First-ever smart grid in the offing

State-owned Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) is going to introduce first-ever smart grid in the country for reliable and uninterrupted supply of electricity. It will also reduce technical loss and will create an opportunity to connect 1.15 lakh new electricity users, official said.

To this end a project will be placed in the next meeting of the ECNEC soon. The total cost of the project is estimated at taka 1454.0477 crore. Of this, government will provide Tk 369.0237 crore, DPDC Tk 82.6028 crore and the rest of the amount of taka 1002.4212 will be invested as project aid by the AFD. The project will be implemented by 2023.

When contacted, DPDC Managing Director Engineer Bikash Dewan told Bangladesh Post, “The new project is very important for us. After completion of the project our distribution system will develop significantly. The power factor will improve to the desired level, the voltage level in DPDC's system will further improve. Besides, line losses will be reduced and the burden on transformers and sub-stations along the lines will be reduced.” 

“Currently DPDC has to pay a huge amount of money to PDB every month as power factor correction charge. After successful completion of the project the additional fund will be saved, and the savings will gradually recover the cost of the whole project. The customers’ service will also be improved,” he continue. 

Bikash Dewan further said, under the project we are going to introduce smart grid technology for the first time as a pilot project in Dhanmondi area. We will be able to detect any fault easily by automation under the new technology. It will help the load management, he added. 

“The main object of the new project is launching more technology-dependent digital power distribution systems. To balance the supply and demand of electricity in the DPDC area and to provide quality and uninterrupted power supply to the consumers, and to develop power factor at 132 KV, 33 KV and 11 KV voltage levels,” he said. 

Md Mehedi Hasan, Executive Engineer (Project Planning, Design Circle) of DPDC told Bangladesh Post, under the project, a total of 05 nos 33/11 KV substations at Jigatala, Lalmatia, Asadgate, Satmasjid and Green Road in the capital of DPDC will be equipped with smart grid system on pilot basis. This will enable substation and feeder level fault identification, isolation and service restoration, and automated network reconfiguration (ONR). In addition, it will be possible to control the automation of remote substations from the main control centre.

“Feeder automation systems will be implemented by installing automatic circuit recloser (ACR), ring main unit (RMU), optical fiber, load switch, digital meter etc, in the smart grid systems. This will make it possible to monitor the activities of the transformer online including meter readings and the related maintenance costs and technical losses will be significantly reduced,” he added. 

Mehedi further said the smart grid systems will greatly reduce the Duration (SAIDI) and Frequency (SAIFI) of service interruptions. It will be possible to get rid of revenue loss due to service interruption. In addition, if the smart grid is successfully implemented, the technical loss along with the systems demand will be further reduced. 

“The average power factor of DPDC at the tariff (import) point is 0.85 at 132 kV level, 0.88 at 33 kV level and 0.90 at 11 kV level. Currenty there is no power factor improvement devices in the substations at any voltage level. As a result, DPDC has to pay a big amount of money to the PDB every month as power factor correction charge. Under this project, it has been proposed to develop power factor in the existing substations. With the successful completion of this project, the power factor is expected to increase to 0.95,” Mehedi said.

The power factor is a measure by which a facility uses electrical energy effectively. High power factor means that electrical power is being used effectively and low power factor means that electrical power is not being used effectively in the system.

Under this project, it has been proposed to construct 132/33 KV grid substations at Mohammadi Steel Complex, Shimrail and Shampur Pagla and 04 nos 33/11 KV substations at Kamrangirchar, Kalyanpur, Lalbagh and Mothertek. In addition, existing 33/11 KV substations at Demra, Taltola and Kumartuli will be renovated and replaced by AIS (Air Insulated Switchgear) breaker GIS (Gas Insulated Switchgear) breakers at Kamrangirchar, Lalmatia, Green Road, Khanpur and Khilgaon substations.

According to DPDC, it has set a target of the 7th Five Year Plan to set up 60 substations, create opportunity for 4.26 lakh new electrcity connections and keep systems loss at 9% under DPDC. Six new substations will be built, renovated and the capacity of three existing substations will be enhanced under the new project. 

DPDC official said the government has adopted a comprehensive development plan for the development of power generation, transmission and distribution system to ensure electricity for all by 2021. In addition to increasing power generation, various plans and activities have been taken for the infrastructural development of the distribution systems with a view to ensuring smooth and uninterrupted supply of electricity to the consumers. The smart-grid system will help achive the goverment target.