The 220 KV Power strategy
We can do it if we are really serious in meeting the power crisis we face, Shoaib Shah responds to Amaan Ameen Khan’s article about power failure in the valley.
We have it all, the vast water assets, the tremendous right of the way for the towers and lines, the most form of democratic governments, the unquestionable talent of the engineers and everything else, yet we are still power starved, power deficit and power ravenous nations of the world. Every passing day our power crises are not diminishing but rather increasing many folds. Suggestions from every segment of the society pour in for improvising the supply but yet no alternative seems to be proving worthwhile that will have an impact on the power situation on the ground level. But is the power scenario of the valley so very miserable and pathetic that nothing seems to be an option for it? The answer as per me is no.
First of all the 220 KV transformer bottleneck at grid stations Pampore and Zainakote is no more concealed from the general public. Some days back the news bulletin (GK, 7th January 2010) presented by Amaan Ameen Khan regarding the power fiasco caused due to various factors both technical and non-technical was very appropriate and justified. The technical information and the way Mr. Khan has come up with to make an ordinary man understand what the bottlenecks are in the flow of power to the valley should really be appreciated and patted. But there is so much to comment and make the general public aware of the actual scenario than just the fact that the transformers at Zainakote and Pampore present the blockage in the power flow. It is definitely a fact that for parallel operation of the transformers, an important condition to be met is the percentage impedances of the transformers to be operated in parallels should be same, deviation in any in this specification will escort to the unequal sharing of the power by the transformers and that’s is exactly what is the case at 220 KV Pampore and Zainakote grid stations which is leading to the small MWs of power being unutilized. Again true it is that the transformers at Pampore and Zainakote grid station are being run at around 5% overload meaning that we are trying to draw the maximum power that the transformers can cope with. The nippy alternative for the 220 KV tragedy and permit the usage of 500 MWs PMs power package by augmenting the existing 220KV transformers by way of procuring new transformers is not realistic. Here I would like to mention that the smooth flow of uninterrupted power is not only affected by just the bottlenecks due to the transformers, it arises due to the limitations posed by the conductor, the transmission voltage, power factor, the frequency and several other factors. I am not commenting that the valley is lagging behind and encountering restricted access due to all such factors but that the power system network and flow is very tedious in practical sense. Even if such a solution is adhered to still there would not be an appreciable amount of power that people can get and the main reason for this is that no doubt we are escalating the capacities of the 220KV grid stations but the receiving stations and the local distribution transformers are the same, their capacities have not yet been enhanced, they are still the same in number and prime setback is that most of the receiving stations are on the threshold of getting overloaded with every passing day. We may add the capacities of the transformers at 220 and 132 KV grid stations but without increasing the capacities of the receiving stations, we cannot expect to have good power supply and that curtailment free nights and evenings. In addition, toting up of some more transformers to the existing transformer capacity at Pampore and Zainakote grid stations will require the revamping of some high voltage existing lines. So the alternative of increasing the capacities of 220KV transformers is not absolute. Instead, if we try to create alternative paths and more grid stations at 220 and 400kv voltage levels and 400 KV lines in place of 220kv level and keep enhancing the capacities of the receiving stations too, then more power flow can be accommodated on these 400 KV lines with its corresponding superior use at the receiving stations and obviously power network of the valley will be further strengthened. And that’s exactly what the department is doing. Again in snowy weather, faults on the existing 220kv lines disrupt the entire power supply in the valley. So keeping on augmenting the grid station at Pampore and Zainakote won’t solve the problem completely. Instead the option where we have a couple of more 220kv grids and more 220 and 400 KV lines will solve it because in that case a fault on one of the 220kv line won’t keep transformers at grid stations off but alternate paths through added 220 and 400 KV lines will be utilized and will save the system. It’s pertinent to mention here that the more complex the power system becomes through commissioning of EHV (extra high voltage) lines and grids, the more stable and reliable the power system becomes. Three more 220 KV grid stations will hopefully be completed by the next winter. Regarding the operation of the gas turbine, I would like to mention that due to the maintenance works on two major power houses i.e., LJHP and USHP 2 stage, the gas turbines have been made functional so that the general public won’t face very long curtailment hours. But yes the suggestion of replacing the transformers at Pampore and Zainakote grid stations by new transformers whose impedances match the existing transformers and then the so called spared transformers be utilized at some other grid stations is really a potential solution.
One more important point where people believe that the PMs package of 500 MWs of extra power were waiting outside the power gates of the valley and it is being untapped is not reasonable. The PMs package of additional 500 MWs of power to be provided to Jammu and Kashmir is already being utilized even before the package was announced except the difference that earlier these 500 MWs were unallocated and the department had to pay a high price for its unauthorized use and that sometimes use to force PDD to go for the extra curtailment to save the torrents of money for procuring such huge power but now since it has been cumulated to the power schedule of the state, it is used without any hindrance. So in actual it has relieved the PDD of the extra cost incurred on account of the power overdrawals from the northern grid. To put it in more simpler terms, it goes like this: that at any particular instant, say in the peak evening hours, the power share for Jammu and Kashmir state as allotted by the Northern region load dispatch centre (NRLDC) is say for example 900 MWs which is called the schedule, besides the local generation of 150 MWs from LJHP, USHP 1st and 2nd and Gander bal power houses. But the actual load demand of Jammu and Kashmir is usually of the order of 1600 MWs out of which the extra power of 1600-(900+ 150) =450 MWs is the power overdrawal at that instant. This unscheduled power price is not fixed unlike the schedule and depends on the system parameters and its rate varies from 0 Paisa/ KWH at system favorable condition to Rs 14/KWH at system critical distress conditions. Now the additional 500 MWs as promised by the PM is not just outside the power gates of Jammu and Kashmir state but in actual it has been utilized ever before the package was announced, except with the difference that earlier its price used to fluctuate depending on the system parameters and now it has been summed up in the schedule for which the rate is firm. In the above case without the additional 500 MW if there was an overdrawal(+) of 400 MWs, but now with the 500 mw additional power available we are having an underdrawal(-) of 50 MWs for which the PDD is earning from the NRLDC at the rates again varying between 0 paisa/KWH to Rs 14/KWH depending on system parameters. So in actual the power rates have been defined well in advance. So to say that the 500 MWs package by PM is not utilized and is available at the power gates of Kashmir is not correct and precise.
Regarding the technical constrains due to impedance mismatch, all I can say is that such a bottleneck can be removed in case of emergencies, by making the transformer whose impedance doesn’t match with the rest of the transformers, to run in isolation on a reserve network, which is always available in every grid station and the rest of the transformers can then be operated in parallels and there would be no unutilized power encountered on account of the transformer impedance mismatch. The same can be espoused in both the 220 KV grids here in Kashmir. The only factor that would have to be overlooked in the implementation of such a scheme is that there would be no reserve system to cope for in the event of a fault on the main bus network. Such a practice of keeping both the (networks) buses charged is not what in actual the reserve bus is meant for but as we know that desperate times call for desperate measures.
The ever growing gap between supply and demand is going to continue and in fact worsen with every coming day. The need of the hour is calling for judicious use of power. I suggest that let all of us, the 20 lac households in the valley save just mere 250 watts of electricity, by unplugging the heaters for just one hour or putting off just one incandescent lamp in the evening for again 1 hour, stop using the hooks again for just 1 hour. I assure you that our 220 KV transformers will not get overloaded for that hour, our all receiving stations will be operating without any overload factor and the energy and power saved in such 1 hour will be enough that the night curtailments will go off. Let us all try it out. Let us go for a campaign, let us decide the day, the time and the date, and let us try to be practical. Let the print media join hands with the department for going for such a movement. I assure you that we will have under loaded system and no power cuts due to 220KV tragedy.
(Shoaib Shah is an Engineer. Feedback at Saibshah19@gmail.com and email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jan 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jan 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jan 2010 00:00:00 IST
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