Energy Case Study – Monitoring Power Availability and Quality Across India Using Datonis®
Sector – Energy
Prayas Energy Group, a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation based in Pune, India – that works to protect and promote public interest in the energy sector. The group has made significant contributions to the Indian energy sector and has established its credibility among the various actors in the sector through its comprehensive and analytically sound approach to achieve lasting impacts through improvement in governance, prevention of gross inefficiencies, and optimizing resource use.
The customer wished to monitor power quality and availability in hundreds of villages and small towns across India. This data would be made available to everyone via a freely accessible website. This information could then be used to understand the real power situation across India. This could then impact the manner in which power is generated and distributed across the country. The main business requirements for this initiative were:
- To build a low cost, energy monitoring appliance. This appliance would sample power quality, i.e voltage and power interrupts and transmit this data to the cloud via 2G/3G networks.
- The appliance would need to accurately measure fluctuations and transmit data about the measured voltages every minute to the cloud.
- As this data is used for energy advocacy, it was vital to have accurate measurements and never lose a single data packet.
- The device needed to be plug and play and be rugged enough to handle the challenges posed by rural India.
There were several challenges faced:
- Since this data would be in the public domain, accuracy and authenticity of this data was of paramount importance. It should be able to withstand scrutiny.
- It is challenging to build an appliance that can withstand a wide range of voltage fluctuations from as low at 90v to as high as 320v. Since the device would be installed in remote locations, its resilience was of paramount importance.
- The device would have to deal with poor network coverage and have the ability to store and re-transmit data if networks were not available, which is often the case in rural India. The device could store upto 30 days of data.
- The platform that deals with the data should be readily available and highly reliable and never lose a packet of data.
Altizon provided an end-to-end solution for the customer that included Design for Manufacture Service for building the connected device and the Datonis® platform that acted as the IoT platform for these connected devices.. The Datonis® platform was provided to the customer in a SaaS mode.
- The connected device consisted of a smart connected energy meter that was rated to accurately measure voltage.
- The connected energy meter had a SIM card slot and was compatible with all service providers in India.
- It was plug and play so you could simply plug it in and it would work.
- The customer was given a secure account on Datonis® and access the Datonis® Application API to access the data being transmitted by the energy meters.
- The customer built their portal that would visualize this data in a manner that made business sense to them.
The customer has now gone live in the first phase with over 100 connected village and and going through a phased rollout of this project. To view this data please visit http://www.watchyourpower.org To learn more about this initiative, please visit the Energy Supply Monitoring Initiative (ESMI) Link