It is the fact that Maharashtra, with its five-star rating as the most industrialised State in the country, is now fourth in the list of power deficit States. After Gujarat, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra has an energy deficit of 11.6 per cent. The peak deficit has touched a high of 20 per cent. In practical terms, this means that the shortfall is about 3,000 MW According to rough estimates made by MSEB officials, in the past year T&D losses amounted to 35 per cent of the power generated. Six per cent of this is inevitable and acceptable loss, but the rest is the result of power theft and poor infrastructure maintenance. It is practically a herculian task to improve the efficiency of the present transmission & disttribution facility in a most habitated cities like Mumbai. Nevertheless this has to be one of the priorities while keeping vigilance on power thefts.
For once, MERC members are unanimous that the precarious supply situation calls for serious power conservation. The commission may even propose a penalty, such as token disconnection for a day, besides imposing a steep rate for anything more than 80% of normal consumption from industrial, commercial, and residential users if there is no drop in consumption.
Things like will continue in this manner until and unless some big step is taken to solve the power crisis. Some strategic big step will only solve the problem on a long term. On the other hand there are certain responsibilities with the communities living in Mumbai as well.
Last week I happened to be in one of the posh flats in Mumbai in connection with my official tour. In Mumbai, I was invited by my friend and Trivandrm Engineering College classmate Mr. Raghavan for a day's stay with him. It was a wonderful opportunity for us for refreshing our college day memories. ( Raghavan is now a Senior officer with Air India in Mumbai). Mr. & Mrs. Raghavan arranged every comfort for me including A.C and hot water for bathing. That time I thought that it is simply fine and excellent if we get the power all the time in Mumbai.
Solar water heating systems usually cost more to purchase and install than conventional water heating systems. However, a solar water heater can usually save you money in the long run. Its payback period is two to three years only. How much money you save depends on the amount of hot water you use, the cost of electricity, available incentives etc. If you install a solar water heater, your water heating bills should drop 50%–80%. Also, because the sun is free, you're protected from future fuel shortages and price hikes. Solar water Heaters can effectively used for hot water usage for hotels, hospitals, restaurants, dairies, homes, industry etc. Generally solar water heaters (SWHs) of 100-300 litres capacity are suited for domestic applications. Larger systems can be used in restaurants, canteens, guest houses, hotels, flats etc.
A 100 litres capacity SWH can replace an electric geyser for residential use and saves 1500 units of electricity annually. The use of 1000 SWHs of 100 litres capacity each can contribute to a peak load shaving of 1 MW. Another notable point is that SWH of 100 litres capacity can prevent emission of 1.5 tonnes of carbon-dioxide per year; a small step against climate change and ozone depletion.
Raghavan listened to my lecture with patience ( He has to listen since I happened to be his guest!!) He was impressed by my argument for solar water heaters and supported me with unique solutions for flats in Mumbai. He even went on to say that it was criminal to use gysers in Mumbai with the existing grim power situation.
Wind- Hybrid Systems for Mumbai Skyscrapers....it is haappening!!
Another solution I can suggest to Mumbai to meet the power crisis ( as a simple step) is the use of Solar-Wind Hybrid Systems, especially in skyscrapers. Don't be amazed by the fact that New Mumbai already having about 30 inastallations of solar-Wind hybrid systems, providing renewable energy to Mumbaikars. These systems will be designed in such a way that either of the source (wind or solar) will work at a time. The day may be not far away when one will see small-scale turbines whirring away perched atop multi-storied buildings, tall structures, or even empty spaces between tall structures to take advantage of what is known as speedup effect on rooftops or the tunnel effect due to orientation of buildings in the predominant wind direction. Wind speed is actually increases by about 30%–35% above the rooftops of high-rise buildings. Several small turbines can be installed to take advantage of this phenomenon.
All these Wind-PV Hybrid Systems are mainly used for lighting up the corridors and for emergency lighting of flats. If planned in the properly, this can at least light up all the inmates with some emergency lighting and single fan for eah house in that particular skyscraper where it is installed. However the extend of electrification depends on the size of the installation and wind speed. According the Wind Map of India, Maharashtra is getting good wind energy. At heights ( top of the skyscrapers) it will be sufficient for some electricity generation.Since usually the skyscrapers are having enough height for getting adequate wind up to 5 m/s this is a very good alternative. A 650 Watts Small Wind Generator can generate 115 units of electricity at 18% PLF ( Plant Load Factor); a 1500Watts Wind machine can generate 278 units at 25% PLF and a 3300 Watta Wind Generator can generate 568 units at 25 % pLF. It will be a little bit lower for 4 m/s wind speed and accordingly PLF will come down. But by hybridising with Solar PV we can keep the battery bank alive always.