Gandhinagar: The 21st edition of National Power System Conference (NPSC 2020) was hosted online by the Electrical Engineering discipline of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) during December 17-19, 2020. NPSC is a prestigious biennial conference that provides a forum for academia, industry, and students to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, experiences, and challenges in the field of electrical power and smart energy systems. The theme for NPSC 2020 was ‘Sustainable Energy and Resilient Future Grid’, which is of interest to most power utilities, practicing engineers, and academics. More than 200 participants from India and abroad joined the online conference.
Mr K V S Baba, CMD, Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO) attended the inaugural session as the Chief Guest. In his inaugural speech Mr K V S Baba highlighted the three Ds of the present world and said, “The world is becoming more and more decentralised, decarbonised and digitalised with a flush of social media and Information Technology. For a modern technical society like India’s, NPSC is one of the premier platforms where all aspects of power systems attract attendees. The challenge of skillset and mindset, especially in the aftermath of Covid pandemic, has to be confronted with industry and academia collaboration, and the same is possible through this conference platform.”
Prof Anjan Bose, a Regents Professor and the Distinguished Professor of Electric Power Engineering at Washington State University, USA, delivered the inaugural keynote address on the topic ‘The Continuing Evolution of Grid Operation and Control’. After giving a brief background about the first digital grid control centers installed in the 1960s, Prof Anjan Bose said, “The improvements in computer technology allowed more sophisticated applications at the control center, resulting in the modern Energy Management Systems (EMS). With computing and communication becoming cheaper, the same technologies could be applied to distribution level control centers resulting in the proliferation of the Distribution Management System (DMS). This would result in increased efficiency, reliability, and better outage management. Clean energy strategy must be adopted as per local needs of the developing and developed countries as both will benefit from increasing smart grid technologies.”
NPSC 2020 focused on modern power systems, electricity markets, smart grid, renewable energy, distributed generation, power electronics, electrical machines, system integration, and operational challenges. Keynote lectures in the fields of power systems, smart grid, power electronics, renewable energy systems, and soft computing were a major attraction for the conference.
Prof Luis (Nando) Ochoa, Professor of Smart Grids and Power Systems at The University of Melbourne, Australia, and one of the keynote speakers at the conference talked about ‘Smart Meter-Driven Approaches for PV-Rich Low Voltage Network Modelling, Operation and Planning’. He discussed the findings of three advanced smart meter-driven approaches of some realistic case studies from Victoria, Australia, which allows for the quick and accurate calculation of customer voltages for operational purposes. In his concluding remarks, Prof Luis said, “The future of electricity distribution is exciting; however, we need clever ways of assessing potential operational and planning problems in advance.”
Another keynote speaker Prof Noel Schulz from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University, USA, delivered a talk on ‘Building Resilience for Future Power Grids and Power Workforce Including International Collaborations’. Prof Schulz discussed advances in modelling, simulation, monitoring and control that are enabling new methods for providing more resilience in our smart electric grids, and how the universities are working to build a resilient power workforce through various collaborations.
In one more keynote talk, Prof Chanan Singh from Texas A&M University, USA, talked about ‘Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Reliability Evaluation of Electric Power Grid’. Discussing about this emerging subject, Prof Chanan Singh said, “The primary objective of the power grid is to supply electricity to its customers. Reliability evaluation of power systems involves identifying the events of failure or degradation of the system or a part of the system to satisfy the customer load. Traditionally reliability analysis methods are based either on an enumeration process or Monte Carlo simulation. But in the past two decades, methods based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been investigated both as an alternative to Monte Carlo for a more intelligent search process as well as making state evaluation techniques to be more efficient. AI methods have shown good performance to overcome the drawback of straight Monte Carlo simulation as these approaches improve the computing time with satisfactory accuracy.”
Prof B G Fernandes from IIT Bombay gave a keynote talk on ‘Building Atma Nirbhar Bharat in Power Electronics and Power Systems’. Discussing the power electronics being used in the integration of renewables and other applications, he said, “Several national missions such as National Solar Mission and National Wind Energy Mission are ongoing in order to increase the renewable power generation in India. Power electronics plays an important role in developing the renewable sources integrated power system grid.” He concluded the talk by saying, “The young engineers in India should get excited to develop a technology which may not be much advanced at this stage but we have to build that technology so that we live upto the expectations of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.” He also presented some of the national and global trends in advanced power engineering.
In all, the conference featured 14 Keynote talks, two dedicated industry-academia panel sessions, four tutorial sessions, and 132 technical paper presentations. The NPSC Academic and Industry excellence awards – 2020 along with Malaviya excellence award in Power Systems, and Dr M Ramamoorty best paper awards in Power Systems and Power Electronics & Drives were also presented during the conference.
The conference was technically supported by the IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS), IEEE Gujarat Section, and Power & Energy Society (PES) Gujarat Chapter, and sponsored by POWERGRID, POSOCO, ENPHASE, and OPAL-RT Technologies.