Friday, 14 December 2007

December14- World Energy Day

December-14 World Energy Day

The importance of electricity in present day life needs no explanation. For living, entertainment, learning, and what not, electricity plays a vital role. We cannot even think of a moment without electricity, especially for the city dweller. All are worried about the escalating electricity charges. But how many are aware of the optimum utilisation of the domestic appliances? Can we enjoy a better life style with much reduced consumption of electricity? Are there leakages of your hard earned money as current charges without adequate returns? Do you feel that your electricity bill does not commensurate with total appliance used and the level of comfort enjoyed? ? Is your family budget affected by the power tariff? If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” you urgently need “Energy Audit’”. The term Audit brings to our mind the commercial audit in our office to find out any irregularity committed. The energy audit is also used in a similar way. This is a scientific method to find out and avoid waste of energy, to ensure better utilisation of available resources, there by increasing profit. In this fast modern life, even an educated housewife (house executive!) seldom bothers to explore avenues to reduce the electricity charges. Here are some useful tips that can be tested easily at home and would give amazing results.

What is one “unit “of electricity? The Power consumption is measured by the unit ‘kilowatt-hour’ or simply the “unit”. It is the energy consumed by an equipment having a rating of 1000watts when used for 1 hour (or a 100watts appliance for 10hrs.The tariff for domestic and others are different in all parts of the world.. The commercial consumers are charged highest whereas the agricultures the least.

The three major current consuming devices in a middle class family are Lighting, fans, and refrigerator.
1. Domestic lighting
A major portion of domestic consumption of electricity goes to meet the lighting .A well-designed house would look shabby if not pragmatically and functionally illuminated. The main source of light in our home is the ordinary bulb, unfortunately happens to be the main culprit in wastage of electricity. Only 5% of the electricity used by the bulb is converted to useful light and the majority to heat. This bulb has not varied much from the original one as envisaged by Edison! This has the least efficiency .The only merit is the low initial investment. The average life span is about 100 burning hrs.

Fluorescent lamp is a much better source of light, which would give more than 50 times more light in comparison with an ordinary bulb of same wattage. The ballast used along with a tube light would consume another 20watts. (We can experience heating of this choke when in use) For better illumination and life, electronic chokes (consumes 2-watts only) are now a days widely used .Of all type of lights, this one is the most pleasing and can be used anywhere in a house. In work area and storeroom, tube light of 20 watts (2’) is sufficient. The average life span is about 8000 burning hrs.

Compact Fluorescent light, popularly known CFL would give more light with much reduced electric consumption. But this type of lamp should be avoided in study room, laboratory etc where strains on eyes are also to be considered. In a broad and spacious dining room, one or two CFL of 12watts would be sufficient. CFL is recommended for in kitchen where the light has to be switched on for 5-6 hrs. Here the rating of 18 watts is good. CFL is also recommended for portico, TV room, prayer room, etc. In short, a CFL would give the same light as that of an ordinary bulb with only 15% of energy consumption and recommended for lighting of long span. (i. e. when lights are to be kept on for long periods say 2 hrs or more) The life span is about 15000 hrs. Use task lighting rather than whole room lighting when a small amount of light is required .The best way to control is to turn off light when no one is in room. 10% of average home’s electricity cost can be controlled with the flip of a switch.
In many houses, there are decorating lamps, serial sets or ” zero watt” bulbs displayed on photos. These are lighted through out the day and night. Remember, there is no zero watt bulb. It’s only a pet name given to low wattage bulbs. Though looks harmless, the longer duration of operation -–usually 24 hrs of the day--may cause damage to our, a single “zero watt bulb” displayed on a photo would consume 7-10 units/month. If 5 such bulbs are used, it may consume 30 units/month. So is the case of aquarium lamps, which would consume about 15 units a month if used throughout the day. Hence such bulbs may be switched off when no one is in room or when go to bed.
At the time of finalising the plan and sketch of a building, there should be clear idea about the lights inside. The location of window and ventilator should be such as to maximize the utilisation of natural light. (E.g. ventilator opposite to a door would give enhanced light rather than just above the door!) The plan should be such that no artificial lighting would be needed during daytime. The colour selection of inside wall, ceiling, curtain etc should never be dark. The location of light should be about 2-2 1/2 Mts. above from ground for better results. The shades of lamp and reflectors should invariably be cleaned once in a month and feel the difference.

A ceiling fan in operation thro’out night in bedroom will gobble up 22 units in a month. There is a wrong notion that fan at more speed would consume more current. Fan running at slow speed would waste energy as heat in the regulator .The ordinary regulator would take 20 watts extra at low speed. (If we use 5 fans in a house, it as good as using another 100w bulb also!)The energy loss can be compensated by using electronic regulator. Old fans when in use produce unwanted noise. This may either be due to faulty bearing or loose top, which need attention.

3. Refrigerator
Domestic fridges are the cause of waste of electricity in majority of houses. An ordinary single door 165 lts fridge would consume 30-35 units a month .10 years or older fridge would consume 1 1/2 times more energy and require immediate renovation or replacement. Fridges with glass wool or PUF (Poly Eurethene Foam) are not showing any significant reduction in consumption over a period of time. But frost-free refrigerators consume more energy. A 250lts frost-free refrigerator would consume 90-100units a month. If the fridge is not closed properly, the temperature inside may increase and make the compressor work more. Hence open the doors only when required and keep them open as briefly as possible. There is a simple method to detect the improper closing of door. Place a lighted torch inside the fridge and close it as usual. If the light of the torch is visible from outside it can be understood that the closing of door is improper. The rubber beeding or the door sealing needs immediate replacement. Hot food items, after cooling only, should be put inside. When moving out of station for 1-2 days, it is better to switch off the fridge. But switching off during every night time is not recommended as it would reduce only 15% of consumption. Overloading of fridge also consume more energy. In a middle class family, of total consumption of about 200units a month, 40% of it is attributed to the fridge alone. Hence, while purchasing, only energy efficient refrigerator may be considered and very old and noisy fridges are to be replaced or renovated.

4. Electric Iron
Before going to office, the chief of family irons his pants and shirt, after a while the eldest child irons his uniform followed by the next one at his habitual time. The housewife does the same at her own leisure time. Each time electricity is wasted considerably. A practice has to be cultivated in family to iron all the cloths once in week. This would save not only electricity but also time during rush periods.
5. Television &DVD
Television has adversely affected our culture and caused deterioration in our social life. There are housewives who glance at her favorite serial even while cooking and washing. Even during dinnertime, the TV is on without any audience. Though this has become a part of our culture, it requires some restriction. The practice of ‘viewing the TV when we like’ when changed to’ switching on the TV when we like’ would save a lot of electricity .It may be noted that a 10 hr TV viewing a day cause the current charge to increase by 30 units a month. Turn off TV and DVD at the switch itself rather than just using the remote control. Unplug the appliances that are not used. Most idle appliances like TV, CDplayers etc. continue to consume energy, though very small when switched off by remote.

Luxury items like air conditioner, washing machine, hotplate etc. are current consuming appliances.
6. Air conditioner
It is the size of room, number of occupants etc determine the capacity of the AC. A 1½ tonne AC unit consumes 2-2.5 unit electricity even for one hour! If the air holes are hermetically sealed off, the consumption can be considerably reduced. Higher level of insulation of rooms especially those provided below the roof, reduces the heat entering the house and makes any cooling system more effective and efficient. AC should not be allowed to perform with faulty thermostat as extra energy is required to bring down the temperature.. If the AC is fitted with timer, it would switch off after a particular time and the remaining chill and humidity would be sufficient for a comfortable sleep! . Use fans to create cooling breezes. When planning for a new AC, get one with timer and remote.

7. Washing machine
Loading of dirty linen to washing machine is such that it should fully utilise the capacity. Time as well as power is wasted when we wash small quantity each time. Before applying the drier, see that water is fully drained off and clothes are well spun.. The level of water should be as specified by the manufacturer, the more water the more will be the current consumption.
8. Computer
Computer is not a current intensive unit. It is the monitor which consumes the electricity most. Music lovers listen to the CDs for hours together in multimedia computer. The monitor can very well be switched off at that time or set the computer to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Among household consumers, another significant loss is due to the leakage of electricity. Old wiring, frail and damaged insulation., leaking concrete and tiles,etc help electricity to flow to earth. The electricity meter doesn’t know whether this is the actual use of the consumer ,but would register it as usual.In some other houses when we touch wall,fridge,grinder,pipeline etc, there will be feeling of numbness. This is a very grave indication of leakage of electricity and popularly known as ‘earth’. This is mainly due to the low-grade wiring materials, nailing on the wall causing injury to insulation, unnatural bend, and persistent presence of moisture. Installing ELCB (earth leakage circuit breaker) will help to detect the leakage to some extend.. An electrical engineer can pin point the origin of the leak
Drawing of multi circuit from a single plug point using adapter would cause loose connection causing the wire to be heated up. This is another source of leakage of electricity. If the tester shows power supply in all the holes of a plug point, it can be presumed that the electricity is wasted there. If the electricity meter is functioning even when all switches are off except the main switch, the leakage can be confirmed.
In short, unneeded illumination, dirty lamps and shades, never-switched off lights, aged fridge, rotating fans in unoccupied rooms, television without any viewers etc are the origin of wastage of electricity. As said in the beginning Energy audit may be conducted from the family itself .The energy meter reading may be taken down every day at a particular time and observe the variation and realise where we spent more.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

How suitable are u in detecting power theft?

Theft of electricity is a universal calamity. No country enjoys a comfortable position from this social evil. Billions of dollars of electricity are pilfered every year and the cost is routinely passed to honest consumers, in the form of higher tariff.
All over the world, electricity utilities have formed functional units exclusively for detection of electricity. They may be Flying squad, Antipower theft squad, or Enforcement wing (After all what is in a name!!! A cat- whether black or white- should trap rats. That’s all.)
Detection of power theft is a specialized job and not suited to any sleuths, but requires leadership, keen observation, analysis and quick judgment. This is a field where a number of qualities are put to test. They should approach a consumer without any prejudice.
How suitable are u in detecting power theft?
Here is a test.
Be honest.
The answer is shown below. First arrive at the answer by yourself and then check by scrolling the mouse. This test consists of four questions that tell whether or not you are qualified to be power theft detection personnel. The answers are below and there is no
reason to cheat. The questions are not that difficult. You just need to
think like a leader and professional.

Question 1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

Open the refrigerator, put the giraffe in and close the door.
(This question tests whether or not you are doing simple things in a complicated manner. During power theft detection, out of box thinking of perpetrators are to be expected)

Question 2) How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Answer. Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and shut the refrigerator. --- Incorrect answer:

Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close
the door. (This question tests your foresight and precaution. During surprise inspection, the inspector should be ready to face any situations and to find answers without any references0)
The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend
except one. Which animal does not attend?

The elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator.
This question tests if you are capable of comprehensive thinking. Wide spread and ample thinking a must in power theft detection)
Question 4
There is a river filled with crocodiles. How do you cross it?

Simply swim across. There cannot be any crocodiles in the river as they
are all attending the animal conference.
The question tests your reasoning ability. Analysis and interpretation are a must for inspectors in this job.
So........... if you answered four out of four correctly, you are a well suited for detection of power theft. Have good knowledge of metering technology and proceed. Challenge and success await you.!

If you answered three out of four, you have some catching up to do, but
there is hope for you, Read some manuals of metering technology and go only with a professional power theft detector.

If you answered two out of four, consider a career as a hamburger flipper and simply watch what others do.

If you answered one out of four, go for gambling or stock trading.. These are the only ways you will ever make any money.

If you answered none correctly, consider a career that does not require any higher mental function at all and spent time watching Television opera,test cricket live telecast and eat snacks..

Friday, 23 November 2007

What is in a name?

What is in a name!
A rose will smell the same, even if it is called by another name! So goes the proverb …
It is crusty dark outside.
The computer is on.
Tamper finder is busy with googling when the mobile alerted.
The call is from Head quarters.
Be ready for a surprise inspection in a famous hotel around mid night in a world famous tourist centre.
“This hotel performs high-tech power theft and that too only at night. On seeing any utility personnel, the normalcy will be regained by a swift and clandestine operation by the Hotel Manager. Any inspection after this act would give accurate results. Many inspection teams of the ‘God’s own utility’ failed in past. There is no come back till the theft is detected………”...So goes the instructions.
The team is ready within an hour and moved to the destination. Beaches of this tourist centre are a personification of beauty, elegance and calmness. Many of the beaches are still to be discovered by tourists. As most of the locales here live a slow life, these heavenly beaches remain under wraps. Lying beneath swaying coconut trees, keeping mind on to the winds torment its leaves, refresh the soul to the deepest……………………
Slowly we moved to the palatial building built in wood and sporting antique, carved doors and pillars……….
Each room is a piece of marvelous traditional architecture.
We find the beautiful girls moving here and there diverting our attention!!!!
Soon appeared the hotel manager…..Before he could do any mischief, one of the team members reached near the energy meter.
Find the manger in helpless condition…..
The power theft was so meticulously done that even the” expert” team took more than an hour to analyze the tampering of energy meter and the modus operandi..
The logic and implementation of power theft deserves appreciation.
Soon one member of our team- usually acts as Dr.Watson (?)- rushed to tamper finder as if he had detected another irregularity.
He advised the Tamperfinder to leave the spot soon
‘Why so hurry’?
“This is not a hotel as the name indicates”
‘What the hell are u talking?’ One team member irritated.
Soon we realized, it as not a hotel, but a brothel
Many pretty girls moving with kinky gestures.
As we realized we are in a kip, the inspection and preparation of reports were done very quickly
There was no resistance from this consumer during the surprise inspection. (“Resistance” is not known in such places!!!!)
This is a tourist place and all the *hotels in tourist centers are categorized under industrial tariff which is quite lower, in god’s own utility.
Tamper finder hurriedly prepared the ‘loss assessment’ at site itself.
Why such untimely hiccup from ‘Dr Watson?’
‘What happened?’ asked Tamperfinder impatiently
‘Sir, you are losing revenue by adopting the lower tariff for electricity ie industrial” courteously replied “Dr.Watson”
‘No. It is the tariff allocated to them officially’, vehemently replied the leader.
‘Sir, don’t you know, it should be the actual purpose and not allocated purpose that determines the tariff?”. This time the voice of the deputy was firm.
So what?
‘What is the actual use of electricity here?’ There is no sign of recessive mood in him.
“Industry”,’coz it is identified by the tourism department, as a measure of promoting tourism………….” Tamperfinder delivered a lecture on tariff orders, classifications, electricity supply codes, codes and procedures etc.etc.
‘Agreed sir, no question of yr authority’.” But, the actual business undergoing here is nothing but trade….perhaps the oldest trade of human civilization…….and ‘Buy and sell’ has to be charged under the highest tariff as per our tariff notification… and do u want go by the name of the hotel” the deputy spoke like a logician and philosopher.
‘What is in a name, sir?’ he spoke in sotto voice
Yes….No…. !..... ?
There is a bit in name. A rose would not be same if called by some other name.

See the different categories of names. Do u still believe that there is nothing in a name?

Agnomen, alias, anonym, appellation, badge name,
Birth name, brand name, byname,
Class name, Christian name, classification name, cognomen, Code name, cover, common name,
Designation, denomination, demonian,
Epithet, econym, eponym
Family name, first name, forename,
Genus name, given name, handle name,
icon name
Label name, last name
Maiden name, married name, moniker
noms de guerre, nom de plume, nickname
Patronymic, pen name, personal name, pseudonym, pet name, place name
Sobriquet, stage name, signature name, sign, mark name, specie name, surname, symbol name,
Toponym name, title name, trade name, type name.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Astrology&Power Theft

Astrology & Power Theft

What is the relationship between astrology and power theft? Tamperfinder has no idea till he conducted a surprise inspection recently. There is no Reference Book to go through also………..
Two entirely different topics of science with no common field of interest.
Heavenly bodies like Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Mars etc play decisive role in Astrology while voltage, current, meters, seals etc comes under the latter.

The letter received the other day, unfolding power theft at a location, has brought nothing new…a routine work ………
But, when perused, the source information is found referring to a famous fortune-teller!
Tamperfinder is not an ardent follower of astrology, hence not concerned about starting the journey for inspection at auspicious time.
The vehicle moved……..came to an island with full of coconut trees in line at one side of road and the calm sea at the other side.

As we moved,……… the vehicle left behind thick vegetation……cycle is the latest mode of transportation there…….A thatched big shed appeared near the road and the team alighted as if it were our destination.
No…it was the cultural centre of the village, a cinema theatre….
Chemmen and Mera Nam Joker are yet to be released there….
A pretty woman sitting rear the roadside with a basket of fish and tapioca for sale….claiming fresh fish…
But this fish didn’t know the history of the sea for the last3-4 days!. With her help, we carried on further….Jobless youngsters and roadside Romeos sitting on culvert side ….. busy with discussion.
Their discussion ranged from the price hike of onion in Ukraine to Chikunguniya in Cochin.
The road turns out to be narrow and finally we found the target.

The vehicle parked few meters away…….. A lot of followers moving here and there……Street vendors are happy with business……
Without noticing any body, we went inside.
Though the building is small, the attached shed is large enough to accommodate about 1000 people….. few are sitting… while others muttering something looking at the horizon…

While moving swiftly, tamperfinder was caught and stopped.
! ?
A moving skeleton.... or a fossil in uniform……….
Hither to I considered ‘paper’ as the thinnest man made material .This bony’s front and backside touch almost each other!!!
‘Got your token??’
‘No ‘

‘Baba…you may get a number above 250 only’…… the skeleton screamed.
Got one, to get rid of him
We started inspecting the energy meter. And detected power theft performed on meter…in just 2-3 minutes’ time. One of the most foolish ways of tampering the meter….all physical evidences were intact (or preserved?). And nothing erased…

Quickly prepared all reports and arranged photos.
Tamperfinder is known for buttering….moved to visit the Chief of the institution.
But he was not available. His immediate subordinate came …shown him all evidences on meter…….No questions ….any difference of opinion or objection…..signed all papers……….
‘Can I see the Chief?’ the artifice tamperfinder requested in devotional voice…
‘Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh Nooooooooooo.’
‘He has gone to xxxxxxxx yesterday’. ‘This is not an arranged tour’. ‘Usually we prepare his tour program…’This time he suddenly decided to go…….’
“Our Chief had an intuition the other day …that you will come for surprise inspection to detect power theft today’. ‘That is why he preferred to stay away’, the sincere deputy said.
Tamperfinder’s eye ball bulged out …Till depature, the sincere disciple has nothing else to say except his chief’s supernatural powers……….
Then……. Why the physical evidence was not vanished?........tamperfinder was about to ask….but reserved…… not because of any premonition….. but the big moustache of the few crowded around us!
Belief will protect….whether astrology or power theft.

Saturday, 10 November 2007


Electricity theft is a social evil. Billions of dollars are stolen from the utilities annually. These costs are routinely passed along to the customer in the form of higher rate. Utilities are struggling hard to find ways to combat it. Most of the countries have realized the importance this evil and formulated strict laws to curb theft of electricity. All countries have treated this as a criminal and cognizable offence.
But crooks always have the ability to keep one step ahead of the anti theft system. They stay in business purely through their flair to circumvent any challenge that comes their way. They will always be ahead of the vigilance wing or any Anti power theft detection system. Gone are the days of crude mechanical ways to tamper the meter or divert electricity from main line. The R&D of electricity theft is growing faster than that of the metering mechanism, which was revolution with the advent of ICs and Programmable logic circuits!. Now power theft using the Remote sensing devices has been developed. (Please don’t think that only hooking from overhead line is power theft!!) Various high-tech power thefts will be discussed here for the benefit of those engaged in detection of pilferage of electricity and view power sector seriously.
The money power involved in this game is beyond imagination. Globally hundreds of million-worth energy is pilfered by these anti social elements. No country enjoys comfortable position as far as power theft is concerned. Only the % may vary. Yes, power theft has inter country ramifications.
My intention is to create awareness among bloggers how this social evil creates havoc to economy and its social aspects. The Prime Minister of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh commended power theft as the "Cancer of society”. Indeed, its silent attack on our economy will be usually noticed only at a stage when issue goes beyond control, like cancer. Every reduction of 1% in loss can save additional capacity of 800MW in the largest democratic country of the world...This may require investment of approx.1250 million dollars and the current exercise of focusing attention only on capacity addition is like pouring of funds to bottomless bin.

Credit card-A great development of forgetfulness.

Credit cards are everywhere. Almost 70% transaction in Japan is through Credit cards. With the Olympics in the offing, the usage of ‘pla...