End-to-End Integration of IoT Infrastructure – T&D World

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Analytical information such as current, voltage, energy (active and reactive) and peak loading data is captured in the IoT back-end application for further analysis by the reliability team.

Inspiring Results

The end-to-end IoT infrastructure has been implemented in more than 300 substations containing 1589 low-voltage breakers, 481 ring main units, 400 distribution transformers, 481 fault passage indicators and 121 relays. Around 318,000 customers are supported by IoT devices. The outcome of this large-scale implementation has been multidimensional and inspiring. The project kicked off in December 2020 and was fully implemented by March 2022.

Prior to the implementation, the total number of customer complaints stemming from low-voltage circuit-breaker tripping had been on the rise, increasing from 31% in fiscal year 2019 to 46% in fiscal year 2020. After implementation, complaints decreased gradually by 4.77%, 39.44% and 35.85% in fiscal years 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, respectively. Integration of the real-time tripping information helps field crews to restore faults more quickly. The low-voltage IoT sends parallel information to the crew by directly triggering an SMS text when an outage has occurred as well as through the ADMS integration. As a result, the minimum-time-to-restore low-voltage breakdown was reduced from 19.72% in fiscal year 2021-2022 and 28.09 % in 2022-2023.

Maintenance and network enhancement plans are now designed based on tripping events, load profiles and the energy profiles of individual feeders captured on the IoT dashboard. The regional team takes corrective actions on the network based on the tripping statistics captured.

To reduce technical losses, unbalanced feeders are balanced by shifting the load to less loaded phases. To date, corrective action has been taken on 582 low-voltage feeders. Capital expenditure planning also is optimized to identify underloaded low-voltage feeders, and additional load shifting also is performed on light-loaded feeders from overloaded feeders.

The multidimensional benefits of the low-voltage IoT application have inspired Tata Power DDL to scale up the project and extend its benefits to another 640,000 customers in northern and northwestern Delhi. Real-time power factor measurement of distribution transformers, energy auditing data and current harmonic measurement of low-voltage feeders also have made it possible for the utility to analyze customer load profile, energy pilferage, power-quality issues and reactive power issues in the low-voltage network.

IoT-based low-voltage automation technology is robust, compatible with any kind of air circuit breaker and easily deployable. Other utilities in urban areas could benefit from this technology to effectively digitalize their low-voltage grids.

Shrinjoy Bagchi ([email protected]) is an accomplished professional with over 17 years of experience in power distribution utilities. He holds a bachelor of technology degree in eectrical engineering and M. tech in energy & environmental management from IIT Delhi. He has national and international publications in the field of power system protection, automation, IoT. Currently Bagchi works as the head of department (Protection & Automation) at Tata Power Delhi Distribution limited where he oversees the implementation of Digital Grid, Advanced Distribution Management System, Distribution Automation, Smart meter DI/DO integration, large scale IoT deployment in utility landscape, OT Cybersecurity. 

H.C. Sharma has a B.Tech degree in electrical engineering from the Aligarh Muslim University, where he was awarded the Gold Medalist honor, and earned a post-graduate certification in business management from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He is the chief of business development, contracts, stores and technical services at Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. Sharma heads the function that includes business development, stores, power system control, quality assurance and technical services. He has worked on many projects and been instrumental in the development of plant engineering and quality assurance systems for the utility. He also has also worked on various verticals of projects that include design, engineering, quality assurance, and procurement and execution.

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