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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI): Smart Grid.

A Smart Mini-Grid (SMG) is an intelligent electricity distribution network, operating at or below 11 KV, where the energy demand is effectively and intelligently managed by diverse range of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as solar PV, micro-hydro power plants, wind turbines, biomass, small conventional generators such as diesel gensets etc. in combination with each other through smart control techniques.

This integrated energy system comprises:
Variable loads which are connected to the distribution grid;
Diverse range of small, local generators based on distributed energy resources, for example, solar, wind energy, storage system; and
Control and power conditioning systems.

Benefits of Smart Mini-Grid
Foster demand side management & response;
Reduce power outages, increasing reliability, efficiency, and safety;
Reduce carbon footprint and minimize fossil fuel consumption
Provide customers autonomy to manage their electricity needs.

Energy is the key to economic development. In India alone, the demand is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6% in the next decade. Estimates by the Ministry of Power suggest that by 2011-12, India will need over 1,00,000MW of additional capacity installation to meet its power requirements. Few power stations of desired capacity can be installed in order to meet the demand. But power stations alone cannot meet the small dispersed loads in remote areas. Globally, the trend is towards managing existing energy resources and demand in an optimal and efficient manner. Over the years, smart grids have evolved for this purpose. Advanced sensing, communication, and control technologies are used in these smart grids not only for generation and transmission of power, but also distribution and utilization of electricity in an intelligent and effective manner.
This distributed generation-based power system/mini-grids can be installed and subsequently integrated to the conventional utility grid or used to provide electricity for localised loads only. It not only fosters effective inter-connection and utilization of multiple renewable energy resources, but also helps in advancing access to energy to the last mile in the most optimum manner by improving the efficiency of the overall system. Besides, it offers immense potential for improving energy access in both urban and rural areas.
TERI has designed, developed, and demonstrated the country's first-of-its-kind Smart Mini-Grid system. The objective is to optimally use smarter control of distributed energy sources combined with intelligent management of loads to improve the efficiency and reliability of the overall mini-grid system. The Smart Mini-Grid, built with the support of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), was recently inaugurated at the TERI Retreat in Gual Pahari, Gurgaon.

A Smart Mini-Grid system is an application of digital technology which optimizes electrical power generation and delivery (see box). The system is based on the integration of multiple distributed energy resources (DERs) into the same grid. This system is also based on intelligent load and energy resource management. It is designed with local controllers for each of the distributed generation technologies as well as a central controller called intelligent dispatch controller (IDC) which communicates with the each local controller. Whereas the local controllers ensure maximum utilization of energy resources with permissible output power, the IDC performs complex system control functions and takes critical decisions such as automating the demand response, dynamically adding or removing DERs in a seamless manner (based on the existing demand) without affecting the grid stability.

A Smart Mini-Grid has greater resilience to loading as compared to the conventional grid system. It is marked by power flow through multiple routes, a feature common to the conventional grid system. However, unlike the conventional grid system, it is designed to avoid cascade tripping of network elements.

The system also has the capability to respond automatically to network problems and minimize network disruptions. It can anticipate and respond to system network problems and avoid or mitigate power outages, power quality problems, and service disruptions using real-time information from embedded sensors and automated controls. The grid is also equipped with a self healing system that enables it to rapidly detect, analyze, respond to power disturbances and restore power supply.

The TERI Smart Mini-Grid facility combines the following distributed generation resources--3.3 kWp wind generator, 1 kWp thin-film solar PV, 12.5 kW solar PV, 100 kWe biomass gasifier, 600 Ah, 48 V storage battery, and a diesel generator. The diesel generator has been added to the system to meet the intermittency of the renewable resources and hence ensure reliable power supply.

Such Smart Mini-Grid systems have great potential, not only in commercial and industrial complexes, but also in hospitals, shopping malls, apartments, residential complexes, educational institutions, remote un-electrified as well as electrified locations to ensure maximum flexibility, reliability, and safety with enhanced efficiency of the overall system.

Conclusion: SMART Grid system is nothing but a mini version of a conventional electricity distribution system the energy produced from different sources are consolidated and the most preferred source is used to provide the electricity. This technology will effectively make the conventional grid system less relevant as households can effectively sustain themselves outside the grid network with their own source of power..
Something to watch out for.

Link to Teri Project


Anonymous said...

WHATSUP- what is your view about HBL Power system. they are into Solar PV Business. Recently they got into big business from govt of india? Is it potential long term pick? please share your view

What'sUp Prahalad said...


HBL Power seems more towards battery than solar.. also HBL Power has a lot of debt..

I would avoid for now.. because of high debt..

=happy investing

Anonymous said...

WHAT'SUP,Thanks for your response. Please go through this article.HBL's another solar initiate


Appreciate your comment and future visiblity .I know you are concentrating on alternative energy

What'sUp Prahalad said...


If you read the article..
1. it has not yet been certified as economically viable..
2. Kinetic motors has a 30-75,000 version which is cheaper than the 90,000 for HBL Power.

The important point is that peak oil and no new discoveries of oil will increase India's import bill and impact India's ability to grow.. (due to high crude import bill..)

We should all try to conserve energy and try to switch to alternatives for things that are possible.. or our mode of transortation will be solar powered rickshaw's ..

by the way a nano costs abut a lakh..

=happy investing