Visit To CIGRE Session 2012 In Paris

September 15, 2012

CIGRE is a premier worldwide technical body which deals for Transmission of Power at bulk level. They hold biennial Congress Paris generally in the month of August. This year’s conference was attended by Mr. Harish Agarwal, CEO and Mr. Keshab Mukherjee, Technical Advisor on behalf of Supreme & Co. This is the largest conferences on Energy Transmission. The conference was attended by about 3500 registered delegates from all over the world apart from very large display of the range of Products and Services and the total budget of the conference was in excess of 3 million Euros.

The conference was held at Palais-de-Congress which has 4 large halls which includes 1 Grand Hall. The conference was inaugurated on Sunday 25th August 2012 and session held from Monday, 26 August 2012 to Friday, 31 August 2012 and the timings of the conference was from 8.45 am to 6.30 pm. The conference covered various subjects as given below and it continued uninterrupted in all the 4 halls. To our disappointment, India was not well projected in terms of number of papers for presentation despite India being the second largest market in the world for power.

The broad subjects of the conference were:

Our interest was mainly in Overhead Lines, Sub-Stations, Protection & Automation, Distribution Systems & Dispersed Generations and Information / Communication System. On Overhead Lines, it was the prevailing thought in this world over that the Right Of Way (ROW) is a big issue. Also better utilization of the existing lines through High Temperature Low Sag and the use of the FACT devices and increasing use of HVDC lines were widely discussed. Insulated Cables seems to be a domain where significant developments are taking place for Transmission Lines at high voltage and through submarine corridors.

Electrical Optimization of existing ROW including new Conductor technologies was also a part of the discussion. Line Monitoring and Dynamic Line Rating Methods, sharing ROW with other parties were other relevant areas for OHL.

Various examples of Refurbished Lines were discussed. Latest developments in Conditioning and Assessment of Over Head Lines were discussed. The area of our interest in OHL was the development of fittings for HTLS  Conductors. The area of HVDC / Electrical Optimization of ROW seems to be the overwhelming theme of the various papers submitted on Over Head Lines. One particular paper of interest was on the use of High Temperature Conductors in the replacement of a 50-year old and 85 kilometers s long, single conductor 220 KV OHL in Tirolean Alps. This was replaced by HTLS and was found that this conversion to HTLS would not have been feasible without moving from Twin Bundle Conductor to Single Bundle Conductor. There was a         change in the Installation and Pre-stressing procedure.

With the graduation of Electric supply chain into a Smart Grid and Super Grids, there were lot of experiences and ideas related to the development of Sub Stations and were submitted in the section. There was very strong focus on Sustainability, Communication overlay, Digitization of Control & Monitoring of Substations for which the papers were submitted. Papers were also submitted for UHV Substations, Offshore substations, AC/DC Substations and Environmental impact of Substations.

The use of IEC 61850 in implementation was widely considered as a right tool for Smart Grid. This standard has been deployed at thousands of sites in Europe and the rest of the world and has been identified as a part of the upcoming North American Smart Grid standards framework.

The usage of HVDC and FACT Technology seem to be the area of development on a large scale Transmission network. Papers related to technical developments of HVDC and UHVDC were also submitted.

Cyber Security was a major issue and was a challenge which lot of people felt the need to be addressed. It also outlines the challenges of Migration Strategy for Data Acquisition, Parallel Operation of Existing and New Systems and Integration issues.

As the world of Electrical Power Systems is moving away from monolithic and monopolistic utilities to a more dedicated system where there are specialized entities for Generation, Transmission, Distribution, operations and Market. However the systems are much more integrated at the electrical power level in the form of large interconnected grids.

There were lot of papers on various environmental regulations, power exchanges and the issue of better integration of Electrical lines. The issue of ICT technology and Smart Grid distribution generation and the distributed energy resources for remote locations were widely discussed. PLCC Technology was widely believed to be in the technology likely to be used for communication between Smart Meter and Data Concentration Units.

The papers were submitted for AMI Meters envisages PLCC as communication for Individual Meters to Data Concentration Units.

Supreme Gridtech Pvt Ltd, a wing of Supreme was formed with acquisition of IP with technology to use PLCC as Communication medium between Meters and TMU/DCU. Initially utilities showed little interest in this technology due to low bandwidth and latency. ButSGPL’s CEO, Ganesh Subramanyam was steadfast in his conviction that for DCU/TMU to Meters, PLCC is the best option. It was good find market opening out for this concept. SGPL is already using PLCC as communication backbone for Panel Level Solar Performance Monitoring & Control of Grid Solar Pumping Stations.

There were also papers on Integration of Intermittent Renewable Energy, Integration of Micro Generations and Storage, Planning and Operation of active distribution networks including Dispersed Generation (DG), Storage and Demand Side Integration (DSI), Integration of Electrical Vehicles (EV) in power systems and Electricity supply of rural and remote areas including islands.

The usage of Electrical Vehicles was also an area for which the papers were submitted.

Use of FACT devices for better integration of Renewables with Transmission Grids by adding or subtracting Reactive Power in the system. The increasing use of Composite Polymer Insulators was also observed. Digitization of Electric Supplying Chain as a step towards development of fully formed Smart Grids was an important agendum of the conference.

As a part of the conference, the participants from the world over had displayed a wide range of their products and services. By virtue of the conference, we got an opportunity to interact with various authors of papers through Poster Sessions. We find it needless to mention that the conference was very professionally organized in terms of Agenda / Timelines / Services.

Chinese presence was strongly noticed and they had made a good impression on the various developments done by them. In the Inaugural Function on 25th August 2012, Chairman, State Grid Corporation of China spoke about their vision and planning of ± 1100 KV HVDC Bi-pole Line from Mongolia Border to Central Europe which will evacuate / transmit 11000 MW of power for a distance of nearly 6000 kilometers.

Indian presence was not very substantial. Mr. Y K Sehgal, ED, Power Grid Corporation Ltd gave a good presentation on the Grid Failure which took place on 30 & 31 July 2012.

Overall, this was a substantial climb for us on the learning curve and we intend to have bigger representation in CIGRE 2014.