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By Zahid Ikram

Electricity Theft Control Technology

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Electric Line Losses & Theft Control

In our National Grid Transmitting Electricity at High Voltage reduces the fraction of energy lost to resistance, which varies depending on the specific conductors, the current flowing, and the length of the transmission line. For example, usually a 100 mi (160 km) span at 765 kV carrying 1000 MW of power can have losses of 1.1% to 0.5%.

The electrical transmission and distribution losses accounts for most of the power losses in the entire system. The largest amounts of these losses occur in the primary and secondary distribution lines, and can be classified as either technical losses or non technical losses.

Technical Electricity  Losses
Technical Electric Losses occur when the energy is dissipated by the Equipment and Conductors (A substance that readily conducts Electricity) in the distribution lines. The losses depend on the network characteristics, and mode of operation. There are two categories of technical power losses;

  1. The Fixed Technical l:osses and
  2. The Variable Technical Losses.

Fixed Technical Losses
The fixed losses in the distribution lines account for between a quarter and a third of the total technical losses. These are usually in the form of heat and noise and occur whenever the transformer is energized.

The Fixed Losses are not influenced by the amount of load current flowing, but rather by:

  • The leakage current losses
  • Open circuit losses
  • Corona losses (An electrical discharge accompanied by ionization of surrounding atmosphere)
  • Dielectric losses (A material such as glass or porcelain with negligible electrical or thermal conductivity)

Variable technical losses
The variable losses are proportional to the square of the load current and accounts to between 2/3 and
ĺ of the technical losses in a distribution system.

The variable losses occurs due to the line impedance (a measure of the opposition to the flow of an alternating current in a circuit due to resistance and reactance), contact resistance and the joule (A unit of electrical energy equal to the work done when a current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second) heating losses.

Causes of Technical Losses

  • Inefficient equipment such as the transformers, pumps, electrical machines and industrial loads.
  • Inadequate size of conductor in the distribution lines
  • Long distribution lines
  • Load imbalance among the phases
  • Low power factor.
  • Over loading of lines
  • Transformers installed far from the load centers
  • Haphazard installation of distribution systems to cope with demands to new areas
  • Bad workmanship

Non-Technical (Commercial) Power Losses

The non-technical losses, also referred to as commercial losses, are those related to unmetered supplies, incorrect billing, untimely billing, wrong tariff, defective meters and energy thefts.

The unmetered supplies are those that may be left out when estimated amounts are used to calculate the amount of power to bill for. In addition, some consumers may tamper with the meters to make them indicate less power than what is actually used.

The energy theft may occur when consumers tamper with the metering, or collude with the utility personnel to make illegal connections.

How to Control/Reduce Line Losses?

Line losses in Power Distribution Network can be minimized by proper planning and designing of the lines, use of efficient equipment at both the distribution and consumer levels. In addition, there should be periodic maintenance and replacing of malfunctioning and energy inefficient distribution equipment and parts.

Losses in the distribution of electricity cannot be eliminated, but can be minimized by proper planning of the distribution systems to ensure that power remain within limits. These are the steps to reduce losses:

  • Use of proper jointing techniques, and keeping the number of the joints to a minimum.
  • Regular inspection of the connections, isolators, drop out fuses, LT switches, transformers, transformer bushing-stem, and other distribution equipment.
  • Proper selection of conductor size, as well as the transformer in terms of efficiency, size and location. In particular, it is important to locate the distribution transformers at the load center and if possible keep the number to a minimum.
  • Feeding heavy consumers/Industrial users directly from the feeders
  • Maintain the network components and replace those that are deteriorating, worn out or faulty.
  • Proper load management and load balancing
  • Use of electronic meters which are accurate and tamper-proof. Improving power factor by adding shunt capacitors.

Electric Theft Control

Electricity Theft is a major issues faced by our Community & Electricity Supply Companies. This is due to poor technology and poor management as well as due to corrupt Meter Readers/ Lineman Staff, We may overcome this issue by following taking steps:

  • Provide Digital e-Meters to all consumers which are capable of usage monitoring at Local Community Area Control center via Wi-Fi signals. This will save the salaries of countrywide Meter Readers and corruption caused by them.

  • Every Street or Industrial Units shall have additional e-meter at the transfer that will show the Total Electric Consumption  in that area and the difference of Total Electric Units consumed by their e-Meters.

  • Household/Office Solar Power Generation shall be promoted which cost about Rs. 100,000 Per 1 KV and much cheaper than your annual costs. Moreover WAPDA/ Electric Supply Company shall Buy Back the Extra Electric by your e-Meter you are generating or you sell it to Neighborhood, this will help you earn from your large solar power generation system and also help to over come Energy Crises in our Community

  • There shall be a strict checking of all Homes, Offices and Industries for theft of Electricity.

  • A Local Area Line Man shall be held responsible if he is fail to detect the electric losses.

  • A consumer having Meter Tempering/ Direct Connections shall be punished with heavy fines and Imprisonment and will be advertise publicly.

  • Find the Energy Crises Reforms here.

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