Pillar Boxes --The Game Changer for Punjab distribution losses

Submitted by VK Gupta on Tue, 22/01/2013 - 3:35pm

In Punjab where overall distribution losses which were hovering around 25% five years ago, now have been brought down to less than 18 % with shifting of domestic meters to pillar boxes. The system reliability index has been improved to 99.75%. The damage rate of distribution transformers , which was between 10 to 15% , has also been reduced significantly.
Power engineer of Punjab took the initiative in 2007-08 to reduce losses in selected 11KV feeders by introduction of low cost strategies with payback period of 1 to 2 years through departmental efforts.
A pilot project was carried out on different category of 4 nos. high loss feeders of west division Patiala .Complete & independent feeders were selected for accurate & authentic energy audit. The pilot project included two rural feeders, one urban kundi area feeder and one posh area feeder of Patiala.
On completion of pilot project distribution efficiency in many areas like reliability index and improved voltage. The pilot project has incurred an expenditure of 34 crore and 233 lakh units of energy has been saved.
After the success of pilot project , Power utility management adopted it for implementation in throughout Punjab with funding by Rural Electrification Corporation in non-RAPDRP areas. This has been possible only with the full administrative support of power utility and Punjab Government.
In urban areas the consumer meters were shifted outside their premises and fixed on the poles. In rural areas meters of the consumers inside the “Phirni” of the village were installed in pillar boxes and meters outside to “ Phirni” were installed on poles. Bare LT main/sub main was almost eliminated. Low tension distribution system has been completely re-laid. Decades old worn out conductors have been replaced.
In a pillar box about 15 to 16 meters were installed. Bakelite fire proof separators were provided between the meters to avoid fire accident. The proper earthling of pillar box up to water level was done. The transformer damages which were in range of 10 to 15% have been practically reduced to nil after load balancing. Individual PVC connection was given to consumers from the pillar box. The length of connection varied from 10 to 50 meters.
About 20 lac consumer meters have been shifted in pillar boxes from 2009 till date on turnkey basis. Further 14 lac consumers meters shall be shifted out in next six months .4.5 lac out of 22 lac consumers meters are to be shifted out in city areas under part-B of RAPDRP.
The financial implication of project is very low .It is Rs. 3500/ per consumer in rural area where meters have been shifted on pillar boxes located on phirni of village. In urban areas where meters have been shifted on poles outside houses the cost is less than Rs.1000/ per consumer. The best thing about this model is that investment made on improving the system can be recovered with in a period of one and a half year of implementation.
The improved L T system helped in minimizing interruptions in power supply, timely restoration of supply improved voltage at tail- end, eliminate the problem of overloading of the system, possibility of accidents and reduced damage rate of transformers. Utility gained by less demand on same feeder, more revenue , bringing down transmission losses and controlling power theft.
Haryana Power Distribution Corporations (Discoms) have decided to adopt at least one 11kV feeder in each operation circle for implementing “Punjab model” of bringing down distribution losses as a pilot project in the state.

Contact The Author

VK Gupta's picture

Full Name
Er. VK Gupta

Mobile Number

Place of Posting

Kurukshetra ( Retired)

The information in this weblog is provided by the authors “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. This blog and related comments are the personal opinions of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of the PSEB Engineers' Association or any Association Members or any organisation/ employers associated or deemed to be represented or any employee thereof. PSEB Engineers' Association is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the PSEBEA Bloggers.