Network Reconductoring - Technical Loss Reduction
The size of conductor/cable is a significant parameter as it determines the current density and the resistance of the line. A lower conductor size could cause high I2R losses (a technical loss which can be reduced) and high voltage drop that causes a loss of revenue as consumer's consumption and therefore revenue is decreased.
Increasing the size of conductors will need additional investment that might not pay back for the reduction in losses. The recommended practice is to search out whether the conductor is able to deliver the peak demand of the consumers at the correct voltages, which is, the voltage drop must remain inside the allowable limits as specified in the Electricity Act, 2003. Network reconductoring is a preferred solution.
Network reconductoring is the replacement of the existing conductor on the feeder along with an optimal conductor size for optimal length of the feeder. This scheme arises while the existing conductor is no more optimal because of rapid load growth. This is particularly relevant for the developing countries, while the annual growth rates are high and the conductor sizes are selected to minimize the initial capital investment. Studies of various distribution feeders denote that the losses in the first few major sections (say, 4 to 5) from the source constitute a main part of the losses in the feeder. Reinforcing these sections with conductors of optimal size could avoid these losses. Thus, we could minimize the total cost, that is, the cost of investment and the cost of energy losses over a period of 5 to 10 years.