What is electricity

Electricity is the flow of electrical charge. It is a basic part of nature and one of our most widely used forms of energy. Every day, we use electricity to do many jobs for us from lighting and heating/cooling our homes, to powering our televisions and computers.

What is the difference between 3-phase and single-phase electricity?

A phase is the fractional part of the period of a sinusoidal wave, usually expressed in electrical degrees. A single-phase circuit is an alternating-current using only one, sine wave type, current flow. A three-phase circuit consists of three different sine wave current flows, different in phase by 120 degrees from each other. Now let’s have the more practical, “down to earth” definition – something that the average homeowner would at least have a chance of understanding: Single phase: a circuit that consists of three wires live, neutral, and ground (earth). The main breaker in a single phase system is a single pole breaker, resembling the others in the panel, only with a higher capacity. Three phase: a circuit where the main breaker switches off three poles. For most homeowners, this is the equivalent of having 3 separate main breakers that are divided among the circuits of the home. There are 5 wires that normally constitute a three-phase line, although in many homes the three phases simply supply the main and sub panels, but continue throughout most of the home as single-phase lines. In most homes, there are not many devices that run on three phase electricity. However, examples may include a three-phase central air conditioner, a three-phase oven, a 3 phase swimming pool pump, or a large 3 phase hot water boiler.

In United States, the air conditioners are rated in BTU. They are rated in kilowatts elsewhere. How to convert one to the other?

BTU/hour = 0.000293 KW BTU (British Thermal Unit), is a British standard unit of energy. One BTU is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree F. This is the standard measurement used normally in the western countries to measure the output of many air conditioning and heating devices. There is also a kilowatt of energy which is sometimes used instead of BTU, but this can easily be confused with the more common use of kilowatt as a unit of power (which is actually 1000 watts).

What is meant by AC, DC, and frequency?

Electricity is said to flow when electrons in a suitable material (a ‘conductor’) are induced to move in a particular direction when a suitable force (an ‘electromotive force’ or EMF) is applied to the material. This flow of electricity is called an electrical current and is measured in terms of amperes (usually shortened to amps). The EMF is measured in terms of volts. Direct Current (DC) electricity is the easiest to visualize because here the electrons (the electrical current) always move in the same direction. A battery is the EMF source most commonly used to produce small amounts of direct electrical current. For example, the common torch uses a battery as the EMF source. Electrical current flows from one side (e.g. the positive side) of the battery, through the element in the torch bulb (in the process heating the element to produce light) and completes the circuit back to the other side (e.g. the negative side) of the battery. Alternating Current (AC) electricity can be thought of as electricity that flows in one direction for a short period of time, then reverses its direction of flow for a short period of time, then reverses flow again, and again, and again’. Why does it do this? It’s because the EMF source is not constant and changes its polarity (positive and negative sides) in a regular manner. The rate at which the electrical current changes direction through a full cycle (flows in one direction, changes direction and flows in the opposite direction then changes back to the original direction) is called its ‘frequency’. In Australia and most of the rest of the world, AC electricity has a frequency of 50 cycles per second. America uses 60 cycles per second AC electricity.

What is meant by the term phase?

Alternating Current (AC) electricity changes its direction of flow in a regular, cyclic manner. Because electrical current flows in response to an applied voltage, the voltage of the AC supply must also have been changing polarity from positive to negative and back again at the same frequency as the alternating current. The distribution line supplying your home may be single phase and have only two wires strung between the poles (we will use the overhead power lines as examples because they can be easily seen). However, the distribution line may be made up of 4 lines. What are the others? The other lines carry the currents from two other electrical circuits, making a total of three circuits. Because these circuits are electrically linked (see below), they are called phases. The reason why there are only 4 lines is because the 3 phases have a common neutral line (i.e. 3 active lines and 1 common neutral line).

What is electricity theft?

Obtaining electricity without the approval of utility constitutes electricity theft and is therefore illegal.

How electricity theft affects you?

Please refer to the book on Power Theft

What should I do on seeing electricity theft/ power theft?

Please report to the utility services. Or you may refer the matter to this site also which will in turn make the details available to the concerned department. This is possible only in the case of electricity Theft/Power theft.

My meter is recording too much. What should I do?

This is a common complaint. Before complaining to the utility see that no energy is wasted. For this, you may refer Tips & Tricks of this site. There are chances of leakage of current also. This may be tested by a qualified electrician.

What is AMR and Smart Metering?

Please refer to the book on Power Theft

Can electricity be produced wireless or cableless just like telephony in order to control theft of electricity?

Transmitting energy over the air which will ultimately be used as electricity to power things is possible. The only commercial application is power cost. It operates by absorbing the low RF energy transmitted from an outlet or energy source and converting that into a usable electricity. However wireless electricity will be harder to prevent theft or because of the nature of RF.

How to ask for a checking of my electricity meter? I think my bill is too high compared to the electricity actually consumed.

There are three types of checking of electricity meters: checking with a calibrator, checking without a calibrator and independent examination. The first two types are performed by electricity technicians from the company and the third one by experts

Which is safer, Alternating current (AC), or Direct current(DC)?

Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC) have slightly different effects on the human body, but both are dangerous above a certain voltage. The risk of injury changes according to the frequency of the AC, and it is common for DC to have an AC component (called ripple). Someone with special equipment can measure this, but the effect on a particular person is very difficult to predict as it depends upon a large number of factors. As a consequence, you should always avoid contact with high voltage electrical conductors, regardless of the type of electrical current they are carrying.

How do I know if my electrical equipment is safe?

You can find out if your electrical equipment is safe by carrying out suitable checks, such as inspection and/or testing. The level of inspection and/or testing should depend upon the risks. A simple visual inspection is likely to be sufficient for equipment used in a clean dry environment. In addition, equipment that is more likely to become damaged or is operated in a harsh environment is likely to require more demanding electrical tests. Checks should be carried out often enough that there is little chance the equipment will become unsafe before the next check. It is good practice to make a decision on how often each piece of equipment should be checked, write down the decision, make sure the check is carried out, and write down the results. You should change how often you carry out checks according to the number and severity of faults found. The best way to find out if specialized equipment is safe is to have it inspected and tested by a person with specific competence on the type of equipment. This may be the original manufacturer or his

How often should I test my electrical equipment?

Electrical equipment should be visually checked to spot early signs of damage or deterioration. Equipment should be more thoroughly tested by a competent person often enough that there is little chance that the equipment will become dangerous between tests. Equipment that is used in a harsh environment should be tested more frequently than equipment that is less likely to become damaged or unsafe. It is good practice to assess how often equipment being used for work purposes should be tested, write down your findings, make sure the testing is carried out, and write down the results of the tests.

How often should I get my electrical installation tested?

Electrical installations should be tested often enough that there is little chance of deterioration leading to danger. Any part of an installation that has become obviously defective between tests should be de-energized until the fault can be fixed.

Who should I talk about electrical safety?

In the first instance a competent electrical contractor should be able to give advice on electrical safety, and should also be able to direct you to a suitable electrical engineer for advice about specialist areas. If you cannot get satisfactory answers

What should I do if I think if someone is working unsafely?

If you think someone is working unsafely you should ask him or her to stop immediately and tell their supervisor. If you are still unhappy with how someone is working, you should contact nearest utility office.

How do I work safely near overhead lines?

It can be difficult to identify the voltage of overhead lines. So you should always assume overhead lines are dangerous when planning work near them.

What voltages are dangerous?

A wide range of voltages can be dangerous for different reasons. A very low voltage (such as that produced by a single torch battery) can produce a spark powerful enough to ignite an explosive atmosphere. Batteries (such as those in motor vehicles) can also overheat or explode if they are shorted. If a person comes into contact with a voltage above about 50 volts, they can receive a range of injuries including those directly resulting from the electrical shock (stopped breathing, heart, etc), and indirect effects resulting from loss of control (such as falling from a height or coming into contact with moving machinery). The chance of being injured by an electric shock increases where it is damp or where there is a lot of metalwork.

Why did the USA choose 120V for household current and Europe to choose 220V?

It appears that the 120 was chosen somewhat arbitrarily. Edison came up with a high-resistance lamp filament he thought desirable to keep distribution losses down. In 1882, he applied for patents on a 3-wire system which gave 220v transmission with 110v lamps.

Why does US use 60 cycles and Europe use 50 cycles?

Many frequencies were used in the 19th Century for various applications, with the most prevalent being the 60 c/s supplied by Westinghouse-designed central stations for incandescent lamps. The development of a synchronous converter which operated best at 60 cycles encouraged convergence toward that standard. Around 1900, the introduction of the high-speed turbine led to settlement on two standards: 25 cycles for transmission and for large motors (this had been a compromise decision at Niagara Falls), and 60 cycles for general purpose systems. Meanwhile, in Germany, AEG — which used 50 cycles — had a virtual monopoly, and this standard spread to the rest of the continent. In Britain, differing frequencies proliferated, and Britain only settled on the 50 cycle standard after World War II.

My electricity bills are too high. What should I do?

This is a common complaint. Please refer the ‘Tips & Tricks’ of this website and see how intelligently an optimistically the various appliances can be used?

What is PLF?

Capacity Utilization (or) Plant Load Factor: This is basically a performance index of a unit/station/utility. The ratio of the Electrical energy produced in the reference period to the maximum possible energy that could have been produced had the generating capacity been operating continuously at its maximum level during the reference period it is expressed in the percentage and is calculated as shown below. PLF =Gross hourly generation over the reference period X 100 Total hours in the reference period X generating capacity

What is EL LED? What does it signify if it glows?

The full form of EL LED is Earth Leakage Light Emitting Diode. An EL LED indicator is available on all electronic meters. If this EL LED glows it indicates an unequal current flowing through the phase and neutral wires. This mismatch can be either due to shortening of neural to earth or leakage of current to earth or that the wire of two premises is touching each other.

What is greenhouse gases?

Those gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride, that are transparent to solar (short-wave) radiation but opaque to long-wave (infrared)radiation, thus preventing long-wave radiant energy from leaving Earth’s atmosphere. The net effect is a trapping of absorbed radiation and a tendency to warm the planet’s surface.

What is Global warming?

An increase in the near surface temperature of the Earth. Global warming has occurred in the distant past as the result of natural influences, but the term is today most often used to refer to the warming some scientists predict will occur as a result of increased anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases

What is Smart Grid?

Most of the world’s electricity delivery system or ‘grid’ was built when energy was relatively inexpensive. While minor upgrades have been made to meet increasing demand, the grid still operates the way it did almost 100 years ago’energy flows over the grid from central power plants to consumers, and reliability is ensured by maintaining excess capacity. The result is an inefficient and environmentally wasteful system that is a major emitter of greenhouse gases, consumer of fossil fuels, and not well suited to distributed, renewable solar and wind energy sources. In addition, the grid may not have sufficient capacity to meet future demand. Several trends have combined to increase awareness of these problems, including greater recognition of climate change, commitments to reduce carbon emissions, rising fuel costs, and technology innovation. In addition, recent studies support a call for change: A new, more intelligent electric system, or Smart Grid, is required that combines information technology (IT) with renewable energy to significantly improve how electricity is generated, delivered, and consumed. A Smart Grid provides utility companies with near-real-time information to manage the entire electrical grid as an integrated system, actively sensing and responding to changes in power demand, supply, costs, and emissions from rooftop solar panels on homes, to remote, unmanned wind farms, to energy-intensive factories. A Smart Grid is a major advance from today, where utility companies have only basic information about how the grid is operating, with much of that information arriving too late to prevent a major power failure or blackout ( Courtesy Author Wes Frye, Director, Sustainable Energy Cisco Internet Business Solutions)

What is Base-load plant?

Base-load plant Base-load power stations, largely coal-fired and nuclear, are designed to operate continuously

What is meant by combined cycle power generation?

A technology for producing electricity from otherwise lost waste heat as it exits from one or more gas (combustion) turbines

What is meant by daily pack?

The maximum amount of energy demanded in one day by electricity consumers

What is meant by Demand-side management (DSM)?

Planning, implementing and monitoring activities to encourage consumers to use electricity more efficiently, including both the timing and level of electricity demand

What is Embedded derivative?

A financial instrument that causes some or all cash flows that would otherwise be required by a contract to be modified according to a specified variable such as a currency

What is meant by sustainability performance index (ESPI)?

Index covering technical, economic, environmental and social measures to score sustainable performance


Electrical insulation breakdown

What is Forced outage?

Shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line or another facility for emergency reasons or a condition in which generating equipment is unavailable for load due to unanticipated breakdown

Independent power producer (IPP)

Any entity, other than Discom, that owns or operates, in whole or in part, one or more independent power production facilities

Kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Basic unit of electric energy equal to one kilowatt of power supplied to or taken from an electric circuit steadily for one hour; one kilowatt-hour equals 1 000 watt-hours

What is load management?

Activities to influence the level and shape of demand for electrical energy so demand conforms to the present supply situation, long-term objectives and constraints

Load shifting

The transfer of loads from peak to off-peak periods; eg in situations where a utility does not expect to meet demand during peak periods but has excess capacity in off-peak periods

Load shedding

Scheduled and controlled power cuts by rotating available capacity between all customers when demand is greater than supply to avoid total blackouts in the supply area


The period in which a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility is out of service

Peak demand

Maximum power used in a given period, traditionally between 07:00 to 10:00 and 18:00 to 21:00

Peaking capacity

Generating equipment normally operated only during hours of highest daily, weekly or seasonal loads

Power pool

An association of two or more interconnected electricity supply systems that agree to coordinate operations and seek improved reliability and efficiencies

Pumped-storage scheme

A pumped-storage scheme consists of a lower and an upper reservoir with a power station/pumping plant between the two. During off-peak periods the reversible pump/turbines use electricity to pump water from the lower to the upper reservoir. During peak demand, water is allowed to run back into the lower reservoir through the turbines thereby generating electricity

Reserve margin

Difference between net system capability and the system’s maximum load requirements (peak load or peak demand)

Supply-side management (SSM)

Planning, implementing and monitoring supply-side activities to create opportunities for cost-effective purchase, management, generation, transmission and distribution of electricity and all other associated activities

What are the components of Bulk Electricity tariff of Hydro Plants?

Hydro tariff means the Annual Fixed Charges (AFC) in respect of each Hydro Generating Station which is determined by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. The components of AFC are 1. Interest on loan capital 2. Depreciation. 3. Return on equity. 4. Operation and maintenance expenses. 5. Interest on working capital. The AFC is recovered in the form of capacity charges (50% of AFC) and energy charges (50% of AFC).

How much Return on Equity is allowed to Hydro Generating Stations?

Return on Equity is allowed on a pre-tax basis at the base rate of 15.5%. Rate of pre-tax return on equity = 15.5 (1-t) t = applicable tax rate.

What is the functionality of the pulse output of energy meter?

The pulse output sends out a proportional amount of pulses to the consumed kilowatt hours.

What are the advantages of electronic meter over a conventional electromechanical meter?

Electronic meters have the following attributes in comparison to the electro-mechanical meters: Tamper proof: – Measure accurately in various tampered conditions and also records the numbers of tampering events whereas electromechanical meter does not record in tampered condition and may even start running in reverse direction also. More life: – More sustainable than an electromechanical meter. Current Range: – Wider current range hence; if the load of the consumer is beyond the range of meter even when the excess load can be recorded easily. Stability: – Highly stable, no drift over a long time. Wear & Tear: – solid-state technology hence no wear & Tear. Power Loss: – Loss in voltage circuit is low as compared to electromechanical meter. Safety to consumer household wiring. Provides Earth Leakage detection. Provides stored information which facilitates verification for future reference.

Will my meters change if I switch energy suppliers?

No. Your meters will not be changed in any way when you change supplier unless you request them to be.

Pelton Wheel

It is called the free-jet turbine or Pelton wheel, a type of impulse turbine, named after L. A. Pelton who invented it in 1880. Water passes through nozzles and strikes spoon-shaped buckets or cups arranged on the periphery of a runner, or wheel, which causes the runner to rotate, producing mechanical energy. The runner is fixed on a shaft, and the rotational motion of the turbine is transmitted by the shaft to a generator.


The generation of surface charges in response to applied stresses in some types of crystals. The crystalline structure produces a voltage proportional to the mechanical pressure. Conversely, when an electric field is applied, the structure changes shape producing dimensional changes in the material. A familiar piezoelectric material is quartz.


A combustible gas created by anaerobic decomposition, or fermentation, of biomass – organic material (including animal dung, human sewage, crop residues, and industrial and municipal wastes). It is composed primarily of methane (up to 60%), which is the combustible component, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Biogas is produced in an air-tight container, called an anaerobic digester, and is used as a fuel to heat stoves, lamps, run small machines, and to generate electricity. The residues of biogas production are used as a low-grade organic fertilizer. Biogas fuels do not usually cause any pollution to the atmosphere, and because they come from

British thermal unit (BTU)

The amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water from 59.5° to 60.5°F at one atmosphere pressure. One BTU (or Btu) = 778.3 foot-pounds = 252 calories = 0.293 watt-hours = 1,055 joules. BTU conversion factors for site energy are as follows: Electricity ….. 3,412 BTU/kilowatt-hour Natural Gas ….. 1,031 BTU/cubic foot Fuel Oil No.1 ….. 135,000 BTU/gallon Kerosene ….. 135,000 BTU/gallon Fuel Oil No.2 ….. 138,690 BTU/gallon LPG (Propane) ….. 91,330 BTU/gallon Wood ….. 20 million BTU/cord

Why do you write 'Static' in your meters?

Because in our Meters, current and voltage act on solid state (electronic) elements to produce an output pulse frequency proportional to watt-hours

What is DSP?

DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) are processors whose hardware, software and instruction sets are optimized for high-speed numeric processing applications–an essential for processing digital data representing analog signals in real time.

What is MRI?

MRI (Meter Reading Instrument) is a data collector (computer or more precisely a handheld computer), to retrieve energy consumption related data from the Electronic Meters using optical sensors. Generally, the meter reader takes MRI to the customer site and connects it to the meter. Data is transferred from the meter to the MRI. The meter reader brings the MRI to the filling station. The data is downloaded into the main billing computer of the utility board.

What makes a smart grid different from today's grid?

It’s the conversation and the functionality.

What are feed-in tariffs

Feed-in tariffs are simply payments for generation. They are payments, or tariffs, for renewably-generated electricity and heat. They are paid to the producers for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they generate. Consider this: If you decided today to send someone a letter, would you choose a typewriter or a computer? Most people would select a computer because it’s faster and provides many more options for font type and size. Today’s analog grid is very similar to a typewriter with its manual operation and limited options. It was designed nearly a century ago to do one thing – deliver electricity to homes and businesses. It’s a massive, dependable machine, but it provides limited information, so there are little automation and interaction. Digital technology will enable the information and control consumers to need to save energy and money. It will improve and enable the integration of more renewable energy resources while enabling more efficient and reliable electric vehicle charging. The technology will help bring the energy industry – and the resulting customer experience – into the 21st century. Think about it. In today’s digital, highly connected information world, it shouldn’t take 30 days for you to get information about how much energy you’ve used and how much it costs. By then, it’s too late to take actions to help you lower your energy bill. The digital grid will make near-real-time information available to you, which you can use to control your energy use and costs.

How do you define the smart grid?

The smart grid is a next-generation electrical power system that uses digital technologies — such as computers, secure communications networks, sensors and controls, in parallel with electric power grid operations — to enhance the grid’s reliability and overall capabilities. The smart grid extends to fuel sources for electric power production and the many devices that use electricity, such as household refrigerators, manufacturing equipment or a city park’s lighting fixtures. In particular, the secure digital technologies added to the grid and the architecture used to integrate these technologies into the infrastructure make it possible for the system to be electronically controlled and dynamically configured. This gives the grid unprecedented flexibility and functionality and self-healing capability. It can react to and minimize the impact of unforeseen events, such as power outages, so that services are more robust and always available. The smart grid also has very important features that help the planet deal with energy and environmental challenges and reduce carbon emissions. To give a few examples, a stronger and smarter grid, combined with massive storage devices, can substantially increase the integration of wind and solar energy resources into the [power] generation mix. It can support a wide-scale system for charging electric vehicles. Utilities can use its technologies to charge variable rates based on real-time fluctuations in supply and demand, and consumers can directly configure their services to minimize electricity costs.

What would a smart grid be able to do that today's not-so-smart grid can't?

Right now, if there’s a breakdown at your local substation, the utility usually finds out when customers call to complain. Placing a networked sensor inside a transformer or along wires could locate and report a problem, or prevent it from happening in the first place. Despite living in the age of information, most of us only get a glimpse of our energy consumption when the utility bills come once a month. In people’s homes, the smart grid should mean more detailed information through home energy-monitoring tools. These can be small displays or Web-based programs that give a real-time view of how much energy you’re using, which appliances consume the most, and how your home compares to others. Just surfacing that information will give people ideas on how to shave energy bills by 5 to 15 percent, utility executives say.

What’s needed to start is a smart meter with two-way communications or some other kind of gateway. Once that conduit is put in place, consumers can get more detailed energy data and start taking advantage of efficiency incentives, such as charging your plug-in electric vehicle in the middle of the night to get off-peak rates.

In theory, networked appliances are smarter and more efficient. GE and start-up display-maker Tendril, for example, will test big appliances–refrigerators, washing machines, and the like–that can get information on fluctuating electricity prices to do its job more efficiently. It could be as simple as making ice or running the dishwasher in the middle of the night. Or, as part of a home-area network, consumers could program lighting and major appliances on a schedule.

The next step toward efficiency is what’s called demand response. The goal here is to dial back energy consumption at peak times. This is very important to utilities because it’s costly and polluting to bring on auxiliary power plants to meet, say, a spike in demand from the air conditioning load on a hot summer day. Consumers and businesses have financial incentives to participate, such as a discounted rate. “Shedding load” could mean turning the gas heat off of the clothes drier for a few minutes or dimming the lights in a supermarket in the middle of the day.

A smarter grid also makes distributed energy, such as home solar systems, more viable and user-friendly. With a smart meter and monitoring software, a homeowner can see how many solar panels are producing and their carbon footprint is being reduced. A utility, too, is keenly interested in how much-distributed energy is available so it can calibrate its own daily power generation.

Is the smart grid more secure?

Given the smart grid’s fledgling status, it’s hard to provide a definitive report card. But the rush to modernize the grid has gotten some security experts raising the alarm and calling for more scrutiny. The increased use of the Internet instead of private networks for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) control systems and the bleeding together of existing corporate networks with energy providers’ control networks opens up more potential cyber-vulnerabilities, they say. Security experts are calling for security to be better baked into the standards for the smart grid and for industry professionals to use better security practices to avoid dangerous hacks.

Do smart meters pose a health risk?

No. Wireless smart meters emit radio frequency transmissions comparable to those emitted by wireless home telephones or Wi-Fi. Concerns about radio frequency and electromagnetic fields (EMF) are not supported by scientific evidence, but SECC, like the World Health Organization, invests in topical research and follows the latest studies on electromagnetic frequency. Safety is always a priority.

Will the smart grid cause blackouts to become more frequent?

No. In fact, the current electric grid is rapidly approaching its limitations, and smart grid innovation will increase grid efficiency and help meet the increasing stress of growing demand for existing, aging infrastructure. Smart grid technologies applied across the grid will contribute to fewer and shorter brownouts and blackouts

Will the smart grid make costs increase for consumers?

Researchers disagree on whether costs will increase with a transition toward the smart grid. Some studies claim that they will, whereas others argue that they will not—especially when the savings of avoided power generation are included in the calculation. Regardless, utilities and consumers will need to work with one another to develop the funding and rate strategies that reflect the needs and the resources of the communities being served.

What are the benefits of the smart grid?

The smart grid will deliver many benefits at the individual, community, and nationwide levels. The smart grid keeps your lights on, lowers energy costs, and secures America’s energy independence.

What are smart meters?

Smart meters, a common form of smart grid technology, are digital meters that replace the old analog meters used in homes to record electrical usage. Digital meters can transmit energy consumption information back to the utility on a much more frequent schedule than analog meters, which require a meter reader to transmit information.

Why does the electric grid need to be updated?

The nation’s electric grid is an interconnected network of power plants, transmission lines, substations, transformers, and other equipment that delivers electricity to homes and businesses. It was first built in the early 20th century and—despite its strong record of reliability—was not created to handle the on-demand needs of our digital economy, when even a momentary interruption of power can affect the country’s banking, communications, transportation, and security systems. While the grid continues to meet our country’s growing demand for electricity, the system’s aging infrastructure must be enhanced with digital technology.

How do smart meters differ from conventional meters?

Electricity customers traditionally have been served by mechanical meters, which record cumulative energy usage and are usually read by a utility employee once a month at the end of a billing cycle. Shortly after, a customer receives a bill for the energy consumed in the prior month. Until customers receive their bills, however, they generally have no way of knowing how much electricity they have used or the cost of their usage. Smart meters help to bridge this information and communications gap between electric companies and their customers.

How do electric companies protect the privacy of customers’ data?

Since protecting customer data is a top priority in modernizing the grid, electric companies are working with various agencies to adapt existing privacy and security standards to meet the new data requirements that accompany smart grid technology In addition, before an electric company can implement a smart meter program, it must submit to its state regulatory commission detailed plans that describe how the data security systems will protect customer data. State regulators closely monitor the privacy safeguards that are being developed for the new smart grid technology systems.

What is energy theft?

Energy theft is when a person is not paying for their gas or electricity or they are paying less than they should because their meter has been tampered or bypassed or any other illegal methods.

Why should I report energy theft?

A tampered meter is unsafe for those in the property and maybe their neighbors too. If you are aware of meter tampering it is your duty as a responsible citizen to report it.You may report to the power utility or to www.tamperfinder.com with all details.

What is the impact of energy theft?

Energy theft is perceived to be a victimless crime but by tampering with a meter, or bypassing it completely, it can have serious implications by causing damage to people and property. It also has financial implications and can increase your utility bill each year.

What are the reasons that people commit energy theft?

People steal energy to avoid paying their bills. Whatever the reason for energy theft it is illegal, unsafe and could cause serious injury or death.

What will happen when I make an anonymous report?

After you make a report, the relevant energy supplier will be notified. Each supplier has its own way of dealing with energy theft. The meter may need to be inspected by a professional and will be removed or exchanged if there is a risk to public safety.

How can I keep my family safe from energy theft?

You should check your meters and take regular readings to review your bills and consumption levels. You should not let anybody near your meter unless you have checked their identity and confirmed they are from your supplier or network operator. If you have any suspicions about any of the properties that you and your family visit often, such as a friend’s house or a café, then you should report it anonymously.

How do I know if energy theft is happening around me, at home or at work?

There may be signs to suggest that energy theft is happening around you. If you have heard people in your community saying they can save you money on your gas or electricity bills, or if your landlord doesn’t allow you to access the meter in your rented property, or if you are concerned that your boss doesn’t pay anything for their gas or electricity bills, you should report it anonymously.

What is the danger of electricity theft?

Electricity meter tampering can cause electrical fires and electrocutions

How can I spot the signs of electricity theft?

Although it can be hard to spot the signs of electricity theft, here are some things to look out for. This list is not exhaustive and if you have suspicions of anything that is not on the list below you should still always report it: The meter casing may be smashed, broken or removed completely and the cables disconnected Wires sticking out or wrapped around and connector clips attaching them to the meter Parts of the plastic casing melted or scorch and burn marks on the meter Meter shows credit has run out but electricity is still available Dials on the meter aren’t going around even when electricity is being used A smell of something burning or even smoke or sparks near the meter box

If I report a case of energy theft will I be liable for prosecution?

If you are reporting a case of energy theft and are not responsible for the crime you will not be liable for prosecution.

How Is Electricity Stolen?

Meter tampering is a common method of electrical theft. It occurs when violators physically alter the internal mechanism of their electric meters. When successful, illegal tampering causes the meter to underreport the total number of kilowatt-hours actually used. A second way electricity is stolen is when a person or small business illegally siphons energy from a line. Like meter tampering, this criminal act can lead to fire or fatal electrical shocks What is the effect of “current range” parameter on energy consumption? The current range of meter is the working range over which the meter records the energy correctly. In general, the current range of mechanical meter is much narrow than an electronic meter. If the load of the consumer is beyond the range of meter than the excess load remains unrecorded. Since the electronic meter has a wide current range so chances of consumer drawing the load beyond the permissible range are negligible and thus it records the actual power consumption. It is widely observed that consumers having decades-old mechanical meters, presently having connected load far more than sanctioned load (and thus far beyond the current range of meter) are thus paying very low electricity charges as the meter is not able to record the correct consumption. This is in spite of the fact that the meters are accurate.

What is the effect of aging of energy consumption recording?

Since the mechanical meters have moving parts, so with use these have the tendency of wear and tear resulting in low energy consumption. Same is not applicable for electronic meter as it is a static device. Meters accuracy are defined at reference conditions. However, in field voltage, Frequency and Temperature are different. What is the effect of the same? The permissible effect of field voltage, frequency, and temperature on accuracy is defined in IS/ CBIP/ IEC standards. The energy meter in India, in general, follows these standards. Although, there is an influence of the above parameters the same is not highly significant.

Can the accuracy of meter be altered infield?

All service companies prefer to buy those meters in which the accuracy of the meters cannot be altered in the field. If the meter accuracy can be altered in the field by the service company than same can be altered by the consumer also. Service companies cannot take a risk with such type of meters and thus only by the meters which are welded and cannot be altered in the field. What is the Maximum Demand Indicator (MDI)? What is its significance for the consumer? Maximum Demand Indicator is an indication of the maximum load used by the consumer for the duration of half-an-hour in the given period. This parameter is significant both for consumer and the service company to decide the sanctioned load and also to plan the network capacity. Kindly note – Exceeding the sanctioned load attracts the penalty.

What is the meaning of downloading of parameter?

Various parameters measured and recorded by the instrument are finally downloaded for billing/ monitoring purpose. The downloading of the parameter means transferring the parameters from the meter to the records of the service company. Downloading can be manual i.e. by reading the LCD display recording on a notebook or using some gadgets.

What is the meaning of MRI reading?

The gadget used for downloading of is called Meter Reading Instrument (MRI). The biggest advantage of MRI reading is that it avoids human error in recording/ transfer of data.

What is AMR system?

Downloading of the parameters using electronic gadgets which are attached to the meter without manual intervention is called Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system. The gadget attached to the meter downloads the parameter and then automatically communicate to the computer of the service company.

What is ToD Metering?

Time of Day metering (TOD), also known as Time of Usage (TOU) or Seasonal Time of Day (SToD). TOD metering involves dividing the day into different time slots ( As defined in Tariff/ regulations) There are higher tariff-rates in certain time slots (peak load period) and low tariff-rates in other time slots (off-peak load period).

How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?

Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.

Do solar panels produce power when the sun isn’t shining?

The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is  cloudy, and no energy at night. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if  you live in a cloudy city.

What happens if there is snow on solar panels?

Solar panels convert sunshine into power, so if your panels are covered in snow they can’t produce electricity. Snow generally isn’t heavy enough to cause structural issues with your panels, and since most panels are tilted at an angle the snow will slide off. If snow does accumulate, panels are easy to clean.

Do solar panels work in a blackout?

If your solar panel system is connected to the grid,  it will shut off  in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels by sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.

What is a Solar Rooftop System?

In a solar rooftop system, the solar panels are installed in the roof of any residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. This can be of two types (i) Solar Rooftop System with storage facility using the battery, and (ii) Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System.

What is a Solar Rooftop System with Storage facility?

Such rooftop system has the battery as a storage facility. The solar electricity is stored in the battery and can be utilized during the night also when the sun is not available.

What is a Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System?

In grid-connected rooftop or small SPV system, the DC power generated from SPV panel is converted to AC power using power conditioning unit and is fed to the grid either of 33 kV/11 kV three phase lines or of 440/220 Volt three/single phase line depending on the capacity of the system installed at institution/commercial establishment or residential complex and the regulatory framework specified for respective States. These systems generate power during the day time which is utilized fully by powering captive loads and feed excess power to the grid as long as the grid is available. In case, where solar power is not sufficient due to cloud cover etc., the captive loads are served by drawing power from the grid.

Where such plants can be installed?

Such rooftop systems can be installed at the roofs of the residential and commercial complex, housing societies, community centres, government organizations, private institutions etc.

What is the average cost of grid-connected rooftop solar systems?

The average cost of grid connected rooftop solar systems is about Rs. 80 per watt or Rs. 8.0crore per MWp capacity. [INR]

What is distributed generation (DG)?

Distributed generation (DG) is an electricity generating technology installed by a customer or independent electricity producer that is connected at the distribution system level of the electric grid. This includes all generation installed at sites owned and operated by utility customers, such as a solar photovoltaic system serving a house or cogeneration (or CHP) facility serving a college or university. It also covers any commercial-scale or net-metered generation that is connected to the grid at the distribution level (as opposed to the transmission level).

How do I know if my system is considered distributed generation?

If you are a customer installing equipment to generate electricity at your home, business, or other privately owned property, you are installing distributed generation. If you plan to connect this system to the electric grid, you will need to follow the utility’s interconnection process.
Larger systems installed by developers may also be considered distributed generation if they are connected to the distribution system rather than the transmission system. In these cases, the developer will need to engage in discussion with the utility to determine whether this type of interconnection is appropriate for the project.

Why install a grid-connected system?

The main benefit of installing a grid-connected distributed generation system is the assurance of receiving power from the utility when your system is not producing as much power as you need. This is essential for many renewable technologies like solar and wind, which produce intermittent power, and for other technologies that may need to be shut down for periodic maintenance.
While some customers install distributed generation as a primary source of power, others may install distributed generation as a backup generation for critical electric loads when the utility is not able to provide power due to storms, blackouts, or other unexpected events.

What are radial and network distribution systems?

There are two types of distribution systems: radial systems and network systems. Radial systems, which are more common, deliver power to each customer in a single path from source to load. Interconnection is more straightforward on radial systems. In network systems, power flows through a complex web of power lines that connect to individual customers through multiple paths. DG systems proposed for network systems must use the Standard review path; they are not eligible for the Simplified or Expedited paths.
Network systems are typically found in high-density or high-load areas. Network systems serve portions of the following cities: Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Fitchburg, Greenfield, Lynn, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield, West Springfield, and Worcester.

How fast can an Electric Car/Bike go?

As fast as you like.   Just like a petrol powered car/bike, you can modify and tune your EV to reach optimum levels of performance. While most EV’s are commuter cars, there are a few production cars that offer great performance.

Why are Lithium-Ion based EV's expensive as compared to oil-based vehicles?

Lots of reasons actually –
The manufacturing scale high-output, high-capacity cells is relatively small. There aren’t the same demands for lithium technology from shops, industries and the auto industry, as opposed to lead acid batteries. This means higher costs.
Then the fact that you have to buy an often-expensive Battery Management System to look after your lithium batteries puts the overall purchase price even higher.
While a shortage of available lithium plays a part, it’s not a big part. The amount of lithium inside each lithium battery is surprisingly small. Couple that with lithium being in great abundance – despite what you may have heard – the only thing hampering it’s supply is the limitations of the existing lithium mining industry.
The next main reason why the batteries are so expensive is that they are very complicated. Each large lithium cell takes a considerable effort to produce. Both chemistries and manufacturing conditions must be absolutely precise. Special manufacturing facilities are required, which come at a price.
So in order for the costs to come down, people have to buy more and create more demand, which will create more manufacturing, lowering prices.  The cost of the batteries are dropping quite rapidly.   They have dropped in half over the last 4 years and experts say that the costs of the batteries will drop another half over the next 4 years.  So when the cost of the electric vehicle batteries have dropped enough, the incremental cost of an electric vehicle will not be that much higher than an oil based vehicle

What about hydrogen as a fuel alternative? Isn't hydrogen the future?

Hydrogen vehicles are the “car of the future,” and probably always will be. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are EVs, but instead of  getting their electricity from batteries charged from the grid, they get their power from  fuel cells using hydrogen as the energy carrier. The tricky question is, where does the  hydrogen come from?
The reliable and steady source of hydrogen will have to be a hydrogen pipeline coming from a hydrogen purifier company. This is impossible for now because we do not have hydrogen pumps at local petrol pumps or hydrogen pipelines coming into our houses. It will also take billions of rupees of investment and a long time for all local petrol stations to have a hydrogen pump.
Who will pay the billions required for this new  infrastructure?
With plug-in EVs, the infrastructure is already in place – the electric grid.

What is a wind turbine?

A wind turbine is a machine that transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical or electrical energy. Wind turbines consist of a foundation, a tower, a nacelle and a rotor. The foundation prevents the turbine from falling over. The tower holds up the rotor and a nacelle (or box).
The nacelle contains large primary components such as the main axle, gearbox, generator, transformer and control system. The rotor is made of the blades and the hub, which holds them in position as they turn. Most commercial wind turbines have three rotor blades. The length of the blades can be more than 60 metres.

How efficient are wind turbines?

Wind turbines start operating at wind speeds of 4 to 5 metres per second and reach maximum power output at around 15 metres/second. At very high wind speeds, that is gale force winds of 25 metres/second, wind turbines shut down. A modern wind turbine produces electricity 70-85% of the time, but it generates different outputs depending on the wind speed.
Over the course of a year, it will typically generate about 24% of the theoretical maximum output (41% offshore). This is known as its capacity factor. The capacity factor of conventional power stations is on average 50%-80%. Because of stoppages for maintenance or breakdowns, no power plant generates power for 100% of the time.

Why do some wind turbines have two and others three blades?

The optimum number of blades for a wind turbine depends on the job the turbine has to do. Turbines for generating electricity need to operate at high speeds but do not need much turning force. These machines generally have three or two blades. On the other hand, wind pumps need turning force but not much speed and therefore have many blades.
The majority of modern commercial wind turbines have three blades, as they produce the optimum amount of power.
Two bladed machines are cheaper and lighter, with higher running speeds which reduces the cost of the gearbox, and they are easier to install. They perform almost as well as three blade turbines. However, they can be noisier and are not as visually attractive, appearing ‘jerky’ when they turn.

How fast do the blades turn?

The blades rotate at anything between 15-20 revolutions per minute at the constant speed. However, an increasing number of machines operate at variable speed, where the rotor speed increases and decreases according to the wind speed.

Why don't we put all wind turbines out to sea?

At present, onshore wind is more economical than development offshore. Furthermore, offshore wind farms take longer to develop, as the sea is inherently a more hostile environment. To expect offshore to be the only form of wind generation allowed would, therefore, be to condemn us to miss our renewable energy targets and commitment to tackle climate change.
However, in the coming years, as offshore turbines are manufactured on a larger scale, prices will come down, making offshore wind energy increasingly competitive. Enough wind blows over European seas to power Europe seven times over, making offshore wind a highly viable option to exploit.

How does a wind turbine produce electricity?

The wind passes over the blades creating lift (like an aircraft wing) which causes the rotor to turn. The blades turn a low-speed shaft inside the nacelle: gears connect the low-speed shaft of the rotor with a high-speed shaft that drives a generator. Here, the slow rotation speed of the blades is increased to the high speed of the generator revolution. Some wind turbines do not contain a gearbox and instead use a direct drive mechanism to produce power from the generator.
The rapidly spinning shaft drives the generator to produce electric energy. Electricity from the generator goes to a transformer which converts it to the right voltage for the electricity grid. The electricity is then transmitted via the electricity network.

What happens when the wind stops blowing?

The power grid operator constantly matches the electricity generation available to electricity demand. No power plant is 100% reliable, and the electricity grid is designed to cope with power plants shutting down unexpectedly, and times when the wind is not blowing. Wind is variable but predictable. Wind farm sites are chosen after careful analysis of wind patterns. This enables a forecast of output to be made – information which can be made available to the network operators who will distribute the electricity.

What are a turbine’s lifetime emissions?

Wind turbines produce no greenhouse gas emissions during their operation. It takes a turbine just three to six months to produce the amount of energy that goes into its manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning after its 20-25 year lifetime. During its lifetime a wind turbine delivers up to 80 times more energy than is used in its production, maintenance and scrapping. Wind energy has the lowest ‘lifecycle emissions’ of all energy production technologies.

What happens when two positively charged material is placed together?

When two positively charged material place together it will repel.

What is referred to the electron in the outer orbit?

Electron in the outer orbit is known as valence.

Define the term Capacitance and Inductance?

• Capacitance: It is the amount of charge that is stored inside a capacitor at a given voltage.
• Inductance: It is defined as the property of a coil to resist any changes in electric current flowing through it. Mutual inductance happens when a secondary coil opposes current change in the primary coil.

Mention what is the difference between generator and alternator?

Both generator and alternator work on the same principle they convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
• Generator: It converts induced emf (Electro Motive Force) into direct current, where it based on stationary magnetic field and revolving conductor which rolls on the armatures with slip rings and brushes riding against each other.
• Alternator: It has rotating magnetic and stationary armature for high voltage and stationary magnetic field and a rotating armature for low voltage

How electrical energy generated from solar power?

Sunlight is converted into electrical energy by photovoltaic (PV) cells. The PV cells consist of layers of semi-conductive material designed to be either N-type (negative) or P-type (positive). The light (photons) which is absorbed is used to excite electrons from their atomic structure which then creates a potential difference between the two semi-conductive layers, typically in the region of 0.5V per cell.

The photovoltaic cells are connected together and mounted into a support structure or frame called a photovoltaic module these modules are combined together to form a photovoltaic array.
The photovoltaic arrays produce direct current (DC) and can be connected in series or parallel arrangements using PV1-F Photovoltaic cable to produce the required voltage and current combinations.

Mention what are the different kind of cables used for transmissions?

Cables are categorized into three forms according to its thermal capacity
• Low tension cables- transmits voltage upto 1000 volts
• High tension cables- transmits voltage up to 23000 volts
• Super tension cables- transmits voltage up to 66kv to 132kv

Mention what are the different colors on wires indicates?

This is a must know question for any good Electrical Engineer
• Black wire: This wire is used for power supply in all circuits. Any circuits with this color is considered hot or live. It is never used for a neutral or ground wire.
• Red wire: This color wire is a secondary live wire in a 220 volt circuit and used in some types of interconnection. You can join the red wire to another red wire or to a black wire.
• Blue and Yellow wire: These wires are also used to carry power but are not wiring the outlets for common plug-in electrical devices. They are used for the live wire pulled through the conduct. You will see yellow wire in the fan, structure lights, and switched outlets.
• White and Gray: This color wire is used as a neutral wire. It carries the current (unbalanced load) to the ground. You can join white and gray only to other white and gray wires.
• Green: It is connected to the grounding terminal in an outlet box and run from the outlet box to the ground bus bar within an electric panel.

Explain RLC circuit?

An RLC circuit carries an electrical circuit consisting of a resistor (R) and inductor (L) and a capacitor (C), connected in parallel or series. This circuit is called a second order circuit as any voltage or current in the circuit can be described by a second order differential equation.

Mention what are the types of semi-conductors?

There are two types of semi-conductors intrinsic and extrinsic. Again in extrinsic semi-conductors you will have N-type semiconductors and P-type semiconductors.

Explain what are transistors comprised of?

Transistors are comprised of several combinations of n-type and p-type semi-conductors.

Mention what is the role of transistor in Circuit?

Transistor has the ability to amplify the current, due to the reason that output power can be higher than the input power.

Mention how NPN and PNP transistor works?

In a circuit when NPN is used,
• No current flowing from A to D = No flow from X to Z
• Current flowing from A to D = Current allowed to flow from X to Z
When PNP is used,
• No current flowing from A to D = Current is allowed to flow from X to Z
• Current flowing from A to D = No current flow from X to Z

What will be the current if the resistance total in a series circuit doubles?

If the resistance total in a series circuit doubles the current will reduce to half.

What happens if the series current double?

If the series current gets double then, the resistance is halved.

Explain what does a string of resistors in a series will do?

When a string of resistors in a series will divide the source voltage into proportion to their values.

What is meant by reverse polarity and how it can be fixed?

Reverse polarity is referred in a condition where one or more of your receptacles are connected incorrectly. To fix the reverse polarity, check the wire connection at the outlet and inspect your receptacle. A receptacle with reverse polarity will have the white wire screwed to the hot side and the black wire will be connected to the neutral side, if that the case swap the wires and it will resolves the problem. If it persists, a licensed electrician will be needed.

Explain what rectifiers is and what are the types of rectifiers?

A rectifier is an electrical device that transforms A.C  or alternating current into direct current (D.C), which flows in only one direction. The types of rectifiers are
• Half wave rectifier: It uses one p-n junction
• Full wave rectifier: It uses two p-n junction

Explain what is Zener diode?

Zener diode is a type of seme-conductor diode that allows current to flow in the opposite direction when exposed to enough voltage.

Mention the difference between Analogue and Digital circuit?
Explain what is laser diodes?

Laser diodes are compact transistor like packages with two or more electrical leads. Lasing occurs when stimulated emission results into the amplification of photon confined to the lasing mode.  These photons hit back and forth between the back and front mirror, and hence a diverging beam emits from the laser diode packages.

How do electrical cables work?

Electrical cables work by providing a low resistance path for the current to flow through. Electrical cables consist of a core of metal wire offering good conductivity such as copper or aluminium, along with other material layers including insulation, tapes, screens, armouring for mechanical protection, and sheathing. These additional layers are designed principally to allow the metal core to continue to conduct electrical current safely in the environment it is installed in.
A good conductor is made of a material whose atomic structure has loosely bound electrons in its outer shell which can move across the atomic matrix of the material (see our FAQ on what is electricity for more information on atoms) This movement of electrons is known as the current flow. On the contrary, good insulators have tightly bound electrons which make it difficult for this current flow.

Which countries routinely use IEC cables?

When the International Electro technical Commission (IEC) member countries and affiliate members are added together the IEC family covers more than 97% of the world’s population. The members are the national committees of the respective country, responsible for setting national standards and guidelines.
The IEC controls the publication of 212 standards associated with electric cables which come under the remit of the Technical Committee 20 of IEC. Of course, these countries do not exclusively use only IEC cable standards and have their own National types, however they do recognise many of the IEC standards and work towards the ongoing harmonisation of standards and test methods etc.

What is ampacity?

This is a term for the maximum current carrying capacity, in amps, of a particular device. The current carrying capacity is normally associated with electrical cable and is determined as the maximum amount of current a cable can withstand before it heats beyond the maximum operating temperature. The effect of resistance to current flow is heating and this is dependent upon the size of the conductor, the insulation material around the conductor, and the installation environment.The larger the conductor size the lower the resistance to current flow, meaning less heat associated with this resistance. Increasing the conductor size increases the current carrying capacity. Similarly,  the higher the temperature resistance of the insulating material, the higher the ampacity or current carrying capacity. A 90°C rated insulation will have a higher current carrying capacity than a 70°C rated insulation.

What is voltage drop?

A voltage drop in an electrical circuit normally occurs when a current passes through the cable. It is related to the resistance or impedance to current flow with passive elements in the circuits including cables, contacts and connectors affecting the level of voltage drop. The longer the circuit or length of cable the greater the voltage loss. The impact of a voltage drop can cause problems such as motors running slowly, heaters not heating to full potential, lights being dimmed. To compensate for voltage drop larger cross-sectional sized cables may be used which offer less resistance / impedance to current flow.

Voltage drop can be calculated from the formula:
Vd =mV/A/m x I x Ib ÷ 1000
mV/A/m = the voltage drop per metre per amp
I = the length of the circuit conductor
Ib = the design current
The allowable voltage drop for low voltage installations supplied directly from a public low voltage distribution system is 3% for lighting and 5% for other uses.

What is electrical conductivity and conductor resistance?

Electrical conductivity and conductor resistivity are essentially the opposite of each other:
Electrical conductivity is the ability of a material to conduct an electrical current.
Conductor resistance is the inherent resistance to current flow in a conductor.
The more electrically conductive a material is the less resistance it offers to current flow. The more resistance the conductor is to current flow, the less conductive it is.

What is fault current?

The fault current is the electrical current which flows through a circuit during an electrical fault condition. A fault condition occurs when one or more electrical conductors short to each other or to ground. The fault types are phase to ground, double phase to ground, three phase to ground, phase to phase and three phase.
A fault current is usually several times larger in magnitude than the current which normally flows through the circuit in a non-fault condition.
Fault interruption devices include fuses, circuit breakers and relays.

What is attenuation in cables?

Attenuation is generally associated with data cables and refers to any reduction in signal loss, calculated as a ratio of the power input signal to output signal, which is measured in decibels per unit length (db/ft). Attenuation is very dependent on signal frequency, a cable that performs very well with low frequency data may demonstrate poor performance at higher data rates, cables with lower attenuation provide improved performance.
Attenuation occurs on computer networks for several reasons including:
– Range for wireless or length of run for wired networks
– Interference from other networks or physical obstructions for wireless systems
– Wire size, thicker wires are better.
Reducing attenuation in an electrical system and improving performance can be achieved by increasing the power of a signal through a signal amplifier or repeaters.

What are electrical phases?

The mains supply to most homes is a single phase alternating current (AC) supply. Unlike the current supply from a battery which is a direct current (DC) supply, the current is constantly alternating between zero and peak values in a cyclical wave form shown below.

The speed at which this cycle changes is known as the frequency of the supply. In the UK this supply frequency is 50Hz or 50 times per second.
For most domestic purposes this alternating supply is sufficient but for many commercial and industrial purposes it is necessary to improve power and efficiency by using a three phase supply. With a three phase supply each phase set to be separated by 120°. As shown below

A three-phase system is usually more economical than single-phase as reduced conductor material is required to transmit electrical power.

What are the respective benefits of using copper vs aluminium conductors?

Copper and aluminium are most frequently used as the electrical conductors in electrical cables due to their low resistance and excellent conductivity. These metals are both ductile and relatively resistant to corrosion, but they also have different properties which make them useful for various applications. Copper is the most conductive of the two metals, in fact of the commonly found pure metals, only silver is more conductive but it is considerably more expensive and not as strong.
Copper is determined as the standard for electrical conductivity – the International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS) with a copper resistivity of 1.724µΩcm at 20°C is assigned the 100% value. The addition of impurities or the work hardening of the copper through drawing down will adversely affect the conductivity of the copper. Whilst copper alloys are sometimes produced to improve the hardness of the copper where ductility is not desired, or to enhance the tensile strength, flex endurance and temperature resistance, the consequence of these additional alloying materials is to decrease the conductivity.
Aluminium is abundantly available and offers a cheaper alternative to copper for conductors. The demand for copper is variable and the price fluctuates considerably whereas the price of aluminium is much more stable. Whilst an aluminium conductor is only about 61% as conductive as the same sized copper conductor it is also three times lighter in weight which makes it much easier to handle. For this reason aluminium finds favour in large size cables and cables for overhead power distribution.

What are the financial benefits of solar energy?

When a solar energy system is installed in own property, a person saves money on r electricity bills and protect himself/herself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.

What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.

What are the different types of Hydroelectric Power Plants?

There are basically four types of power plants: –
1. Pelton turbines – It is impulse turbine which is normally used for more than 250 m of water head.
2. Francis – This is a reaction turbine which is used for head varying between 2.5m to 450m.
3. Kaplan – It is propeller type of plant with adjustable blades which are used for heads varying between 1.5 m to 70 m.
4. Propeller – It is used for head between 1.5 to 30 m
5. Tubular – This is used for low and medium height projects. Normally for head less than 15 m.

What are the major components of a Hydroelectric Power Plant?

The major components of a Hydroelectric Power Plant are:-
1. Dam/Barrage
Head works i.e. power intake, head regulator and desilting chambers etc.
2. Head race tunnels/channels
3. Surge shaft/surge chambers
4. Pressure shaft/Penstock
5. Underground and surface power house
6. Tailrace channel or tailrace tunnel.

What is the classification of Hydro Projects based on Installed Capacity?

Micro: upto 100 KW
Mini: 101KW to 2 MW
Small: 2 MW to 25 MW
Mega: Hydro projects with installed capacity >= 500 MW
Thermal Projects with installed capacity >=1500 MW

How energy is generated in Hydroelectric Power Plant?

A hydroelectric power plant consists of a high dam that is built across a large river to create a reservoir, and a station where the process of energy conversion to electricity takes place.
The first step in the generation of energy in a hydropower plant is the collection of run-off of seasonal rain and snow in lakes, streams and rivers, during the hydrological cycle. The run-off flows to dams downstream. The water falls through a dam, into the hydropower plant and turns a large wheel called a turbine. The turbine converts the energy of falling water into mechanical energy to drive the generator After this process has taken place electricity is transferred to the communities through transmission lines and the water is released back into the lakes, streams or rivers.This is entirely not harmful, because no pollutants are added to the water while it flows through the hydropower plant.

Which is the largest Hydropower station in the world?

Three gauges project in China on Yang-Yang river is the largest power station in the world having installed capacity of around 18,200 MW.

How does cost of generation from Hydropower Plant compare with other sources of electricity?

The hydropower generation is highly capital-intensive mode of electricity generation but being renewable source of energy with no consumables involved; there is very little recurring cost and hence no high long term expenditure. It is cheaper as compared to electricity generated from coal and gas fired plants. It also reduces the financial losses due to frequency fluctuations and it is more reliable as it is inflation free due to not usage of fossil fuel.

Why hydropower is called renewable source of energy?

Hydropower is called renewable source of energy because it uses and not consumes the water for generation of electricity, and the hydropower leaves this vital resource available for other uses.

Which is the oldest Hydropower Plant in India?

The oldest Hydropower power plant is in Darjeeling District in West Bengal. It’s installed capacity is 130KW and was commissioned in the year 1897.

What is the estimated total Hydropower potential of India?

The hydropower potential of India is around 1,45,000 MW and at 60% load factor, it can meet the demand of around 85, 000 MW.

How much of the total Hydropower potential has been exploited so far in India?

Around 26% of Hydropower potential has been exploited in India.

What are the different types of dams?

Different types of dams are conventional concrete dam, Roller compacted concrete dam, rock fill dam, Concrete Faced Rock fill Dam(CFRD), Earth fill dam, arch dam, barrages etc.

Why the unit sizes of hydro generating machines are not standardized as in case of thermal power plants?

Since the size of hydro generating machines are based on availability of water in river and the water head available at a particular project site, the size of the machines keeps varying from location to location and river to river. The sizes are also based on logistics and variation of water in river during the year

What are the different types of Hydro Schemes?

Different types of Hydro Schemes are :
i. Purely Run – of – River Power Station.
ii. Storage type Power Station.
iii. Run – of – River Stations with Pondage.

What are the major reasons for balancing Hydro-thermal mix?

Seasonal load curves of our regional grids match with the pattern of hydro power generation. During summer/monsoon season when the generation at hydro power plants is high, the load factor of the system is high due to heavy agricultural load. During winter, the thermal stations operating at base load and hydro stations working as peak load stations will take care of weather beating loads. Thus the operational needs of hydro & thermal stations are complimentary and the balanced mix helps in optimal utilization of the capacity.

Why Hydropower stations are preferred solution for meeting peak loads in grids?

Due to its unique capabilities of quick starting and closing, hydropower stations are found to be economical choice to meet peak load in the grid.

What are approaches to tackle sedimentation problem of reservoir?

The following are some approaches to tackle sedimentation problem of reservoir:-
Catchment Area Treatment (CAT) for reduction of silt load includes forestations of the catchment area and constructions of check dams on the tributaries and upstream of the river.
Effective desilting arrangements for prevention of silt.
Silt resistant equipments of withstanding the silt.
Effective operation of the reservoir to minimize silt deposition.

What are the effects of sedimentation in Hydropower stations?

The major effects of reservoir sedimentation are :
It reduces the active storage capacity, which may reduce the capability of the reservoir to deliver the benefits in course of time.
It makes the flood management in the reservoir more difficult.
Damages to turbines and other under water parts due to abrasive action of silt.

What are the major thrust areas in the field of Environmental Conservation & Management for developing hydropower?

Following safeguards/management plans are implemented at various NHPC projects to ensure development of hydropower in an environmentally sustainable manner:
Compensatory Afforestation in lieu of forest land diverted for the project.
Catchment Area Treatment (CAT) to minimise erosion in the catchment of the reservoir, thereby reducing siltation in the reservoir.
Resettlement & Rehabilitation of Project Affected Population.
Restoration of Dumping Sites and Quarry Sites using engineering and biological measures.
Reservoir Rim Treatment plan to stabilise reservoir periphery.
Conservation measures for flora and fauna, to conserve flora and fauna native to the ecosystem of the area.Subsidized Fuel Distribution to worker population and project affected population to minimise fuel demands on the adjacent forests. Health Management Plan for the worker population and affected population to prevent epidemics and maintain optimum health standards.
Fishery Management by construction of fish ladders wherever possible, to enable migration of fishes and by promoting reservoir fisheries. Green Belt Plan to make the surroundings of project construction areas green.

Do Hydropower projects involve large submergence of land?

Submergence of land, thereby loss of flora and fauna and large scale displacement, due to the hydropower projects is sometimes exaggerated. Study shows that project catering only to hydro power needs, cause little submergence. A sample of 12 projects of NHPC contributing 6231 MW of power required submergence of only 4850 ha of land i.e. the area of submergence per MW is only 0.78 ha.

Does development of Hydropower project leads to large-scale displacement?

This is not always true. Considering 16 hydropower projects of NHPC covering commissioned Power Stations, under- construction projects and proposed projects it can be seen that number of displaced families per MW is only 0.26, whereas, number of affected families per MW is 0.66

Do Hydropower projects cause huge destruction of forests?

Due to the fact that hydropower projects are primarily located in hilly areas, where forest cover is comparatively better than plain areas, diversion of forest land is sometimes unavoidable. However, efforts are made to minimize the utilization of forests by hydropower developers. Compensatory Afforestation is mandatory in accordance with Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which has to be fulfilled along with other conditions laid down by MOEF while according forest clearance to a project.

What is the project Cost and how it is funded?

Total capital expenditure incurred for commissioning of a project is project cost and it is mainly funded by the equity and Loan.

What is the standard debt equity ratio for financing a hydropower project?

Standard Debt Equity Ratio is 70:30.

Why, in the financing of project cost, Equity component is kept lower than Debt?

Since cost of equity is higher than cost of debt, so equity portion is kept low.

What are the main sources of Debt and Equity?

Generally main source of Debt is loan from Domestic Financial Institutions, Government of India and foreign Loan and Equity is sourced from Government of India and through IPO.

What is Availability Based Tariff (ABT)?

ABT means
•  It is a performance-based tariff for the supply of electricity by generators owned and controlled by the central government.
•  It is also a new system of scheduling and dispatch, which requires both generators and beneficiaries to commit to day-ahead schedules.
•  It is a system of rewards and penalties seeking to enforce day ahead pre-committed schedules, though variations are permitted if notified One and one half hours in advance.
•  The order emphasises prompt payment of dues. Non-payment of prescribed charges will be liable for appropriate action under sections 44 and 45 of the ERC Act.
It has three parts:
– A fixed charge (FC) payable every month by each beneficiary to the generator for making capacity available for use. The FC is not the same for each beneficiary. It varies with the share of a beneficiary in a generators capacity. The FC, payable by each beneficiary, will also vary with the level of availability achieved by a generator.
– In the case of thermal stations like those of NLC, where the fixed charge has not already been defined separately by GOI notification, it will comprise interest on loan, depreciation, O&M expenses, ROE, Income Tax and Interest on working capital.
– In the case of hydro stations it will be the residual cost after deducting the variable cost calculated as being 90% of the lowest variable cost of thermal stations in a region.
– An energy charge (defined as per the prevailing operational cost norms) per kwh of energy supplied as per a pre-committed schedule of supply drawn upon a daily basis.
– A charge for Unscheduled Interchange (UI charge) for the supply and consumption of energy in variation from the pre-committed daily schedule. This charge varies inversely with the system frequency prevailing at the time of supply/consumption. Hence it reflects the marginal value of energy at the time of supply.

What are the components of Bulk Electricity tariff of Hydro Plants?

Hydro tariff means Annual Fixed Charges (AFC) in respect of each Hydro Generating Stations which is determined by the appropriate Regulatory Electricity Commission. The components of AFC are:
1. Interest on Loan Capital
2. Depreciation & Advanced Against Depreciation
3. Return on Equity
4. Operation and Maintenance expenses
5. Interest on Working Capital.
The AFC is recovered in the form of Capacity and Primary Energy Charges.

How much Return on Equity is allowed to Hydro Generating Stations?

Return on Equity is allowed @ 14% p.a. on the equity amount.

What are the 'pass through' components in the tariff of Hydro Generating Stations?

Tax on income, Extra Rupee Liabilities (FERV) are pass through components in tariff i.e. they are to be reimbursed separately to the Hydro Generating Stations as per Actuals.

What is Net Present Value (NPV)?

NPV is present value of future cash flows. NPV compares value of money today to the value of that money in the future taking inflation & returns into account. If the NPV of a project is positive then the project is financially viable. If NPV of a project is negative the project is not viable.

What is Internal Rate of Return (IRR)?

It is interest rate that makes NPV of all cash flows of a project equal to Zero. Essentially this is the return that a project would earn if it invest money in itself rather than elsewhere. This is the rate which equates discounted cash outflows flows & discounted cash inflows. Higher the IRR of the project better is the financial return on the Investment.

How much is the world's electricity supplied by Hydroelectric Power Plants?

2700 TWH is generated every year. Hydropower supplies at least 50% of electricity production in 66 countries and at least 90% in 24 countries.

What is net metering?

Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate. Net metering policies differ from state to state – from Massachusetts to California to Hawaii – so make sure to do your homework ahead of time.

What is power theft? Whom and how do I report to in MESCOM about the power theft?

Hooking directly to the electric lines and tampering of meter constitutes theft of power. Citizens can contact Jurisdictional Vigilance Police /utilities for reporting power theft.

Are smart prepaid meters easy to tamper with?

The new smart prepaid meters are expected to reduce energy theft dramatically through built-in smart features like tampering detection. The smart prepaid meters have very sensitive tamper alarms and communicate irregularities directly to utilities’ revenue protection unit.

What is the meaning of fast meter?

In general if a meter is found recording more energy in comparison to other meter, it is called as fast meter. This comparison is quite misleading. As defined earlier a meter with positive accuracy error only should be called as fast meter.

Why electronic meter are considered as fast meter?

If two meters are accurate, than under the recommended reference conditions they will record same irrespective of the technology. However, due to following parameters it is observed that mechanical meter record less consumption:-
a. High Starting current
b. Narrow Current range
c. Installation method
d. Aging process

What is the effect of parameter 'starting current' on energy consumption?

Since mechanical meter required an initial torque to start so mechanical meter do not record low consumption. Thus, the load with low consumption remains unrecorded. With electronic meter even low load can be recorded and thus, consumer feels that electronic meters are fast.

What is the effect of 'current range' parameter on energy consumption?

Current range of meter is the working range over which the meter records the energy correctly. In general, the current range of mechanical meter is much narrow than electronic meter. If the load of the consumer is beyond the range of meter than the excess load remain unrecorded. Since, electronic meter has a wide current range so chances of consumer drawing the load beyond the permissible range are negligible and thus it records the actual power consumption. It is widely observed that consumers having decades old mechanical meters, presently having connected load far more than sanctioned load (and thus far beyond the current range of meter) are thus paying very low electricity charges as meter is not able to record the correct consumption. This is inspite of the fact that the meters are accurate.

What is the effect of installation parameter on energy recording?

In mechanical meter torque generated due to power consumption rotate the rotatory system which is balanced on accurate but sensitive bearings. In case the meter is installed with a tilt either sideway or front/ back way than it affects the energy recording and which will be always lower than actual. This is one of the biggest drawback of mechanical meter. With electronic meter, since there is no moving part so the accuracy of same is independent of installation.

What is the effect of aging of energy consumption recording?

Since the mechanical meters have moving parts, so with use these have the tendency of wear and tear resulting in low energy consumption. Same is not applicable for electronic meter as it is a static device.

What is the Maximum Demand Indicator (MDI)? What is its significance for consumer?

Maximum Demand Indicator is an indication about the maximum load used by the consumer for the duration of half-an-hour in the given period. This parameter is significant both for consumer and the service company to decide the sanctioned load and also to plan the network capacity.
Kindly note : Exceeding the sanctioned load attracts the penalty.

What is the meaning of down loading of parameter?

Various parameters measured and recorded by the instrument are finally downloaded for billing/ monitoring purpose. The downloading of parameter means transferring the parameters from meter to the records of the service company. Downloading can be manual i.e . by reading the LCD display recording on a notebook or using some gadgets.

What is the meaning of MRI reading?

The gadget used for downloading of is called Meter Reading Instrument (MRI). The biggest advantage of MRI reading is that it avoids human error in recording/ transfer of data.

What action consumer should take if EL- LED glows?

In case the EL- LED found glowing, the consumer should get his wiring checked for the above mentioned defects.

What is the significance of REV LED?

REV LED indicates the reverse flow of energy from consumer to the grid.

What action consumer should take if REV LED glows?

In case REV LED is glowing than the consumer should ensure that generator/ inverter shall be totally isolated with the grid. Ever after that REV LED is found ON the consumer should call the service company for the check.
Kindly note glow of REV LED does not affect the accuracy of energy meters. Some time “REV” LED glows at “no load” condition and shall be ignored.

What is the role of 'N cut' and what action consumer should take?

LED ‘N cut’ (which is provided in few meters) indicates about loosening of wire at the meter end. In case consumer finds such LED glowing he should call the service company for retightening of all the wires in the meter to ensure proper supply to meter.

What is energy theft?

Energy theft is when a person is not paying for their gas or electricity or they are paying less than they should because their meter has been tampered or bypassed.

What are the reasons that people commit energy theft?

People steal energy to avoid paying their bills. Whatever the reason for energy theft it is illegal, unsafe and could cause serious injury or death.

How do I know if energy theft is happening around me, at home or at work?

There may be signs to suggest that energy theft is happening around you. If you have heard people in your community saying they can save you money on your gas or electricity bills, or if your landlord doesn’t allow you to access the meter in your rented property, or if you are concerned that your boss doesn’t pay anything for their gas or electricity bills, you should report it anonymously.

How can i spot the signs of electricity theft?

Although it can be hard to spot the signs of electricity theft, here are some things to look out for. This list is not exhaustive and if you have suspicions of anything that is not on the list below you should still always report it:The meter casing may be smashed, broken or removed completely and the cables disconnected.Wires sticking out or wrapped around and connector clips attaching them to the meter.Parts of the plastic casing melted or scorch and burn marks on the meter.Meter shows credit has run out but electricity is still available.Dials on the meter aren’t going around even when electricity is being used.A smell of something burning or even smoke or sparks near the meter box.

What Is Power Theft?

‘Power Theft’ is the tampering of electric service connections and/or meters with the intent to avoid paying for electricity. Attempting to steal power is a dangerous and illegal act that can result in everything from fire to bodily injury to legal ramifications

What is Transmission & Distribution (T&D) loss?

The sum total of ‘Technical’ and ‘Commercial’ losses are termed as Transmission & Distribution (T&D) Loss. Technical Loss: Every element in a power System (a line or a transfomer etc) offers resistance to power flow and thus consumes some energy while performing the duty expected of it.The cumulative energy consumed by all these elements is classified as “Technical Loss.” Commercial Loss: Losses occur on account of non-performing and under performing meters, wrong applications of multiplying factors, defects in CT & PT circuitry, meters not read, pilferage by manipulating or by passing of meters, theft by direct tapping etc. These are all due to non-metering of actual consumption and are called commercial losses.The total of “Technical” and “Commercial” losses are termed are T&D loss.It is unfortunate that in addition to the above, there is also a loss in revenue due to non-realisation of billed demand.This is in addition to commercial losses and the aggregate of T&D loss and revenue loss due to non-realisation is termed as “AT&C loss” (Aggregate technical and Commercial loss). Therefore AT&C loss to the utility is the sum total of technical loss, commercial losses and shortage due to non-realisation.

What are the reasons of power failure/frequent tripping? What measures have APDCL taken to reduce it?

Load shedding due to non-availability of power
In spite of vast improvement distribution network still fragile
Preventive/break down maintenance
Line fault due to break down of line material
Transient fault on the line
Overloading of the equipments
Breakdown of circuit breaker, CT, PT etc.

How to calculate the load to be applied for?

Connected load expressed in kW, means aggregate of the manufacturer’s rated capacity of all energy consuming devices or apparatus connected with the distribution licensee’s service line, on the consumer’s premises, which can be simultaneously used.

What is contract demand?

Contact demand expressed in kVA means the maximum demand contracted by the consumer in the agreement with the licensee and in absencae of such contract demand, the contract demand shall be determined in accordance with the relevant sections of tariff order approved.

What is ELCB and what is its importance?

ELCB (Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker) is a protective device. This simple device detects even small “current to earth” (earth leakage) in one’s premises, automatically tripping and disconnecting the electricity supply to the premises/equipment, thus preventing serious mishaps/.threats. Another useful benefit of installing an ELCB is that it also detects faulty and intermixing of internal wiring.

What are the various reasons of meter change?

A Distribution Licensee can change the meter any time to ensure correct meter reading. Reasons of meter change may be any one of the following: 
• Meter is burnt
• Meter is faulty
• Meter is damaged
• No display in the meter
• Suspected to be tampered

How essential is electricity?

Electricity is an essential requirement for all facets of our life and it has been recognized as a basic human need. Not only to bring light into our homes, but to make living conditions comfortable in extreme weather, electricity today plays a crucial role. From there to enabling communication via the ubiquitous mobile phone, to entertainment beamed through television channels, electricity has become a necessity. It is a critical infrastructure for socio economic development of the country.

Who is a distribution licensee?

‘LICENSEE’ means a person who has been granted a license under Section14 of the Electricity Act, 2003 and also includes a deemed Licensee.

Who is a consumer?

‘CONSUMER’ means any person who is supplied with electricity for his own use by a licensee or the Government or by any other person engaged in the business of supplying electricity to the public under the Act or any other law for the time being in force and includes any person whose premises are for the time being connected for the purpose of receiving electricity with the works of a licensee, the Government or such other person, as the case may be.

What is load restriction/shedding?

Load restriction is a controlled way of managing available electricity distribution capacity when a power shortage occurs. When the supplying company receives more demand for electrical power than available from generating stations, the company has to resort to rationing of the available electricity to its customers. This act is called load shedding

What is Tariff? Who fixes the electricity tariff?

‘TARIFF’ means a schedule of standard prices or charges for specified services, which are applicable to all such specified services provided to the type of Consumers specified in the Tariff Published.

What is peak load & Peak Demand?

These terms are used to indicate the maximum amount of load on a power distribution system or to indicate the amount of electricty available for distribution as per the consumers’ demand. These can also be used to indicate load on a power distribution system at a particular time or at a particular hour.

What is Maximum Demand of a consumer?

Maximum demand is defined as the average power supply, measured in kilowatt or kilovolt, from the supply point to the consumer’s premises. In a month, the maximum recorded usage of 30 minutes has been used. However, if there is necessity, the Council will reconsider reducing the time and reserves the right to do so.

What is Power Factor?

‘POWER FACTOR’ means the ratio of watts to Volt-amperes, or the ratio of KWh to KVAh, as applicable.

What is Sanctioned Load?

Sanctioned load is defined as the agreement between the licensee and the LT consumer regarding the measurement of electricity in kilowatt (kW) or horsepower (hp).

Why do I face power failures?

Power reaches you from a Substation through lines or cables. At your end, the power supply is fed through cut-outs or fuses installed in your house or in a building near your meter. Power failure occurs most commonly due to blown fuses or damaged cables. The fuse blows due to short circuits or equipment overloading. Further, there may be problems with the line or cable between the Substation and distribution transformer. These problems normally occur due to storms, fallen trees or branches, bird interference, insulator failures.

What are the different voltage levels in India ?

The declared voltages are as below:

i. Low Tension Supply

• Alternating Current, single phase, 50 c/s, 230 volts between phase and neutral

• Alternating Current, 3-phase, 50 c/s, 400 volts between phases and 230 volts between phase and neutral

ii. High Tension Supply

• Alternating Current, 3-phase, 50 c/s, 4.6/11/13.2/33 KV and also 2.2 KV, 25 c/s depending on the voltage available in the area iii. Extra High Tension Supply

• Alternating Current, 3-phase, 50 c/s, 66/110/220/400 KV or 2-phase supply at 220 KV

What are the types of meters available?

1. Single phase meter
2. Three Phase meter (Whole Current meters)
3. ETV (Electronic Trivector meter) with CT (Current Transformer)

What is meant by 'Misuse of electricity'?

‘MISUSE OR UNAUTHORIZED USE OF ELECTRICITY’ means the usage of electricity – (i) by any artificial means; or (ii) by a means not authorized by the concerned person or authority or licensee; or (iii) through a tampered meter; or (iv) For the purpose other than for which the usage of electricity was authorized. 

What is applicable Tariff in case of Misuse?

In all the cases of misuse, penalty @ twice the tariff (usage category) shall continue to be levied on recorded consumption, as long as, the consumer continues with misuse i.e. using the electricity for the purpose other than for which the usage was authorized.

What should I do when I see i. Electrical fire in a premises ii. An electrical arc / burning in a transformer / line iii. Electrically unsafe condition like low clearance / bent poles iv. Power lines very close to a building v. Electrical accident vi. Power line passing at dangerously low levels above buildings?

• Do not touch any material/equipment 

• Switch off the main power supply and immediately call helpline

• Go out of the house or assemble in a safe zone for your personal safety

An ELCB with 30mA setting trips very often thus causing inconvenience. Is it safe to install an ELCB with higher setting?

 Any leakage current above 30 mA flowing through human body when he becomes a part of the circuit, can cause Cardio Pulmonary Failure (Stopping of breathing and heart function) even for a short while. Hence it is not advisable to install ELCB of settings higher than 30 mA. The cause of tripping such probable leakage in the circuit should be established and attended.

What is the purpose of Neutral and Earth in a supply system?

The neutral in the supply line provides a return path to the current whereas Earth connection protects the equipment against any leakage of current. Earth connection is a major component of the circuit of ELCB.

What should be done when somebody gets an electrical shock?

In case of an electrical accident, turn off the supply immediately. Insulate yourself on a dry board / insulating material before removing the person in contact with the live part. Immediately call for a doctor and continue to give artificial respiration till medical assistance arrives.

What is a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)?

It is a special lamp, which delivers more lumen output at lower watts compared to ordinary tungsten filament lamps for the same wattage. Example: 11 watts CFL is equivalent to 60 watts ordinary Tungsten Filament lamp.

How will the use of LED reduce my electricity consumption?

The LEDs are used as replacements to incandescent lamps and neon lamps. The wattage of these LEDs is far less than the incandescent and neon lamps and hence the electricity consumption gets reduced. With the invention of high powered white light LED the light output increased while maintaining the efficiency and reliability.

What is the life time of LEDs?

The LEDs are solid state device and is subjected to less wear and tear. The normal life is quoted at 25000 hours. LED light bulbs could be a cost-effective option for lighting a home or office space because of their very long lifetimes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of LEDs?

•Efficiency: LEDs emit more light per watt than the incandescent lamps. The efficiency of LED lighting fixtures is not affected by shape and size, unlike fluorescent light bulbs or tubes.

• Color: LEDs can emit light of an intended color without using any color filters as traditional lighting methods need. This is more efficient and can lower initial costs.

• Size: LEDs can be very small and are easily attached to printed circuit boards.

• Lifetime: LEDs can have a relatively long useful life.

• Luminous efficacy: LED-based lighting sources is high luminous efficiency. White LEDs quickly matched and overtook the efficacy of standard incandescent lighting systems. The luminous efficacy of an LED is 18-22 lumens /watt as compared to 15 lumens / watt of incandescent lamp and 100 lumens / watt of fluorescent lamp.


• High initial price: LEDs are currently more expensive, price per lumen, on an initial capital cost basis, than most conventional lighting technologies

.• Voltage sensitivity: LEDs must be supplied with the voltage above the threshold and a current below the rating. This can involve series resistors or current-regulated power supplies.

Can electric utility customers choose their electricity supplier?

Some electric utility customers have the option to choose an alternate electricity supplier. This consumer option is often called retail choice or customer choice. The alternate supplier is the company that generates and/or markets electricity, often referred to as a retail electricity marketer. The alternate supplier may not be the same company that owns the power lines that deliver electricity to customers. The alternate supplier may be an affiliate of the distribution utility. Some suppliers offer electricity generated from specific energy sources, such as wind and other renewable energy sources.
Regardless of the electricity supplier, the distribution utility delivers the contracted electricity to a customer’s meter and charges for that service. Services may be billed in a consolidated bill where electricity and other costs are itemized separately, or services may be billed separately by the two companies (called dual billing). Some utility customers may have the option to choose their billing preferences.
In general, retail choice is available only for utility customers served by investor-owned utilities. There are a few electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and government operated utilities that offer retail choice. Customers may contact their distribution utility or the utility regulatory commission in their state to see if retail choice is an option.