End-user load research; domestic consumers………

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RCL plans to carry out a study in order to identify electricity usage patterns of domestic consumers in Sri Lanka. Further, it is expected to determine how different loads (lighting, refrigerator, entertainment etc.) contribute to the overall consumption, in this case, more importantly the lighting load. Information on different energy sources used, and usage of equipment in different times of the day will also be collected and analyzed. This exercise will be the foundation to identify suitable demand side management measures and the appropriate modes introducing them.

The electricity sector in Sri Lanka is advancing rapidly, both in terms of the demand and in the level of penetration of services. Therefore, the sector poses a tough challenge to the government, more specifically to the utility, to infuse and maintain the necessary generation and transmission capabilities. Furthermore, the daily load curve is highly skewed, with a high peak lasting for a short duration. This has been an additional burden to the utility, whereas a flatter load curve would have made existing plants operate more evenly reducing the necessity of adding new plants to manage the high peak.

It is observed that the high evening peak is predominantly due to the lighting load hailing from the household sector. Further, it is expected that the expansions in the rural electrification schemes and the provision of electricity to the Eastern and Northern parts of the country in an accelerated program will make this situation even more severe. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to understand demands and modes of lighting prevalent at the consumer end, and its burden on the national system, in order to devise effective modalities to ensure the optimum usage of available resources, launch efforts to educate general public and popularise better means of lighting, if necessary.

Objective of the study

The electricity utility, the Ceylon Electricity Board records the daily demand curve. This information is widely used to make number of important decisions in the power sector such as forecasting of future demands, identifying the daily peak demand and devising necessary mechanisms to meet this demand, identifying seasonal variations and matching it with the availability of plants and the fuel mix etc. However, very little information is available on the constituent components of the electricity demand curve. Therefore, it is a daunting task to develop policies, guidelines, capacity/awareness building programs to target manufacturers, vendors and users in different sectors and to promote the optimum use of electricity without having a proper understanding of their requirements and preferences in using electricity and types of equipment. In this light, load research activities at the end user point generate the much needed information.

The specific objective of this research activity is to identify the patterns of utilising electricity in the households in different tariff categories in the selected area. Further it is expected to determine how different loads (lighting, refrigerator, entertainment etc.) contribute to the overall consumption, in this case, more importantly the lighting load. The information on different sources used, and usage of equipment in different times of the day will also be collected and analysed. This exercise will be the foundation to identify suitable demand side management measures and the appropriate modes introducing them.

The final outcome will be a report including the analyses of collected data, the interpretations with respect to lighting and other loads in different categories of household sector, inter-relationships, and measures for suitable DSM activities to minimise the burden on the national grid, especially to cap the peak load.

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