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Cool effect trips transformers

Bhubaneswar, April 21: A sudden rise in temperature and the consequent increase in the use of air-conditioners has posed a tough challenge before the Central Electric Supply Utility to ensure uninterrupted power supply this summer.

Though the Cesu authorities upgraded about 30 sub-stations across the city till February, it is still finding itself falling short to meet the rising demand of power, especially during summer.

Yesterday, Cesu officials installed a 100 kilo-volt ampere (KVA) transformer in place of a 63KVA transformer at Old Town as overloading had damaged it beyond repair.

“We are here to provide assistance to people so that power distribution remains trouble-free. But, people ignore our advice to inform us in advance about installation of air-condtioners, thereby pushing up the power load,” said Cesu superintending engineer Sukanta Kumar Swain.

Explaining the situation, Cesu public relations officer Golak Bihari Sahu said: “A one tonne air-conditioner consumes 1KW energy in an hour, whereas a 1.5 tonne air-conditioner consumes 2 KW energy in the same time. Suppose there is one transformer for 200 people according to their normal power consumption, a sudden rise in use of air-conditioners in summer makes the load very high. Subsequently, the transformers often trip.” He said if people informed them about the rise in load because of installation of air-conditioners, such trips could be controlled.

Another official of the electric supply department said the problem was mainly on account of the fact that people were installing high-power air-conditioners without taking into account the fact whether a three-phase line, which can take such load, exists in his area or not. The trips were more frequent in areas where new housing projects are coming up. Sundarpada, where a cluster of new apartments have come up, is facing such problems on a regular basis.

“What has worsened the situation is the fact that the work for installation of new transformers could not progress because of the imposition of the model code of conduct for the polls since March 5,” said Swain.

He said while the power network was modern and well tested in areas such as Saheed Nagar, Unit-VI and Forest Park, infrastructure strengthening work was still on in areas such as Pokhariput, Old Town and Ghatikia.

“The rise in power load during the summer is thus causing problems in these areas,” he added.

Pitambar Parida, a resident of Pokhariput, said: “Though prolonged power cuts are no more taking place, power cut of small duration are very frequent.”

An energy department official said they were now installing new transformers within six to eight hours of demand against the Odisha Energy Regulatory Commission-stipulated norm of 24 hours. While a brand new sub-station near the city airport has been installed, similar facilities are under construction at Kalarahanga and Kanan Vihar.

A Cesu official said that according to the OERC Distribution Code, 2004, consumers should disclose their power consumption details to ensure that power distribution was smooth. “We are going to create awareness among people so that they come to our local sub-stations and tell us about their consumption requirements. We will shortly launch a campaign soon in this regard,” said Sahu.