Electricity Supply Monitors
The electricity supply monitor is an electronic device as small as a handheld radio. It is a rugged unit that is used to measure voltage across electricity line.
The device measures and records voltage across a live electricity supply line for every minute and transmits the same over GPRS network to a central server. The device is designed to work as a plug and play unit and starts working as soon as it is plugged into a plug point. The device can only measure voltage supply and cannot be used to measure your electricity consumption.
The device contains simple, inexpensive components which consume very little power by themselves. In field testing’s it is observed to have consumed less than one unit of electricity per month.
The initiative intends to collect data from different locations to get a broad sense of voltage and quality supplied to areas. To achieve this objective a set of ESM devices are installed at various locations spread across the country. Each of these devices records minute by minute voltage at an accuracy of +/- 4 volts across a live electricity supply line and sends the recorded voltage to a central server. The devices are designed to operate within the supply range of 130-300 Volts, within which the device records voltage. In conditions of power outage the device compute zero voltage recordings and send it to the server. Thus the devices are capable to capture all interruptions in the electricity supply at a location.Type of consumer connection (Domestic, Non-domestic and Agricultural) are also documented and displayed on the website.
The website provides for all users to visualise voltage supply quality at different locations through pre-defined charts. On selecting a particular location on the map or through a search process the Reports get loaded. For each location it is possible to view four unique charts for any period of 31 days displaying the aggregate i) electricity supply quality, ii) the interruptions profile, iii) availability of supply during evening hours and iv) minute by minute voltage profile across the selected time period. Each location report displays the type of consumer, category of location (Capital or City), the name of location, the regent and province where the data is being received from and voltage quality and quantity information for a selected duration of time.
Continuity in electricity supply is desired at all times to ensure no loss to daily and production activities. An interruption is a condition in which power supply is stopped due to various reasons and the voltage value during that time interval is zero. Interruptions can also be caused as a result of voltage dips, voltage unbalance and fluctuations most of which lead to flicker in lights, equipment failures, effecting productivity etc.
The ESM’s have the capability of capturing these interruptions in supply which are then used to determine the supply quality at a location for the given time. These interruptions are further classified into Short and Long interruptions. A short interruption is classified as one which lasts between 2-15 minutes and 16 -60 minutes. While these interruptions are relatively short the losses in production activities can be important and also cause damage to other equipments. A long interruption on the other hand is an interruption which can last for duration of 1-3 hours and more than 3 hours at any location. These interruptions, if frequent, force consumers to make investments in equipments to ensure continuity in supply. Any voltage below 130 V is treated as no-supply condition for calculating these interruptions as such low voltage is practically not useful and would in fact lead to safety issues.
Normal electrical appliances in houses and commercial establishments, in line with relevant technical standards, are expected to operate smoothly within a broad voltage range of 210 to 250 V. Hence, this voltage range is marked as ‘Normal’. Voltage from 209 V and upto 131 V is shown as ‘Low’ voltage and voltage above 251 V is marked as ‘High’ voltage. Voltage below 131 (i.e. 130 and less) is considered as no supply (or zero voltage), as at such low voltage many appliances, tube lights etc. may not work and it might adversely affect safety of equipment and people. Agricultural consumers are typically supplied 3 phase supply, and in this case ESMI monitors and reports, 1 phase, phase to neutral voltage at these locations, with same classification as above.
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