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The Energy Savings Coordination Team (Escot) of Kerala State Electricity Board Limited has targetted power guzzling ice plants and traditional water pumps, deployed in paddy collectives, as part of stepped up efforts on energy conservation.
The Board is also experimenting with small-capacity transformers in place of the conventional ones to cut distribution losses. The traditional pettiyum parayum pumping system, serving paddy collectives in districts like Alappuzha, Kottayam and Thrissur, have been found to be extremely inefficient.
KSEB sources said that experiment at the Pallam puncha, near Changanassery, was a success. It showed that the traditional pump yield was only 10 per cent of its capacity.
Replacing the 15-HP, belt-driven and dangerous system with the new submersible system of equal horsepower showed 40 per cent more efficiency in power consumption and six times more water discharge. It is estimated that there are around 2,000 traditional pumping systems installed across the State.
The success of the experiment in Changanassery has prompted KSEB to change the traditional pumping systems in other paddy collectives in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur and Malappuram. Ice plants have been identified as another area for energy conservation works. Energy audit carried out by certified energy auditors in the State Electricity Board at an ice plant in Thiruvananthapuram showed that 35 to 40 per cent energy savings could be achieved by measures like improved thermal insulation.
The audit was carried out in a plant that consumed about 1,000 units a day. Improving thermal insulation and other measures resulted in savings to the tune of 350 to 400 units per day, translating into savings in the vicinity of Rs. 50,000 in power bills per month.
The expenses involved in improving efficiency were between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 20,000, KSEB sources said. They said that the first phase will see energy efficiency audits in five eight to 10 plants. It is estimated that there are around 525 ice plants in the State with an average capacity of 30 tonnes per day.
Sources said that the Board was well-equipped with a team of 40 certified energy auditors to undertake conservation measures on its own. The need for energy auditors has been highlighted by the fact that HT and EHT consumers have to mandatorily undertake energy audit at least once in three years.
The Board began energy audits about a year-and-a-half ago and has worked on several institutions including the Southern Air Command, Aakkulam; Jubilee Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram; District Cooperative Hospital, Kozhikode; Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Sciences, Palode and KSEB’s own establishments at Kottarakkara and Kozhikode.
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