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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Lighting lamps at 9 pm: Some anxious moments, but grid holds up

While there was never really a point during the entire episode that seriously threatened the the grid’s operations, a point of concern was that frequency drifted steadily upwards over the 9-minute period, and ended at 50.3 hertz at 9.09pm.

Written by Anil Sasi | New Delhi | Updated: April 6, 2020 7:33:19 am
coronavirus india lockdown, coronavirus update, 9pm9minutes, 9 pm exercise, pm modi 9 pm exercise, no lights exercise 9 pm, load on power grids, coronavirus news, india lockdown, pm modi coronavirus exercise, latest news Millions of Indians across the country switched off lights at their homes and lit candles, diyas or turned on mobile phone torches on Sunday night, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to show the nation’s “collective resolve and solidarity” in its fight against coronavirus.(Express photo: Javed Raja)

In the run-up to the 9-minute lights-off exercise, the frequency of the synchronised grid plummeted briefly below the mandated lower range of 49.9 hertz — falling to its lowest point of 49.73 hertz at 8.49 pm, and causing some anxious moments among those manning the country’s electricity grid.

This slide in frequency, in part, reflected the transition orchestrated by grid manager POSOCO in India’s power generation mix — hydro generation being reduced “and conserved” for providing flexibility for the 9 pm event, and major thermal stations also being ramped down progressively, in anticipation of the fall in load.

Read | How the nation took part in ‘lights-off’ exercise at 9 pm

While there was never really a point during the entire episode that seriously threatened the the grid’s operations, a point of concern was that frequency drifted steadily upwards over the 9-minute period, and ended at 50.3 hertz at 9.09pm — marking a frequency jerk of around 0.57 hertz over a span of a little over 20 minutes.

An official involved in the exercise said the frequency was reduced to 49.73 Hz just before 9 pm in an effort to ensure that it did not overshoot when the lights were switched off at 9 pm.

pm narendra modi, pm modi opposition, pm modi speaks to former presidents pms, pm modi speaks to opposition leaders on coronavirus, 9pm9minutes, 9 pm exercise, pm modi 9 pm exercise, no lights exercise 9 pm, pm modi speaks to leaders on coronavirus, india coronavirus, pm modi, india lockdown, coronavirus PM Modi lights a lamp during the 9-minute exercise. (ANI)

“During the 9 minute period the frequency was steadily ramped up to 50.3 Hz by 9.09 pm so that it doesn’t dip low when the lights are back. That seems to have worked,” the official said.

The gradual ramping up of hydro and gas-based generation post 9 pm ensured that the drop in the load and subsequent load increase over the next 9 minutes was handled by the grid operators without any significant problems. How much load reduction took place could not be ascertained and the National Load Despatch Centre data compiling the trend was awaited at the time of going to press.

After PM Modi’s appeal, for 9 minutes, Delhi switches off An official involved in the exercise said the frequency was reduced to 49.73 Hz just before 9 pm in an effort to ensure that it did not overshoot when the lights were switched off at 9 pm.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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