In the real world, the demand-supply gap for energy cannot be wished away. Regulatory considerations, democratic measures or simply practical limitations may force us to consider load limiting measures to serve a larger consumer base in a fair but practical manner. Further, the Self Healing concept getting popular under Smart Grids is expected to correct abnormalities at source in an automated manner. Appropriate demand side management measures and a pay-and-use culture in the larger consumer base can address a large portion of the problems that plague the distribution sector in many parts of the world, provided they are properly engineered, implemented and managed.
Provision of basic electricity today is seen increasingly as a social obligation. However, once a connection is provided, it is difficult to ensure that the load derived is for low load services such as basic lighting / ventilation, or larger load services such as heating, cooking etc. and directly affect the non-technical losses of every distribution utility.
While there has been a lot of emphasis on metering, the Power Distribution agencies will agree that the ROI on metering continues to be elusive for low load, low income group consumers due to the intensive resource allocations for meter procurement, installation, reading, billing and collection. Added concerns of meter tamper and pilferage directly affect the bottom line justifications for such investments.
On the other hand, Distributed Generation operations using Hydro, Solar, Wind, Biomass, Diesel generation having a limited source are forced to consider load limiting from a technical, operational as well as commercial standpoint.
Railways need to equip their customers with easy access to charging their electronic peripherals but simultaneously need to restrict the user from powering higher loads. A rugged, low cost device installed with each access point can suitably address this need.
Further, if one thinks independently, there are several use cases in utilities and industries across the board, where a control fuse can be permanently replaced with a load limiting device that self resets after normalcy is restored.
A standard fuse is obviously not an option. An MCB provides for reuse but manual operations are inevitable, with associated demands on manual intervention and possibilities of tamper, connivance and bypass. What is needed is a device that operates on significant overload and resets automatically within a reasonable time when the overload is disconnected thus providing a deterrence. The customer is guided to observe assigned load limits and progress systematically into a regular metered tariff connection.
Aartech offers industry rugged LoadChecker solutions to these issues with low rating (< 100W) load limiters at a very affordable cost which are field proven with 1000’s in service.