Is the smart meter programme under UDAY really smart?
Discoms attribute reasons such as high cost of implementation, lack of skilled manpower and data integration and inter-operability issues to the slow uptake. However, a closer look at the scheme reveals that challenges lie in the implementation plan itself.
The scheme plans implementation of smart meters on a consumption basis; thus, smart meters are dispersed geographically posing considerable operational, logistical and project management challenges for both Discoms and the implementi ..
For instance, in Tamil Nadu, only five per cent of the total consumers (scattered over the entire state) consume 500 units/month or above. Similarly, consumers with 200 units/month consumption are also spread across the state. This causes problems for data integration, especially considering that AT ..
The absence of consolidated data at the feeder level affects the efficiency and accuracy of billing and collection. Therefore, metering these consumers would not support the desired objective of reduction the losses.
One possible solution to accelerate the pace of smart meter installation is by picking up an entire 11 kV feeder, as a pilot study, instead of implementing it on a consumer category basis. The Indian Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) also promotes the idea of deployment of smart mete ..
This would benefit the discom, which would now be able to audit energy consumption real-time, for an entire feeder. The energy auditing would support the tracking of AT&C loss in real-time. Once the losses are measured correctly, Discoms could identify measures to reduce them.