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Smart power grids becoming popular: Prof Khaparde
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Nov 24 - Patterns of the electricity grid system are changing. Now the smart grids have come. These grids are gradually becoming popular worldwide with governments increasingly opting for them to add intelligence to their existing electrical grid systems.

This was the view expressed by Prof SA Khaparde of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF).

Prof Khaparde was delivering the keynote address at the inaugural function of the two-day all India seminar on ‘Energy, Power and Electrical Engineering’ that began here today. The seminar is being organised by the Assam State Centre of the Institution of Engineers (India) (IEI) in association with the Electrical Engineering Division Board of the IEI in the Panbazar auditorium of the Institution.

Prof Khaparde maintained that a smart grid is an electricity network that can intelligently integrate the actions of all users – like the generators, consumers and those that do both – in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supplies.

In other words, he said, a smart grid has the automation, communication and IT systems embedded in it and these components can monitor the flow of power from the generation point to the end consumer’s point. It makes the practice of blanket load-shedding redundant as it provides the consumers with the provision to reduce their loads themselves. In this system, the suppliers too can reduce the loads right from the control rooms. Besides, this system can inform the operators of impending grid instability etc.

Referring to the need of suitable models for particular applications, he said future grid evolutions should ensure support to the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information in the consumer domain.

On the other hand, if introduced, the electric vehicles, which may become the most responsive electric appliances in the smart grid system, have the capability either to absorb or to push power to the grids and thus maintain a reliable supply of electricity.

Electric vehicles perform this task by implementing smart charging, whereby they charge and store energy during the off-peak-load-hours and supply energy during the peak-load-hours, thus reducing the strain on the grid by maintaining the frequency and grid stability, said Prof Khaparde.

Quoting the Union Ministry of Power’s figures, he said that 14 smart grid pilot projects have been initiated in India with an overall investment of US $65 million. The Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) is also implementing a pilot smart grid project for the city of Guwahati.

The inaugural function was presided over by IEI Assam State Centre chairman Dr A K Baruwa. It was also addressed by renowned power engineer and former Oil India Ltd Director (Operations) Dr P Bharali, secretary of the Assam chapter of the IEI Amitava Nath and its organising secretary Nuruzzaman.

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