Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Power Outage in India for some 600,000,000 people

It is a national (better a global) tragedy what happened in India yesterday and today! Some 600.000.000 people are out of power within two days! … and IEC 61850 would not have prevented such a power outage. ;-)

Guess there are many reasons: technical, political, personal, …

One technical (and social) issue is the theft of electric power along the lines. It was reported today that “Losses in electricity transmission and distribution are also among the world’s highest, 24 percent to 40 percent, because of inefficiencies and theft.”. When you see the following pictures, you could understand why it is so easy to tap the wires:

How many wires tap these lines? If the electric network would be modeled with SCL (single line diagram) you could “see” it … I am kidding.


On the next photo (taken near Agra) you can see that the wires can easily be taped (1.5 m above ground …):


Some more (dump) meters would allow to figure out what amount of energy is put into the grid and what amount is being paid …

I hope that more people in charge understand that the electrical system is very complex and that is requires improvements and maintenance all time! A badly maintained system will hit back !! with power outages. The bad side of this is that it costs a lot of money!!

Some people think that they could treat the electric power system like their car or bike – they run them until they break … maintenance often does not make them more reliable. A broken car may block a lane at the highway – a broken transformer may cause a cascading outage … leaving millions of people in the dark!

Electrical engineers should educate more people in order to help them to understand what to do. But who is listening to an engineer? Hm!

I wish that the people living in India get power back very soon! And people living all over that the electric power systems will be better understood and treated.

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