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An 'Isro' of power transmission has come up, quietly

Discussion in 'World Economy' started by sangos, Mar 25, 2015.

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  1. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

    Apr 25, 2013
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    With remote monitoring of sub-stations, the National Transmission Asset Management Centre is seen as a landmark achievement

    Jyoti Mukul | Gurgaon
    March 24, 2015
    Last Updated at 00:46 IST

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    Just as you slow down to turn right for an exit on national highway 8, after the city limits of Manesar, near here, a nondescript narrow road is seen parallel to high-tension power transmission lines, huge towers holding these at regular intervals.

    "To locate any of our sub-stations, you just have to follow these transmission lines," informs a senior PowerGrid official as we take Taoru Road. Some three km down, amid expansive farms and vacant plots, construction is on in full swing. A PowerGrid residential colony is coming up next to a unique establishment, the National Transmission Asset Management Centre (NTAMC).

    Outside the centre, it is business as usual for a small village, unaware of the technological fĂȘte in the works close by.

    Inside the control room of the centre, five huge screens are flashing views from places as far in the north as Wagoora, Kashmir, and in the south as Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Of the 192 sub-stations of India's national transmission utility, 70 have already been connected with NTAMC. With the click of a computer mouse, you can zoom in or out on specific sub-stations - each bay devoted to a particular transmission line numbered and monitored, and every nut and bolt visible on the screen.

    Each of these screens is devoted to a region -northern, eastern, western, northeastern or southern. In January, PowerGrid had begun enrolling power sub-stations across the country for NTAMC, says Jagmohan Sharma, its executive director for the NTAMC project. "Of the 70 connected sub-stations, 45 have been validated. Another 15 will be added by the end of this month," he says.

    Validation is the final step where it is ensured that a particular operation or part of a sub-station is connected with the right controls. This involves an average 4,000 signals for each sub-station.

    What goes on in the control room at present is execution work for adding sub-stations, as well as monitoring those. The scale of operations in terms of technology provided by Alstom, the main vendor, and 55 other suppliers, is much bigger than anything tried in other countries. Additionally, Sharma points out, PowerGrid's is the only network in the world that is attached to CCTV cameras. "On average, we have used seven cameras at every sub-station. Besides, 2,000 km of cable lines have been laid across sub-stations." Some 57 people, along with a handful of Alstom staffers, work at NTAMC around the clock. The centre's job is to monitor faults, rectify those, and tackle emergencies in any of the connected sub-stations. For instance, at Wangroo, heavy snowfall recently created a situation where power transmission might have tripped. Sitting at NTAMC, the monitoring team was able to avert a black-out.

    NTAMC has under it nine regional centres, each controlling different hubs (84 in all). The entire system works on PowerGrid's own optic fibre network. Apart from the transparency and enhanced monitoring of the system, the centre ensures the monitoring required at sub-stations is little. "Corrective action can be taken at NTAMC," says Sharma.

    PowerGrid had earlier set up a national load dispatch centre, besides regional ones, for grid management. These load dispatch centres will later be passed on to Power System Operation Corporation Ltd, to be hived off from PowerGrid as an independent grid management entity. But NTAMC, built at a cost of around Rs 170 crore, will continue to be at the disposal of PowerGrid for strengthening around-the-clock transmission network in the country. With a remote monitoring system, the latest in transmission technology, NTAMC has become to power transmission what Isro is to space in India, says Sharma.

    An 'Isro' of power transmission has come up, quietly | Business Standard News
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