ABB technology helps KPTCL monitor and control power

2009-11-16 - As one of the fastest growing states in India, with the bustling city of Bangalore at its heart, Karnataka's appetite for electricity is voracious. Ensuring reliable supplies of quality electricity for customers in the face of spiraling demand is a major challenge, for even the best-run utilities.

By ABB Communications

Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) has chosen an advanced ABB energy management system to strengthen its entire transmission and distribution network, as well as its constituent distribution utilities.

The system has a number of advantages, including real-time data acquisition, facilitated by satellite communication, and the ability to monitor and control the entire distribution network and integrate customer billing systems. These are the technologies that will play a central role in the development of smarter grids that will also be needed to accommodate increased levels of distributed and renewable power generation, while maintaining the reliability of power supplies, as required by system regulators.

The ABB Network Manager solution is comprised of a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and communication system with integrated energy and distribution management software. Together, these monitor and report from every part of the network, across the entire state.

Total control
In Karnataka, ABB has set up 16 control centers around the network, nearly 900 remote terminal units and wired about one million input/output connections into KPTCL's transmission and distribution grid. These combined systems monitor and control the main transmission and distribution substations scattered across the state, including those in Bangalore. The result is a vast system that can be controlled centrally, accommodating literally thousands of changes every day, from new factories being connected to the grid to a meter being changed on a customer’s premises.

It is the first system of this scale and scope to be installed anywhere in the world, and helps KPTCL monitor, control and deliver electricity to roughly 16 million people, across an area of 192,000 sq. km. The installation is ABB's sixth major SCADA project in India.

The detailed monitoring capabilities of ABB’s system allow KTPCL to identify and correct faults quickly, which minimizes the frequency and duration of unplanned power outages. The system also helps operators organize planned maintenance work, improving safety levels for workers and minimizing the areas affected by such work.

Power made visible
With this system technical information that is logged and scattered across KPTCL's vast power network is visible in real time whenever KPTCL managers want it. That's important because KPTCL's transmission and distribution infrastructure is expanding, while on the generation side, the state of Karnataka plans to bring about 10,000 megawatts more power into the network in the coming years.

So the utility really needs a way to keep track of the network expansion and added capacity to be able to know in an instant what is happening to electricity everywhere in the state.

The ABB system integrates technical information with real-time data and revenue information, which not only improves network performance, but shows where and how the network is earning money. It answers practical questions, like who is buying and selling power, and how much are they buying or selling? Where are they located, what is the quality of power provided, and how much is KPTCL being paid?

With a network overview monitoring power deliveries and quality in real time, the utility can match power use to revenue, and identify problems. It can also locate weak areas that need more power, and better plan its power transmission and distribution network

The system will help KPTCL truly manage its entire power network, and give it a head start when it comes to fixing network problems such as line losses, poor supply, voltage irregularities, etc.

It also incorporates load-sharing technology and availability-based tariffs to help the utility plan and maintain a steady supply of power under normal conditions, giving it operational flexibility and the ability to restore power quickly in the event of an outage.

The ABB Network Manager solution for KPTCL is the first system of its kind to be installed anywhere in the world. It helps the utility's operators monitor, control and deliver electricity to roughly 16 million people, across an area of 192,000 sq. km.

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