Energy Efficiency is appropriately considered today as the 5th Fuel to serve our increasing energy requirement. Energy efficiency has today become the largest energy source. The Key Economic & Social Driver for “SMART GRID” Initiatives Globally is nothing but “Energy Efficiency”. India has developed various programs focused towards supply side management such as RAPDRP, feeder segregation programs, smart billing systems, etc. which have helped the power sector on a whole. However, keeping in line with the increased demand requirements in a fast paced economy, there is an impending need to focus on the demand side aspect of the value chain in order to realize the true benefits of a smart and integrated grid.
Governments worldwide are mandating improved Energy Efficiency, requiring an investment in the new Smart grid and Smart Energy Management Structure. The goal is to create a smart grid that will change the way power is deployed for sustainable energy around the world. The efforts in India towards making a SMART GRID a distinct reality in the near future have gathered pace with the development of a dedicated SMART GRID Task Force under the Ministry of Power with the clear objective of developing ways and policies for adoption of innovative technologies that can be integrated into the existing grid.
And, that is why, a new Breed of SMART METERS, Smart Appliances, Smart Sensors & Smart Interfacing & Communication Devices are evolving to enable utilities, organizations & consumers to Measure, Monitor, Audit & Control their Energy Consumption Patterns and devise their respective Energy Conservation/ Efficiency Strategies. These new innovative technologies & devices can be leveraged to design & develop a wide variety of new Products, systems and solutions for Cost Effective & Efficient Energy Monitoring & Measurement applications.
Background to Municipal Lighting
Municipalities (Also called Urban Local Bodies-ULB)share about 10% of total electricity consumed in cities in India. It is estimated that the electricity bills are as high as 60% of the total expenditure of municipalities. Various studies and estimates by BEE, TERI, CII, ECLEI, USAID, etc. indicate that it is possible to improve the energy efficiency by at least 20 to 25%.
A large number cities (over 4000), the growing urban population (28% in 2001 expected to grow to 38% by 2026), ever growing deficit for electricity and the whopping energy bills compel initiatives to reduce energy consumption. These initiatives thus can reduce energy bills and have an impact on the fiscal situation of municipal bodies.
Electricity consumption in municipal sector is increasing steadily over the last few years. Demand Side Management can be an effective mean to address growing gap between power supply and demand. The goal of energy management must be on provision of services like drinking water & street lights with the least cost and least environmental effect.
During the process of audit of various municipalities, it was noted that over 50 different types of fixtures with varying energy consumption exist in municipalities. There is greater need for rationalization of fixtures in the Street-lighting area. Globally, this context has been adopted by various countries. Not only this will add to energy savings, but will also bring down inventory carrying costs at the municipalities.
With the Smart cities concept emerging across the country, there is a greater need for bringing greater standardization in the context of management of Streetlighting infrastructure across the country and measuring them with the same yardstick.
Kindling Smart City Concepts with Street lighting
Electric power is a fundamental utility in modern society. The figure 1 below indicates existing power system of today based on conventional and simplistic technology that was mainly developed for one-way power flows from large power plants to generally passive customers at the receiving end of the network.
Making grids “smarter” will help to alleviate many of the challenges that power systems are currently facing and that will occur with increasing frequency in the future, such as variable-output renewables, distributed generation, electric vehicles, under-investment in grid infrastructure, and more.
Linkages of Smart Grid and Smart Cities
The Relationship between Smart Grids and Smart Cities needs to be understood in this context: “In a smart city, energy, water, transportation, public health and safety, and other key services are managed in concert to support smooth operation of critical infrastructure while providing for a clean, economic and safe environment in which to live, work and play”. Hence, the perspective in Infrastructure Design for any City has undergone a paradigm shift with advent of Convergence & Networking Technologies, Solutions for Information, Communication, Entertainment, Security & Surveillance; which are beginning to have a profound impact on the way we look at the buildings’ design and Town Planning.
A major disconnect which has recently become apparent is that the technological trends in “Smart Homes”, “Smart Buildings”, “Smart Cities” and “Smart Grid” are being considered and pursued in isolation from each other, by the respective stake holders. While in reality, they form a very tightly interwoven and homogenous confluence of similar technologies being applied in different domains for a common cause of making our planet earth “smart-n-green”.
Such a systems level approach is likely to not only enable newer and better services, but also allow far greater synergies and cost-effective deployments, reducing the lifecycle (total) cost of ownership of any Infrastructure, be it the smart grid, a home, a building or even a city, with attendant environmental benefits, including the carbon reductions.
Simply replacing the Conventional Energy Inefficient Products, Appliances, Equipment and Machines with Latest Highly Energy Efficient versions to improve the Energy Efficiency of any Building or Town is a very expensive (yet necessary) approach. However, augmenting this approach by installing an On-line Energy Monitoring and Control System/Solution at a nominal additional cost can double the energy savings while it can drastically reduce the Payback (RoI) Period of any such deployment.
INTEGRATED APPROACH TO SMART LIGHTING CONTROLS
Typically street lights consume nearly 19% of the world’s energy. The lighting systems in India account for nearly 10% of total consumption and constitute nearly 40% of total electricity spending in a typical Indian municipality. Most commercial light manufacturers haven’t leveraged technology to address the issues that plague the lighting systems but as the cost of electricity continues to rise, it’s becoming crucial that they do so and regulatory intervention seems to be the need of the hour.
Besides the obvious electricity usage costs, operating a streetlight network requires several other expenses like buying new lamps, inventory management, lamp failure due to poor power quality, aging, maintenance of operation staff, etc.
The Indian street lighting network is a vast subject, which offers huge scope for optimization through technology intervention. While the Energy Efficiency Retrofits using optimal solution such as LED, sensors, etc. and integrated solution through incorporation of Central Monitoring and Control System (CCMS) for monitoring, reporting analytics and tighter control of system parameters can bring reduction in energy consumption and costs.
Modern LED based energy efficient lighting systems consume significantly less energy which is up to 45%- 55% lower compared to the older and inefficient systems installed in almost the entire country. The resultant energy savings and the associated monetary savings provide a business model that could be leveraged to get third party financing.
The CCMS leverages the strong capabilities of proven information and communication tools to build intelligence into the way the commercial lighting systems work.
The CCMS compliments the strategic energy conservation gains made from retrofits such as use of LED and sensors to expedite project returns on payback as users can be empowered to be closer to information irrespective of the nature of the device and the way it communicates – information on how many lights are on, which ones are out, how much energy is each light consuming and whether the lamp lived its life as guaranteed by the manufacturer before failing.
Using this near real time information, municipalities will not only be able to make more informed decisions, thereby enabling the country to reduce the present energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.
It is desired to design & develop an Integrated Comprehensive Solution for Remote & On-Line Monitoring & Controlling Applications viz.: Street Light Management System & Energy Management System. The Solution must be designed in a completely Modular & ‘Unified Architecture’. It needs to be truly a Plug-n-Play Solution that is Technology Agnostic; be it the Communication Technologies or the Software Operating Systems. Its design must be scalable in terms of size of network/subscribers as well as the ever-growing communication, sensing, monitoring & software technologies and should be vender neutral.
The Proposed Solution is a RF (wired option with RS485 as fall back) Communication based solution with CLOUD based Application Software that has a unique wireless network that works as a self-healing and plug-n-play Network.
The Street Light Management Network:
STREET LIGHT + ENERGY MANAGEMENT NETWORK:
The illustrations above clearly demonstrate that a unified scalable Network Architecture is quite feasible with forward and pro-active thinking and planning.
The System Requirements:
As illustrated above, the complete solution has three essential components:
- The Communication Module of the Meter/Streetlight
- The Data Concentrator Unit (DCU)
- The Server/Cloud Software
To arrive at the most suitable architecture and specifications for each component of the Solution Framework, it is imperative to first list out the requirements from each block of the system. Given below are some of the essential expectations from each:
The Communication Module:
- Simple for developers to use
- Always secure
- An open protocol that carries IPv6 natively
- Based on a robust mesh network with no single point of failure
- Runs over standard 802.15.4 radios
- Designed to support a wide variety of products.
It must address the need for a new and better way to connect products in any Network, be it for the homes, buildings, grids, cities rather any smart infrastructure applications. Must be built on open standards and IPv6 technology with 6LoWPAN as its foundation, it must offer technological advantages over other wireless standards including secure and reliable networks with no single point of failure, simple connectivity and low power. With developed Technology/Protocol, product developers and consumers should be able to easily and securely connect more than 250 devices into a low-power, wireless mesh network that also includes direct Internet and cloud access for every device.
The Data Concentrator Unit:
Data Concentrator Units or Gateways can be used for a multitude of scenarios where the communication between Local Sensors, Metering, Lighting or any Monitoring and Control networks and IP network infrastructure is required. The use of standards based interfaces for the Local and IP network connection creates the opportunity to have universal adapters and operate the connection with IP back-end systems such as Service Platforms or Machine-to-Machine platforms in a standard fashion. Telecom operators and service providers envision such back-end operations that are enabled by Such Data Concentrators/Gateways.
The DCU/Gateway must support the following features:
- Address core IP, either IPv4 or IPv6 connectivity
- IP security domain
- IP RPC protocol definitions
- Network Address and port Translation (NAT)/Firewall traversal
- Incorporate IP best practices using Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), W3C and other existing IP-based standards (SOAP, REST)
- IP terminates at the DCU/Gateway
- Provide broad Local LPRF/IP application support that can span all profile needs (neutral and generic)
- Multiple profiles can use DCU/Gateway to connect the LPRF networks to IP networks
- Private profiles can use standard DCU/gateway devices to connect private LPRF network to remote applications
- Scalable, extensible
- Standard based layered architecture to enable both very low cost and very powerful DCUs/Gateways.
The Server/Cloud Software:
Cloud is gaining popularity as means for saving cost of IT ownership and accelerating time to market due to ready-to-use, dynamically scalable computing infrastructure and software services offered on cloud on pay-per-use basis. Design of software solution for delivery as a shared service over cloud requires specific considerations.
Cloud computing architecture refers to the components and subcomponents required for cloud computing. These components typically consist of a front-end platform (fat client, thin client, mobile device), back end platforms (servers, storage), a cloud based delivery, and a network (Internet, Intranet, Intercloud). Combined, these components make up cloud computing architecture.
A cloud-oriented architecture (COA) is a conceptual model encompassing all elements in a cloud environment. In information technology, architecture refers to the overall structure of an information system and the interrelationships of entities that make up that system.
The development of a global cloud-oriented architecture is an essential building block of the Internet of Things, in which anything that can be identified – including people, coffee machines, park benches and just about any other random item you can think of – can be tagged and connected through the Internet or a similar wide-area network (WAN).
The Architecture of the Server Software has to be very powerful, highly flexible and scalable, layered, Secure, OS agnostic and user friendly. It must be developed using the Global best practices and Standard Architectures, Interfaces and Frameworks. The Software Architecture must take cognizance of the various Reference Models in practice and be based on the relevant Reference Models. To ensure user access from multiple access nodes like Desktops, Mobiles & Tablets etc. the architecture must follow the Web Paradigm.
Since, most of the government departments and municipal bodies will have more or less the same lighting installation with more or less similar usage patterns, a Singular and unified approach to energy management will be best way forward. This model can be a revolving fund model, wherein the energy saved in the street lighting system will be like an annuity, which is recoverable from the saving itself. It is recommended that a singular model for CCMS incorporating available electronics technology be incorporated in ensuring that no biasness occurs in the selection of the appropriate technology during the process of implementation.
In the overall context of management of the streetlight across the country, Retrofitting the entire conventional street lights with LEDs has the potential to save about 50% of energy amounting to approximately 4300 million KWh annually at the national level. It is also possible to optimize the operational performance leading to additional savings through twilight switching controls, dimming and voltage optimization. This usually leads to an additional 15-20% of savings over and above the savings achieved by lamp replacement. The total opportunity of energy savings could, at the national level, increase from 4300 million KWh to about 5000 million KWh annually. Taking the cost of power to be Rs. 5 per KWh, the annual cost savings at the national level would be Rs. 2,500 crores.
About the Author
Dr. Sandeep Garg
Tech (Mechanical), MBA (XLRI), PhD (AMU)
Fellow (Institution of Engineers)
Fellow (Institution of Lighting Engineers)
Dr. Sandeep Garg has worked as the President of India Electronics and Semiconductor Association in August, 2017, and brings with him over 29 years of Industry Experience in the area of Policy Formation and Implementation. His varied experience across government, public & private sectors and covering issues related to polices, financing, and program implementation has earned him numerous accolades & rewards. His work has been recognised at the national level and was awarded NDTV Green Award in 2010.
Dr. Garg has been instrumental in Standardisation activity in the country, especially in setting up of the National Labeling Program for Appliances (Star Labeling) as well as Industrial Efficiency benchmarking (PAT- Perform Achieve and Trade). He is credited with the National Standard for LEDs in BIS and was actively engaged in the Standardisation activities of the LED modules and products. He is the convener of the Smart City Standardisation Committee. He has contributed for setting up over 43 National Standards and has been a part of Various National Committees.
In addition, he has also contributed to the Integrated Energy Policy of GOI as well as on public procurement policies. He has been instrumental to the labeling program for 14 products under National Energy Labeling Program and has published over 72 papers. He has travelled globally to represent India in various issues on Climate Change, Mitigation and Adaptation.