IEEE Electrification Magazine - June 2016 - 18

Conclusions and
the Way Forward
A large percentage of the Indian
population, especially the lowerand the middle-class homes, are
denied access to quality power
most of the time. The shortage of
power and the lack of connectivity
to homes were traditionally understood to be the primary causes for
this lack of access. However, recent
developments in the country and
studies show that the actual reason
Figure 10. The power data measured in an on-grid home with a solar-dc inverterless system from
23 February 2016 to 24 February 2016.
for this state of affairs could be the
lack of affordability even when the
and the battery goes below a minimum level, the normal
power tariff is subsidized. At the same time, power DISline is cut off, whereas the emergency low-load line conCOMs are not eager to supply power to such homes as the
tinues to supply power for much longer durations.
supply is not financially viable; their own finances are in
The Inverterless-500 systems have been deployed at
dire states. India seems to be stuck in this logjam as
Kundithal, Neelgiris, where eight such systems powered
power cannot be generated at much lower costs, even
21 homes. The 48-V dc power used in the microgrid limthough it depends on environment-unfriendly coal-fired
its the maximum separation for homes in the cluster. As
power plants.
homes in Nilgiris were separated by long distances, each
Disruptive technology is needed to get India to break
system could power between two and four homes. Each
this logjam. A solar-dc microgrid for homes seems to be an
home is supplied 125 W with a cumulative peak conanswer. In the article, we have illustrated that a 48-V dc
sumption of 500 W. Every home is installed with an LED
microgrid for each home powered by a rooftop solar panel,
tubelight, a BLdc fan, a cell-phone charger, and a bulb.
connecting to the grid through an ac-dc converter wherevOn similar lines, three units of the Inverterless-2500 syser the grid is available, integrating a small sized battery, and
tems have been deployed at Tirmal village in the state of
powering dc-powered dc appliances, could overcome a
Orissa, India; each of these systems powers about 30
multitude of problems. As a result, the power costs for
homes. The amount of power to be supplied to each
homes could be drastically reduced and could become
home can be configured remotely through the
affordable in the presence of a 24/7 grid for grids with sigmanagement system.
nificant amounts of load shedding and in the absence of
the grid. In addition, homes will draw
limited power from the grid, significantly cutting down the losses for DISCOMs.
Solar Panel
Finally, when homes use energy-effiN: Normal Line
cient dc-powered dc appliances and
E: Emergency Line
generate power from a solar panel on
their rooftops, the nation moves toward
N
48 V dc
becoming truly green.
Home 1
IRU
E
Solar-dc microgrids for homes may
N
48 V dc
IRU
230 V ac
Home 2
make immense sense in this context.
E
N
Yet, they face tough challenges. First,
48 V dc
Home 3
IRU
E
there has to be a change in the mindset
N
that the ac versus dc debate was settled
48 V dc
Home 4
IRU
E
a century ago and that we are going
Grid
backward when we talk about the dc
microgrid. Appliances in homes and
Bluetooth
offices have quietly become dc over the
Low-Energy
past few decades, and it will be a step
Interface
forward into the future when we power
Battery
them using a dc microgrid rather than
Cloud
using ac-dc converters for each of
them. The second bottleneck is the lack
Figure 11. An Inverterless-500 system with IRUs at each home in the cluster.
of standardization. There is no accepted

18

I E E E E l e c t r i f i c ati o n M agaz ine / j un E 2016



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Electrification Magazine - June 2016

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IEEE Electrification Magazine - June 2016 - Cover2
IEEE Electrification Magazine - June 2016 - 1
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