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Social Innovation

Automating City Gas Distribution in India

City Gas Distribution City Gas Distribution

Rapid urbanization, growing footprint

The surging economic activities in India have propelled nation-wide massive urbanization. With high population growth and influx, these areas are under considerable stress to meet the infrastructural demands like energy, which is a fundamental need of everyday life. It is anticipated that by 2050 urban population will exceed rural population in India (1). Thus, realizing the importance of adopting low carbon footprint energy solutions for sustainable living, the government has been putting greater thrust on green energy solutions to meet the astronomical demand of urban domestic and commercial entities.

The government recognized the huge potential of natural gas as a low polluting urban utility and the critical need for an efficient gas distribution network to meet the demand of the expanding domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. Hence, Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) was formed in 1998 as a joint venture of Gas Authority of India Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. From 9 service stations and 1,000 Piped Natural Gas (PNG) customers, today, IGL is a leading Gas Distribution service provider in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR ) witnessing an astronomical scale-up to meet the growing demand with 515 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Stations, 12.39 lacs residential consumers and an estimated 4,000 commercial and nearly 2500 industrial users. (2)

This swift growth in demand and scale brought forth unprecedented operational challenges of revenue and efficiency for IGL. Rising frequency of faulty meters, unavailability of consumers, maintenance issues, absence of demand assessment and rapid action capability to meet any eventuality were some of the concern's instrumental in the search for a Technology partner by the gas distribution major. For IGL, the need to Digitally transform the processes and optimize their operational costs and returns was clearly the way forward.

Choosing the partner

After a meticulous selection process and adherence to due diligence by IGL, Hitachi India Pvt.Ltd., Infra Systems Division was commissioned to supply, installation & (Annual Maintenance Contract) AMC of Global System for Mobile (GSM) based remote operating system of SV stations for CGD project in NCT of DELHI & NCR, with an aim to help one of the biggest and prestigious gas distribution networks in India to digitally meet the present and future demands.

A pioneering cutting-edge OT (Operational Technology) X IT solutions, Hitachi emerged as a preferred choice in recognition to the company's vast and globally admired urban solutions in myriad areas that are empowering the citizens as well as the customers.

Overcoming Challenges through Collaborative Creation

Committed to co-creating solutions that are aligned to the customer's vision, Hitachi Fully leveraged its expertise in OT (Operational Technology) X IT to devise robust and comprehensive operations automation solution for IGL. For example, for gathering and analysing real time data, the Core OT software (HIACS-AZ) Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) from Omika Works, Infrastructure Systems Company, Hitachi Ltd., is deployed. Widely engaged to monitor and control a plant or equipment SCADA allows industrial or Oil and Natural gas organizations to:

  • Control processes locally or at remote locations
  • Monitor, gather and process real-time data
  • Directly interact with devices such as sensors, valves, pumps, motors and more through human-machine interface (HMI0 software)
  • Record events into a log file

Thus, equipping the customer with a host of distinctive capabilities such as -

  • Monitoring and controlling the on/off status of SVs or Sectionalizing Valve
  • Monitoring live pressure values and remote shutoff of SVs
  • Monitoring process parameters of SV stations
  • Undertaking alarm and trend analysis.

Hitachi OT x IT solutions

To resolve the critical issue of timely assessment of situation in a burgeoning city gas network, advanced telemetry was deployed. Hitachi infrastructure team engaged efficient IT hardware and dual Subscriber Identification Module General Packet Radio Service (SIM GPRS) communication technique that securely exchanges the information between field and Command Control Centre. In doing so, the technology is helping in ensuring prompt and effective response to any situation. Thus, contributes to safety of the citizens and efficiency of the network. Attentive to the critical importance of meticulous transition to success of a project, Hitachi facilitated rigorous training sessions for IGL employees as part of the project implementation.

The Outcome

Collaborating with IGL through its digital journey, Hitachi is empowering the organization with real-time access to impactful data insights, gathered through sensors and SCADA systems installed on IGL sites spread across the NCR.

The converging data aids in recognizing the peak hour consumption patterns based on which differential pricing during peak hours can be introduced. Hitachi's City Gas Distribution (CGD) automation solution is helping customer to upgrade their infrastructure to facilitate the Monitoring and control of critical points of PNG network from central command center.

Moreover, as the first end-to-end HIACS-AZ (SCADA) installation by Hitachi for a City Gas Distribution the project paves way for IoT enabled Lumada Platform solutions in this high growth sector. The solution utilizes clean energy solution, Solar power, for powering the remote location installation interface system.

IoT Enabled Lumada Platform Solutions

With such established outcomes, Hitachi is meeting its vision of enhancing social, environmental and economic values of the customer and the society. Subsequent to implementation of the project, IGL is able to provide safer and efficient services to the consumer. Digital transformation is also appreciating the customer's Economic value as it is resulting in optimization of resources and higher network capability to serve more consumers, amounting to higher revenue at lower cost. Similarly, the IoT enabled solutions are impacting the Environmental values of the customer and the society by increasing access to economical, high quality green energy resource. Thus, by minimizing the carbon footprint of the society and improving the Quality of Life of citizens in urban areas, the platform solution is a stellar example of how Hitachi Social Innovation is POWERING GOOD.


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