A three-day National Seminar on "Dispersed Generation & Smart Grid" (DGSG-2013), sponsored by the AICTE, was successfully organized by the Department of Electrical Engineering at NIST from November 29, 2013, to December 01, 2013. The seminar was attended by faculty and researchers from twelve colleges and universities and industries, viz. NIST, RIT and Hi-tech, GEETAM, GIFT, VITAM, SILICON, BEC,Apex, GIET,Engineering College & few industries: Sunsubh Renewable & Research Centre, Hubli, APTICO Ltd , Hyderabad & many industry participants from Jharkhand. Thirteen esearch papers were presented at the 3-day seminar, along with seven keynote speeches from reputed industry professionals and academic researchers. The research papers addressed topics on various aspects of DGSG, including, developments and advancements in smart grids, power quality issues, renewable energy integration, new materials, demand response, MPPT voltage control, and last mile connectivity. The proceeding of the seminar is available online here (Proceedings).The National Seminar was coordinated by Mr. Bhagabati Prasad Pattnaik, Faculty member, School of Electrical Sciences, NIST.
The seminar was inaugurated by the chief guest, Honorable Member of Parliament, Shri Baijayant 'Jay' Panda. A charismatic and inspiring leader and a mechanical engineer who worked in power utility sector, Mr. Panda immediately struck a chord with the audience when he delivered the inaugural speechon the necessity of thinking of alternative ways to produce energy so that India can meet the increasing demand for power and ensure energy security.Mr. Panda's talk focused on the causes behind the widening gap between demand and supply in power sector. He examined the reasons and explained how (and why) the gap is widening, how and why the power sector is unable to meet the ever-growing demands by consumers for more power supply, what kind of demand for power can be envisaged in the next five years, the policy and other constraints behind getting the entire rural India under the umbrella of the Smart Grid, etc. Mr. Panda also spoke on why it is important to look at ways to produce energy using renewable sources and aligning it to the Smart Grid.
Prof. Sangram Mudali, Director, NIST, gave a Welcome Address on the occasion followed by a short speech by Dr. Reji Kumar Pillai, President, India Smart Grid Forum, on the nuances of smart grid in the Indian context. A Vote of Thanks was proposed by Mr. Bhagabati Prasad Pattnaik, Faculty member, Department of Electrical Engineering, NIST.
Mr. Panda also inaugurated the "Center of Excellence for Renewable Energy" located in the Atrium building of NIST campus, which hosts several state of the art instruments for renewable energy studies. He also launched "NanoSoft Remote"- a control system and software for remote monitoring, management, maintenance and operations ofrural micro-grids. Mr. Panda took deep interest in rural development through decentralized renewable energy micro-gridsand reviewed a proposal presented by Dr. Ashok Das, founder CEO of SunMoksha, to create PURA villages in his district and throughout Odisha using "NanoPower", a flagship solution developed by SunMoksha at NIST."A regular demonstration of the renewable energy facilities at NIST, including a living laboratory with smart micro-grid, was given to all attendees of the seminar on November 29 & 30, 2013.
The technical seminar was kick-started with a keynote speech from Mr. Reji Kumar Pillai, President, and India Smart Grid Forum. He spoke on "Leveraging Smart Grid Technologies to Provide Access to Electricity for All Households". The focus of his talk was on the social impact of electricity, how an electric bulb changed people's lives, and how technology can find solutions to the crucial problem the country is facing right now - lack of power in many rural homes, and how we can have energy efficiency via sustainable renewable energy projects such assmart grids, green buildings, etc.
The afternoon session began with a tour of the Living Laboratory, consisting of live renewable power generation system from sun, wind and biomass. These systems are also connected to a micro-grid within the campus that is remotely monitored, controlled, and managed by NanoSoft Remote. Demonstration of the monitoring and control of the micro-grid was conducted in real time to show the functionalities.
The second keynote presentation in the afternoon sessionwas delivered by Mr. V.K. Desai, Founder & MD of Tinytech Plants, Rajkot, Gujarat. In his talk "Creating Happy India through Swadeshi Energy Industries", he spoke about the importance of decentralization. He advocated adherence to the Gandhian principles by taking up the following at the family/village level: power houses to farm or village size power plants; rice mills to family size rice hullers; oil mills to village size tiny oil mills and Ghanis; textile mills to family-size home industry; cement plants to village-size family industries; abolition of sugar factories & promotion of farm-size Jaggery units. He also suggested that all these units work with steam or solar power.
The keynote session was followed by technical paper presentation where the researchers spoke on 'performance improvement of MPPT in PV systems through Voltage mode control', and on the 'effect of wind speed on daily yield of a solar still operated at indoor and outdoor conditions.'
The morning session on the second day was opened by a talk on "Decentralized Renewable Electricity Generation for Rural Areas" by Mr. Anil K.Rajvanshi, Director, Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), Maharashtra. The speaker observed that 60% of our rural population is without electricity even 65 years afterindependence.He also spoke on how 'small power utilities' owned by villagers and operated by professional staffmay become new rural enterprises. These enterprises will lease the power lines from SEBs and use as a dedicated grid for which one needs good negotiations. This grid can draw electricity, when needed, from the national grid by paying "social cost". He also noted how heat from power plant can be used to make water potable, and howelectricity and potable water can become commodities from the utility. Finally, he said, synchronization with grid will need sophisticated system analysis and may be the harbinger of smart grid.
The 'micro-utility' insights were followed by 'micro-enterprise' insights in the keynote presentations by Mr. Amitabh Ghosh, Director, Kalamandir, Jamshedpur. Mr. Ghosh shared how decentralization can change the lives of people in the remote and tribal villages. Employment and enterprise opportunities in the villages are the key to development of the villages - and these need to be powered by decentralized renewable energy for it to become reality. Dr. Ashok K. Das, SunMoksha, Bangalore, picked up from here to discuss how the empowerment of villagerscorrelates to three key elements of energy, education, and employment.The only way to address the energy access issues for the 40 crores of the rural Indian population is through decentralized, renewable energy based smart micro-grid solution. He also emphasized the need for sustainable business models and proper skills development for creating the ecosystem for village empowerment through renewable energy. The solution from SunMoksha, 'NanoPower', addresses the entire ecosystem including renewable energy generation, smart micro-grid distribution, remote operations, monitoring and management, business models and skill development. His talk was followed by three technical paper presentations on 'monitoring & mitigations of power quality issues in dispersed generation & smart grid', 'power factor & it's impact on net energy savings and other tangible benefits,' and 'application of fuzzy logic for reduction of current harmonics in single phase grid connected inverter.'
The afternoon session again began with a tour of the Living Laboratory, and demonstration of the monitoring and control of the micro-gridwith NanoSoft Remote. The seminar session was addressed by another keynote speaker, Dr. K. Srinivas Reddy, Professor, IITM. Dr. Reddy presented the developments in and his research group's work on solar thermal system efficiency analysis. Following that, two technical papers were presented on 'synthesis & applications of conjugated polymers & its supra-molecular self-assembly for organic photovoltaics,' and 'implementation of TOU for smart power consumption.'
The day 3 sessions were held in the morning beginning with technical paper presentations. The paper addressed the nuances of 'microgrid for a smart grid for community users', 'power quality issues in dispersed generation & smart grid'. An overview paper was presented to review the 'recent advancements in protection of smart grid', and 'renewable energy grid integration challenges'. Last two papers focused on end users addressing 'demand response in micro-grid' and 'last-minute connectivity to a web of things from energy management perspective.' The technical presentation ended with a concluding keynote presentation from Dr. Ashok Das on decentralized micro/Pico-hydro power generation. The session was closed by awarding certificates of participation and appreciations to the presenters of the technical papers. A few participants also shared their feedback with the audience and the organizers.