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  • India's electricity market is poised for significant growth in the coming years. The rising demand for power, provision of universal access to electricity and integration of new renewable energy generation sources are driving investments in the development of transmission infrastructure.

  • However, the transmission sector faces several challenges including greater risk of instabilities and blackouts, and increasing energy costs and volatility. Thus, innovations are being made in the design and construction of lines, towers and substations to meet the objectives of grid reliability, cost competitiveness and environmental impact.

  • New tower designs that address RoW issues, reduce visual impact, enable faster execution and provide ease of installation have entered the transmission market. Advancements have also taken place in tower profiles, foundation designs and materials used for tower construction.

  • Advanced conductor and cable technologies like high temperature low sag (HTLS) are playing an important role in providing greater efficiency and ease of design, both for new lines and for line uprating and reconductoring. XLPE cables and gas-insulated lines (GILs) offer attractive alternatives to underground lines in urban areas. High performance conductors are also being considered for deployment, given their low RoW requirement and the ability to carry higher volumes of power.

  • Transformer technologies have evolved over the years. Conventional oil-filled transformers are being replaced with dry-type transformers. The next generation transformer technologies including smart transformers are equipped with remote monitoring features that control a wide range of grid parameters as well as transformer parameters.

  • Utilities are now opting for gas-insulated switchgear and hybrid switchgear, as they require less space, and reduce the cost of construction and maintenance. A new breakthrough in switchgear technology is the use of an eco-friendly insulation mixture to address the environmental concerns of SF6 in switchgear. Another emerging trend in the switchgear segment is the use of intelligent switchgear, which enables the real-time flow of information.

  • Grid automation helps secure real-time and enterprise-wide information and helps improve the overall reliability of the system. As a robust and reliable communication system forms the foundation of such an automated grid system, utilities are deploying various technologies such as optic fibre, VSAT and IEC 104 protocol on digital PLCC for data transfer.

  • Digitalisation is another fast emerging trend, driven by the need to introduce efficiency in grid operations and O&M. With benefits such as increased flexibility and availability, reduced cost, and lower risk and environmental impact, a greater uptake in the deployment of digital substations has been seen across utilities.

  • With advancements in transmission equipment technology, design and construction methods, technologies like helicopter stringing, light detection and ranging, sky crane and unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are used in the planning, design and construction of overhead transmission networks.

  • Digital and robotic solutions are being deployed to improve productivity and minimise operations and maintenance costs. These include advanced analytics and geospatial data for asset management, geographic information system-based tracking of assets, remote monitoring and control equipment and smart field force management.

  • The mission of the conference is to highlight the most promising technologies and viable solutions to deliver a reliable and secure transmission grid infrastructure. It will also present the experience so far with these technologies and the emerging trends, and showcase successful projects and best practices.
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