Need to tell the story: For obvious reasons the State Government (SG) and the Electricity Board (SEB) telling at the top of their voice that:
1. The Agricultural sector(AS) in the state is consuming nearly 49 % of the energy sold in the state or about 39.2 % of distributed energy (DE). (State Govt., accused the farmers for the energy problems in the State assembly during 1996). In the absence of meters the energy consume in the sector is only estimated by the Board.
2. The farmer paying only about 16 paise (1998) per unit for the energy consumed
3. Number of pump sets registered sets 18,24,689 and about 14.65 lakhs are operational in the state during the year 1997-98 including un-registered sets.
4. EB reports that the Transmission and Distribution (T & D) loss in the state network is about 18.5% for (1995 -’96) of DE.
5. All the above statements are quite from truth. The statements made in the public to serve their needs and with ulterior motives. Our effort in pointing out in the Press and to the public about the wrong statistics given by the EB, has forced them to conduct Energy Audit in the state. Refer to paper titled “Need for Energy Audit in Electricity Boards.” and “APSEB supplies to farm sector: Fudging for funds?” ” The Business Line of The Hindu”.
The results from the Audit for some months in 1996-’97 have given some surprises to the EB.
The surprises are:
1 The average power consumed by a set in AS is less than 55 % of contracted load
not 100 % (earlier assumed by EB).
2. Average no. of hours of operation in a year is about 1,160. (72.5% of 1,600 Hrs.,
earlier assumed by EB)
3. No. of operable sets in AS of the State are about 85 % of registered not 100 % (earlier assumed by EB)
The combined effect of the 3 assumptions that gives the total energy consumed are: 0.55 x 0.725 x 0.85 = 0.338 in other words the earlier estimates were 1/0.338 = 2.9 times the actual. So EB probably decided to estimate the sector consumption reduced in steps.
Comments on 1,2 and 3 above:
1.The average power consumed or energy drawn could be about 45 % , the low frequency operation is contributing for 12 %. (at full frequency it could be 51.1 %)
2. The average no of hours of operation could be less than 960 (60 %) in the State.
3. Including unauthorized sets the figure could be 85 %
4. Theft of energy is mostly in urban industrial & domestic sectors.
5. The total no of metered consumers are about 104 lakhs . Of these more than 13 % energy meters are not working and 28 % have no seals & 10 % are not read.
6. The average Unaccounted energy in the state is more than 35.9 % (this is probably distribution losses plus theft of energy)
No Comments on 4,5 and 6
7. The total no of AS consumers are only 18 lakhs a mere 18 %, and operating are about 14 % of metered consumers about 104 lakhs in the year 1997-’98. These are not much more than the 13 % of meters that are not working and less than unsealed meters
8. The average unaccounted energy of 35.9 % in the State is an underestimate. According to our studies the minimum technically achievable T & D loss (with the existing distribution system) is more than 29 % as pointed out in my study, unless there is an increase in 33 KV substations and 11 KV feeders, the losses cannot be brought down, (reference is invited to the Paper titled “Electrical power distr. in AP a study”). So the unaccounted energy is more than 40 % of DE ( Dist. Loss of 29 + theft of 11 in other than AS)
9. Now EB had brought the unaccounted energy to in 1997-’98 and the energy consumed in the AS from 11,399 Mu in 1995-’96 corrected to 8,704 and consumption in 1996-’97 as 7,385 Mu., and AS consumption in 1997-’98 as 9,336 Mu. This is an increase of about 19.6 % over the previous year. It is very interesting to note that with an increase of only 3,389 (0.18 %) additional sets during the year.
Note for 1997-’98 consumption: The Hindu dated November 9, 1997 reports with a heading “APSEB drive for shift in kharif crop pattern” states in effect the following. “ APSEB supplied so far 2400 Mu and can supply only another 1,700 Mu for the agriculture sector for the year 1997-’98. If paddy is cultivated as usual the Board will face a deficit of 22 Mu per day during the months of February and March ’98. So the Board is organizing a vigorous campaign to advice the farmers not to go for paddy cultivation during this kharif season”
Thus, the energy to be consumed by the agricultural sector during the year1997-’98, as estimated by the Board is only 2,400 + 1,700 plus the deficit for 59 days of 22 amounting to 1,298, making a total of only 5,398 Mu.
This vindicates the authors earlier estimate of 5,227 Mu for the year 1996-’97 itself.
The published figures for AS in the State the revenue collected and the Govt. subsidy given on account of energy used in agricultural sector during the years are as follows.
||Cons. Mu. .,
||(%) of En. Di
||(%) of sold Energ
||T&D Loss as (%) of En. Di
||Reven Rs. Crore
||per unit paise
||Govt Subsidy Rs. Crores
||Tot Reve per unit Rs.
||Aver. Cost Rs./uni
|The operating profits and net profits for years 1995-’96 as 1,173.5 and 130.6, for 1996-’97 as 1,234 and 129.2
|* 1995-’96 figures as revised by EB after partially completing Energy Audit.
In our considered opinion that the energy consumed in the sector will be less than this and more likely around 11 % of energy distributed)
It is a surprise to note in the Foreword (page 3) to the 1997-’98 report admitted that the T&D losses in the system as 29%, appears to be nearer to the truth. The published T&D losses and technical and commercial losses as 33.06 %. for the year. This is to acknowledge the theft as 4.06 %. Still short by 7 % of DE which is included in AS onsumption.
The average rate, the former paying in 1997-‘98 for energy is about 36 paise, (based on even collected revenue) not 16 paise as being publicized by EB for obvious reasons and is much more than the average cost of Hydro energy to the Board in the state (1996 -’97 which is 19.65 paise and adding another 29 % for transmission loss and 17 % towards administration it could cost only 26 paise). The energy produced in Hydro Stations is more than the consumption in the sector. Who invested for the construction of Dams that is giving the energy? Many believe it is the State farmers, them selves through the irrigation Dept.!! Even we consider it not so the EB is receiving more than what it cost them 117.2 (polled cost) from the farmer and the subsidy from the Govt.
The amounts received per unit is very much more for the years 1993-;94 (about Rs. 4) and for ‘94-’95 (about Rs 3) before the energy audit results are adopted as the consumption could be lower than claimed..
The present status of statistics are as follows.
|Ag. Sector Mu
|Energy sold Mu
|Agr. Sector %
||of Ene. sold
|Agr. Sector %
|T & D Loss Mu.
|T & D Loss %
||of Ene. sold
|T & D Loss %
|Cost of Hydro
|Pooled Cost Rs.
|Cost At LV Cust. Rs
|Added Cost %
1 Estimated from the figures given to the press by the Chairman APSEB in Hyderabad on 9 th Nov. 1997 . Other data is as published by APSEB.
2 As published by EB in their report for 1997-’98, Note for an increase of 0.18 % in registered pump sets during the year but AS, consumption increased by about 19.7 %!!.
3 Estimated by the author for the year 1997-’98
Compare column 6 (Published) to column 7 ( As estimated by the author) the EB still holding back nearly 11 % of stolen energy and adding it to AS with ulterior motive.
Close observation of the operation of all the pumps in the State shows the overall efficiency is appallingly low, and is less than 20 %. Most of the sets used (85 %) in the state or negative suction pumps (pump sucks water from a well, from the stream or a bore well.) For these sets, It is possible to achieve an efficiency of more than 40 % even with the sets available in the market. The reasons are many, but the main one is the farmer’s attitude or ignorance of, following facts.
1. They insist on longer through of water from the discharge pipe, mistaking that the quantity of water delivered is more. (the manufacturer provides lesser size for delivery flange to satisfy this and to reduce cost)
2. They think the pump shall lift water from near the bottom of the bore. In most cases the manufacturer gives a high total head pump (55 to 80 feet) while the required head is less than 30 feet. Sixty feet head pump operating at 30 feet tries to draw more water from the bore and this creates friction in the pump impeller and high negative suction pressure results. The pump not designed for this suction condition consequently operates at a very low efficiency.
3. Farmers feel higher rated set will be useful to circumvent power cuts and persisting low voltages and low frequency operation. Higher HP sets are not readily available.
4. The manufacturer takes advantage of the ISI specification for Static lift (Height of suction flange from the water level below) of 4.5 meters while the need is for 6.5 meters in most cases. Situation worsens when the pump design Head is more than operating Head. For this reason many locate the pump in a pit near the source.
Refer to the article “marginal farmer’s power need in the state”
This paper gives some details about why? the efficiency is low. In order to prove that we do not need more than 2 or 3 HP, demonstration held on 13 th July 1997, where 4 pumps (13 HP) irrigating about 33 acres of sugarcane field. This comes to about 1/3 HP per acre of sugarcane while the average usage in the state is more than 1.1 HP per acre. (9 million HP for 8 million acres) This also gives the economic justification to change all low efficiency (< 25 %) sets by reasonable efficient sets (> 40%). Even though it is economical to replace, there will be loss of materials as scrap and requires significant investment.
Now our thoughts turned to the problem of how to increase the operating efficiency of the sets in AS. In the past several suggestions were made, such as:
The above suggestions applied to few of the present installations and it only improves the 1 The use of well designed foot valves with K value less than 0.8
2. PVC pipes instead of GI with less bends to reduce friction drop etc.,
3. Choosing proper pipe sizes for suction and discharge.
These may improve the overall efficiency by reducing the friction losses only which are not very significant. What is required more, is an improvement in the pumps’ Hydraulic performance. This requires significant investment and also wastage of materials as scrap.
We felt that the major change that should be brought out should be in the existing pump itself to improve efficiency significantly by atleast 30 %. We found the “Trimming” of impeller to suit the site condition will give near ideal solution with small expense. This is slightly less effective in efficiency than replacing with properly chosen new set. It is a common practice in industry to use impeller trimming as an effective tool to match the pump to the demand. Refer to a published paper by this author titled “Starting a Trim Revolution).”
Ten % reduction in diameter gives a reduction of 10 % in Flow, 20 % in Head and 30 % in Power. In actual case the increased hydraulic efficiency of the pump holds the flow near about the same as before or even increase. The diameter reduction process of Pump Impeller called Trimming. Up to 20 % trimming practiced without any deleterious effects on the pump or it’s performance.
Field demonstration efforts made in Impeller Trimming.
M H. P. Associates Pvt. Ltd., put a proposal to the Govt. to trim few hundreds of pump sets at cost for demonstration. The Govt., approved the proposal without any financial commitment from them and instructed EB to give all assistance. With the cooperation of EB, started Trimming of the pump impellers in the State from March 1998 (in an island of Guntur Dt.)
So far about 70 sets trimmed and measurements taken by EB officials and check measurements were also taken by MRT group. The results obtained are highly gratifying. Energy consumption reduced by as much as 25%, but also increased the suction lift capability of the pump, a boon to the farmer, resulting in good performance of the set. Now the set after trimming is operating satisfactorily even if it is located above ground (Earlier the farmers used to locate the set in a deep pit) Installation of a capacitor (as an essential item) and reduced load on the system had improved the voltage conditions.
The enclosed reports will give the details.
1. To the State Govt. on the demonstration project (9th July 1998)
2. Recommendations and report of the SE (operations) Guntur
Brief summary of the above reports:
1. Report to the Govt., Reported the details of trimming done in the specified area and gave the following two suggestions to induce the farmers to get their sets trimmed or replaced with lower rated of their existing sets at their own cost and also install the required capacitor to improve the system conditions.
A. To permit de-rating of the set to the value of power drawn and certified by a third party. (this will reduce the tariff burden for the farmer and energy saved to SEB)
B. Presently EB does not give three phase supply for ratings less than 3 HP. This, derived from the restriction laid by SEB for domestic loads in 1981. If supply given to the new farmers or the existing ones to replace the old sets, ratings of 1.5 and 2 HP will reduce the load and energy demand to EB and tariff reduction to the farmer.
2. Report of the Superintending Engineer: (SE) operation of Guntur district, under whose supervision the experiment was done has certified the reduction of energy demand after trimming about 64 sets. The reading for power demand recorded by the area AE. The report summarizes the reduction in demand of different rated sets. The average reduction recorded.
- A. 10 HP - Energy input saved 2.1 units/hour (22 %)
- B. 7.5 HP - Energy input saved 1.9 units/hour (28 %)
- C. 5 HP - Energy input saved 1.1 units/hour (25 %)
- D. 3 HP - Energy input saved 0.43 units/hour (21%)
(figures in bracket, calculated values, not in the report)
SE also recommended to accept de-rating of the set and also to give three phase supply to 1.5 and 2. Hp sets (as required) to reduce energy demand significantly.
3. Chief Engineer (CE), operation of Vijayawada division has submitted the results of check measurement done by their MRT group officers. . We understand check results generally agreed with submitted ones, but they observed in one case more flow with trimmed impeller than with the original size impeller with power reduction of only 14 % instead of anticipated 23 %. (Yes reduction in power demand is less than anticipated, because it is delivering more water, probably about (9 %). We were told that he had recommended to the Board the proposals made by SE Guntur.
As there was no progress in implementation of the proposal a letter was written to the CM on 7th March 1999. The following is part of this letter.
“ …….. On 9th July 1998 submitted a report (enclosed) to the Govt. The Chief Secretary invited me for discussion when several senior officers including the Energy Secretary, Finance Secretary and the APSEB Chairman were present and later, on the 11th July,1998, The Chairman, APSEB discussed the above including the suggested incentive to farmers. All expressed their appreciation and promised me that they will look into it.
Trimming proposal when implemented on 10 lakhs out of 16 lakhs operating sets, in the state results in one time investment (this can even be avoided if a small incentive is given to the farmer) which is very much less than the cost of energy saved every year, not counting the additional saving on account of avoiding significant generating capacity.
Despite my best efforts I could not meet you, but mailed the reports to catch your attention. Till date, I have not received any communication nor have seen any orders in this regard.
This gives me an impression that your claim of spending several hours on vision 2020 every day is belied by the concerned officials, who do not appear to care for a saving of 5 % in generation and 7 % of energy in the present capacity of AP State, year after year and did not bother to save Rs. 3,600 crores investment in generation & distribution and a recurring gain of Rs.396 crores every year in energy purchase. Your officers continue to blame the farmers of the State as if they were responsible for the shortages that led to the imposition of power cuts.
I will be happy to make my services available for any clarification or discussion in this matter “
Still waiting for action from the Govt.,/EB.
The above is the story of the beast of burden (Andhra Farmer). He already absolved of the allegation that he is consuming too much of the electrical energy available in the state. Now he allowed to help the state in saving much of the power consumed by him by adopting trimming method at his own expense and also benefit by paying less.
M. H. P Rao
N. H. P Associates
501, Block 5, Divyashakti Apts.
Hyderabad 500 016.
Tel. 373 4602/784 5154
Published means. Published in the “The Business Line of The Hindu”
Paper means papers distributed/circulated to the Press and Public during various meetin