IIT Madras to solve power cuts for entire country with elegant grid redesign

By running a low-power DC wire from sub-stations to houses, IIT Madras’ redesign of the electric grid provides an elegant and easy-to-implement solution for the problem of blackouts caused due to load-shedding and other such issues. The electricity provided will be enough to run a few lights and fans, and for a vast majority of people, provide an alternative to inverters and highly-polluting generators.

The power fed into these separate DC lines will be so low, that sub-stations will likely never be required to shut them down, except for technical issues.

The project is the brainchild of IIT-M Director Bhaskar Ramamurti and Electrical Engineering professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala. It will soon be tested as a pilot programe in a couple of hundred households in the southern states, in the hope that it will provide the Power Ministry enough data to make an informed decision to extend the program across the remainder of the country.

“It is a critical pilot project,” says former power secretary P Umashankar. “I see this as a game-changer for the country.”

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  1. Vishwanath BhagatJanuary 29, 2014 at 8:21 amReply

    Sounds like and undergrad idea to me unless they they have studied:

    (a) the economic viability by considering the capital cost of the infrastructure to be added to distribute DC power and measure the retail consumption.

    (b) a cost effective technical solution for distribution and measurement that is practical enough for easy deployment.

  2. Himangshu VaishFebruary 4, 2014 at 1:09 pmReply

    The problem can be easily solved by single phasing, without any additional infrastructure.

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