Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Indians to switch off lights for nine minutes at 9 pm today, while all other essential services like hospitals, public utilities, municipal services, offices, police stations, manufacturing facilities, etc will remain functional, the power ministry said on Sunday. On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for a 9-minute blackout to show the unity of Indians in the fight against coronavirus.
According to Power Ministry, only lights in the houses have to be put off voluntarily as appealed by the Prime Minister. The ministry reiterated that no street lights, common area places, hospitals or essential services have to switch off their lights. The ministry has issued FAQs in the wake of concerns that sudden decline and then rise in power demand may lead to tripping of the electricity grid.
Here are FAQs on power grid operations during light out put out by Power Ministry:
Question 1: Are only domestic lights to be switched off or are street lights, common area lighting, essential services etc lights also to be switched off between 9 - 9:09 pm?
Answer: Only domestic home lights in the houses have to be put off voluntarily as appealed by our Hon'ble PM. It is again reiterated that no street lights, common area places, hospitals and other essential services have to switch off their lights.
Question 2: Are my domestic appliances safe during the said switching off of home lights?
Answer: All your domestic appliances will be safe. There is no need to switch off Fans, ACs, Fridges etc. Indian Electricity Grid is well designed to handle such kind of load variation and has several in- built levels of control and safety mechanisms to absorb any kind of frequency changes occurring due to such load variation. Thus, all the domestic appliances will be totally safe and hence should be kept in normal functioning mode as per the requirements.
Question 3: Whether adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle grid stability during light out event on 5th April at 9:00 PM to 9.09 pm?
Answer: Yes, all adequate arrangements and standard operating protocols are in place to maintain grid stability.
Question 4: Is it compulsory or voluntary to switch off lights?
Answer: Voluntary . As already said only domestic home lights have to be put off .
Question 5: Some apprehensions have been expressed that this may cause instability in the grid and fluctuation in voltage which may harm the electrical appliances.
Answer: These apprehensions are totally misplaced. These are normal phenomenon and the Indian Electricity Grid is well designed to handle such load variation and frequency changes as per standard operating protocols.
Question 6: Whether our grid management and technology deployed will withstand the fluctuation that light out may cause?
Answer: Indian electricity grid is robust and stable and employs state-of -art technology. It has in place necessary control and protective elements capable of handling such kind of fluctuations in demand at any instant of time.
Question 7: Whether appliances like fan, Refrigerators , AC, etc should be switched off or kept in the on mode?
Answer: All your domestic appliances would be safe. These appliances should be operated normally as per requirements by the consumers. No need at all to especially switch off at 9pm.
Question 8: Whether Street Lights will go off.
Answer: No. Infact, all States/UTs/local bodies have been advised to keep the street lights on for public safety.
Questions 9: Whether Hospitals or other emergency and important installations will face light out.
Answer: No, the lights in Hospitals and all other essential services like Public Utilities, Municipal Services, Offices, Police Stations, Manufacturing Facilities, etc will remain on. The call given by Hon'ble PM is to just switch off lights in residences.
Question 10: The load of home-lightings alone is around 20% of the total load. Would a sudden disconnect of 20% load not destabilise the grid? What measures will the Ministry take?
Answer: Domestic lighting load is much less than 20 per cent. Such kind of reduction in demand can be easily managed for which standard technical operating protocols are in place.
Question 11: Will there be load shedding? If yes what will be the impact?
Answer: No load shedding is planned.
By Chitranjan Kumar