Delhi Heatwave: Discoms rise up to the challenge, meet high power demand

- July 5, 2024
| By : Saurav Gupta |

BSES discoms’ substantial investment in resources since 2002 has resulted in a 135% increase in network capacity and doubled the distribution transformers among other gains, which have allowed them to meet the record demand this summer

SPREADING THE NETWORK: BSES has doubled the number of distribution transformers, which has helped meet the power demand Photo: Getty

Delhi Heatwave: Though the monsoon season has arrived in the national capital bringing much needed respite to residents, the soaring temperatures pushed the capital’s power demand to an all-time high — 8,656 MW on June 18, which the discoms successfully met without any disruption. 

This sharp surge in power demand has posed a new challenge for the discoms as disruption can lead to major public outrage. The only way to the beat the heat for the residents while at home was through electrical appliances such as coolers and air conditioners. 

The discoms have gone about fulfilling the increased demand through conventional and innovative solutions. 

Speaking to Patriot, sources in discoms said, “Meeting this demand required not only arranging adequate power but also ensuring robustness of the power distribution network. Over the years, BSES discoms have significantly ramped up their network capacity through both conventional and innovative solutions.

“To strengthen the distribution network, BSES discoms have invested substantial resources since 2002. This investment has resulted in a 135% increase in network capacity, from 9,190 Mega Volt Amp (MVA) to over 21,600 MVA. Additionally, the number of distribution transformers has nearly doubled, with over 7,300 added, and the number of Low Transmission (LT) feeders increased by 128%, from 25,412 to over 58,000,” they said. 

Sources said that approximately 40,000 kilometres of cables have been laid, a 136% increase from around 28,000 kilometres to about 68,000 kilometres. 

Also Read: Delhi Rains: Claims of preparedness bite dust as Capital buckles under torrential rain

“Furthermore, 60 new grids have been added, bringing the total to 163. Over 10,000 devices have been installed on distribution transformers and feeders for outage monitoring,” they stated. 

To ensure reliable power supply during the summer months, sources said that BSES discoms have undertaken several measures. 

“These include extensive predictive and preventive checks to identify potential hot-spots and pre-determine faults using techniques such as thermal scanning, partial discharge measurement, and health assessments of power and distribution transformers. An online load monitoring system tracks the load on power transformers and 11kV feeders, particularly during peak summer demand. Additionally, over 10,000 outage monitoring devices have been installed on distribution transformers,” they claimed.

“The other important steps include load balancing at grid and substation levels, dedicated teams for monitoring complaints, deployment of mobile transformers, and Quick Response/Breakdown Teams to tackle emergencies. War rooms have been established to review complaints and ensure their quick resolution, and IoT-based devices are being installed at substations to prevent oil theft. Field personnel have been provided with mobile tabs to expedite the restoration of outages,” they said.

Sources informed that despite all these measures, outages can still occur due to factors beyond the discom’s control, such as unplanned digging for road repairs or laying cables and pipelines. Such activities often result in damage to electricity cables, causing outages and posing safety risks. 

“To prevent these incidents, agencies and their contractors are advised to inform BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) before commencing any excavation or digging activities. This allows the discoms to take necessary precautions to avoid cable damage and power disruptions,” they explained. 

“In the event of an outage, BSES strives to provide uninterrupted and reliable power supply. Consumers can reach out to BSES through multiple channels, including call centres, toll-free numbers, WhatsApp, mobile apps, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter,” sources in discoms added.  

Hottest Summer 

On June 10, 2024, the maximum temperature of the national capital soared to 48 degrees Celsius, shattering all previous records, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“The Palam Observatory in Delhi recorded the maximum temperature of 48 degrees Celsius, an all-time high. The factors contributing to this record temperature are dry westerly winds, the absence of a western disturbance in the plains, and intense heating in the month of June,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, the regional weather forecasting chief of IMD.

Also Read: Delhi’s heatwave crisis: Surge in hospital visits as temperatures soar

Meanwhile, on June 18, Delhi registered its highest minimum temperature in 60 years at 35.2 degrees Celsius, just 0.3 degrees Celsius lower than the record set on June 10, 1964, when the minimum temperature reached 35.5 degrees Celsius. 

The previous highest minimum temperature since 2000 was recorded on June 3, 2000, at 34.7 degrees Celsius, which is lower than what was recorded on Wednesday. Additionally, on June 17, the minimum temperature at night was 33.8 degrees Celsius, which was the highest in the past six years.