A National Workshop on Strategic Research Vision to Build a Smarter Grid 27-29, June

       A three-day Workshop on `Strategic Research Vision to Build a Smarter Grid' was organized by Indian Institute of Technology Mandi (IIT Mandi) between June 27-29, 2013.

        Prof. T. A. Gonsalves, Director IIT Mandi and Prof. S. Mahulikar, IIT Mandi, inaugurated the Workshop at the Kamand Campus of IIT Mandi. In his inaugural address Prof. Gonsalves highlighted the accomplishments and research activities of IIT Mandi. While sharing the vision of IIT Mandi, as an Institute ‘to be a leader in science and technology education, knowledge creation and innovation, in an India marching towards a just, inclusive and sustainable society’ and one of its thrust area ‘to devise globally recognized solutions for the problems of society and industry, particularly in the fragile eco-system of the Himalayas’, he emphasized the relevance of this timely Workshop by which different groups of society could come together to solve the challenges of security, stability and reliability for a sustainable energy sector. Prof. Gonsalves delivered the keynote lecture on economical DC Micro-gird to solve the problems of energy deficit and reliability issues in power grid especially for Indian rural scenario. He elaborated on the concept by explaining that DC Micro-grid would utilize and convert direct sunlight available free to us. In his keynote lecture, Prof. Gonsalves laid down the strong needs for innovative and low-cost technology development suited especially for the rural sector. Prof. Mahulikar addressed the gathering by highlighting the need of integrated research planning for energy as well as natural resources in India.

    Prof. Gonsalves, Director IIT Mandi delivering a key-note lecture

        The main objective of this Workshop was to facilitate the discussion on the Research Vision to Build a Smarter Grid and its suitable applications for efficient power grid operations in smart grid environments. The various issues, problems and challenges of the electric grid operation, management and control are described in the context of high renewable energy. The power systems are changing very rapidly due to the new technological developments and formulations of new regulatory polices of the government. As the leading researchers from the country were invited, the workshop envisioned a well-defined road map for the development and deployment of Smart Grid in India.

    Group photo

       Looking beyond 2020, the challenges for electricity networks are likely to increase. There exists a general consensus that the challenges of climate change and system security, in particular the ability to accommodate significant volumes of decentralized and renewable generation, require that the network infrastructure must be upgraded to enable smart operations. Building a smarter grid lies at the heart of required major changes to the way we supply and use energy. The large increases in electricity generation from intermittent/highly variable renewable resource, the increase of stressing/narrowly conditions on transmission system, a massive decoupling between generation/load caused by dc system and several other features expected into the future electricity networks will negatively affect the system security. The reliable and sophisticated solutions to the foreseen issues of the future networks are creating dynamically-intelligent application/solutions to be deployed during the incremental process of building the smarter grid.

       The future electricity networks and their potential issues require looking beyond the existing research frontiers irrespective of the disciplinary boundaries. For this reason, the discussion of the future development on sophisticated/intelligent applications/solutions is the key research point to provide the critical importance to economic and social welfare into future smarter power networks. The solutions using the advanced technologies/methodologies were discussed. Several technical studies based on the recent research work were also presented.

       Earlier, addressing the participants, Workshop coordinators Dr. B. S. Rajpurohit and Dr. Samar Agnihotri emphasized the development of technological and regulatory solutions to build a healthier and economical power grid with high penetration of renewable energy sources like small hydro energy, wind energy, solar energy etc. especially for Indian power sectors. Workshop coordinators said that meaningful discussions in such an august gathering would definitely lead to enrichment of all the participants and would carry the message throughout the society. This Workshop drew more than 25 participants from academic institutions, power utilities and industries from different states including UP, Punjab, MP, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal, and Uttarakhand.

       Several distinguished speakers from all around India discussed several aspects of Smart Grids. Prof S. N. Singh from IIT Kanpur, Dr. N. M. Pindoriya from IIT Gandhinagar, Er. Vikram Gandotra from SIEMENS Ltd. and Dr. Tricha Anjali & Dr. Manoj Thakur from IIT Mandi were among the speakers, who included eminent personalities and who shared their expertise with the participants. A trip to Parashar Lake was arranged on the last day.

       Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and IIT Mandi financially supported the Workshop.