voltage is stepped up into higher levelbefore sending to grid and further it is stepped down as per requirement at the consumer side.
The grids are often operated by state governments and central governments to make the inter-state transmission a smoother one. In India, the regional based grid policy was initiated in 1960, with five regions and currently we have obtained “One nation - One grid” strategy by developing appropriate transmission networks between states. The advancements in technology made the management of such a vast network an easiest one by appointing the intelligent controllers to measure, optimize and act over sudden interruptions. By enhancing the digital monitoring and by appointing effective communication between each ends, the grid can be upgraded to “Smart grid”.
In Gujarat, the Grid (State Load Despatch Center, technically) is located in Vadodara ; It handles upto 28000 MW (approx.) of power as on 31.03.2020.
Also managing the power transmission, distribution and metering in an automated way are the key features of smart grid. It helps the electricity board (EB) to observe and control the usage or failure of the power supply remotely. The recent research works on Internet on Things (IoT) also contribute in this regard. The basic ideation behind the smart grid is, the power usage or power failures of your home can be seen from the EB office directly like how you see the places and live traffic on the mobile GPS.
By using two way communication in power cables, the EB can get the measurement of the energy you consumed without visiting every houses physically. It increases the reliabilty of power network and helps to fasten the remeady when power failure occur in your house or in surroundings. A conventional grid can be transformed into smart grid by introducing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA) with Energy Management Systems (EMS) and Distribution Management Systems (DMS). The SCADA is an user interface system which would be installed at EB and it monitors many peripherals such as energy meters, sensors, etc. Also it issues the command based on logical decisions, generally pre-programmed and controls the system function. In India, the smart grid concept, National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) is launched in 2013 by Indian Ministry of Power and the goal of making country wide smart grid is planned to achieve by 2025. By next decade, you may stop calling the EB to register power failure complaint in your area as they might have departed to your area already.
Prof. S Kannan,
Head – Dept. of EE,
Laxmi Institute of Technology, Sarigam