Losses in the Indian Power System

             Electricity is the driving force for the development of the economy of a country. For the development of Indian Economy at a growth rate of 8% per annum, the Electricity sector needs to grow at 15% per annum. To maintain such a growth rate it is imperative to not only add more capacity but also reduce the losses occurring in the transmission and distribution network.

               Earlier, the transmission and distribution losses were calculated on the basis of technical losses, but then another major component was also considered and it was commercial loss. So the transmission and distribution losses were calculated on the basis of Aggregate Technical & Commercial Loss (AT&C Loss).

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The current AT & C loss is nearly 20%, which is more than the recommended rate. The major components of AT & C losses are:

     Technical Losses:-

                The technical losses occur mainly in the primary and secondary distribution system which account for more than 70% of the total losses. The losses occur due to losses in conductors of transmission and distribution networks, improper spacing between transformers and load centres, higher length of transmission and distribution lines, variable environmental conditions throughout the nation, transformer losses etc.

                There are two types of technical losses, they are:

  1. Fixed Technical Losses: These are the losses occurred due to the transformer losses, conductor losses due to Skin Effect, di-electric heating loss, corona loss, radiation loss, losses in control and measuring instruments.
  2. Variable Technical Losses: Variable losses are also termed as I2R Loss. This is the loss, which varies with the amount of electricity being distributed in the system.

Commercial Losses:-

        The commercial losses are due to theft of electricity, wrong metering and billing, electric supplied to unaccounted consumers like agricultural consumers etc.

Ways to curtail losses:-

        There are different ways to curtail the losses. They can be:

  • Proper spacing of transmission and distribution lines and use of conductors.
  • Installation of Distribution transformers near the load centres.
  • Improvement of Power factor by installation of capacitor banks at the substations.
  • Proper metering by taking the unmetered consumers into account with periodic checks.
  • Improvement of collection efficiency.
  • Providing proper training to the work men for taking necessary measures at the time of contingencies.

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