Analysis of potential impact of direct load control of AC units in the Indian State of Karnataka

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: Demand Side Management (DSM) is a term coined to describe the control of demand to optimize energy usage in a way beneficial to both users and utilities. There are different technologies and policies designed for DSM, and one of them is Direct Load Control (DLC) which refers to a utility directly controlling demand. In this thesis, an analysis of DLC for air conditioning units during summer in the Indian state of Karnataka is carried out. A new control mechanism is proposed, based on the local generation capacity, which seems to reduce until the monsoon season arrives, as the lack of rain reduces water levels in hydro power plants. The direct load control of ACs using this mechanism allows for 0.88% energy savings in a state where only around 5% of all households seem to have AC units and electricity is available for only 37% of the population. The mentioned savings could have significant economic impacts for both users and utilities, reduce the fossil-based energy consumption and/or improve issues such as blackouts and the lack of capacity to cover peak loads. Continuous improvements in both energy access and the economic conditions of the state will lead to a larger number of AC’s installed, meaning that a mechanism that reduces AC consumption could be of great utility for all stakeholders of the electricity sector.

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