konnect Issue-date: 30th December 2020.

3rd Tech Talk of Year 2019-2020 on Solar PV Hybrid Distributed Power Systems for Rural and Urban Micro-grid applications


The third Tech talk of the year was held on 12th October 2019 at the Hotel Chancery, Bangalore. The talk was delivered by Dr. Jayesh J Barve, Principal (Controls &Optimization) of GE Global Research, Bangalore and the current President of ISA Bangalore section. The talk was very well received by the full capacity, highly interactive audience consisting of members of the Chapter and other interested professionals. The focus of the talk was the Solar photovoltaic Hybrid Distributed Power generation (HDP) systems - off-grid or grid-tied -- forming a small, local power generation-cum-distribution system called as nano/micro/mini-grid. Such HDP systems can help solve universal energy access problem by providing electricity in remote areas at a lower carbon-footprints. Whereas, in urban areas, similar scaled-up, grid-tied HDP microgrids can help reduce energy costs & carbon footprints for commercial & industrial facilities, campuses, buildings.

There have always been such niche applications of decentralised renewable energy local grids. However, what was showcased in this talk, with state-of-the-art implemented examples, was the much higher level of sophistication and reliability than ever before in the system design including Edge-Cloud connectivity.

Dr. Jayesh J Barve, principal engineer (controls & optimization) at GE Global Research Center, Bangalore has been with GE for approximately 12 years. He has total of approximately 29 years of well-balanced experience which includes approximately 15 years in industrial R&D and approximately 14 years in academia. His industrial R&D experience includes approximately 12 years in Controls & Optimization group at GE Global Research Center, Bangalore and approximately 3 years in Technology R&D group of Engineering & Industrial Business Unit at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Pune.

Patents & Publications: Dr. Barve has published ~15 global patent applications (few more in pipeline) and approximately 45 research papers in peer-reviewed prestigious international Journals/ Conferences. He has also published more than 25 industrial (internal) technical white-papers/reports for TCS & GE. His R&D contributions have so-far resulted in approximately 8 industrial products/technologies for GE/TCS/other industry.

Professional Activities: He has been an active senior member with various international and national-level reputed professional organizations including IEEE; IFAC-ACDOS and ISA. He has been active serving as the organizer, coordinator, reviewer, technical council & editorial board member for various international/national conferences/ journals.

Awards & Recognitions: At GE, he has won several awards including GE-Proud Science-Stein Award, Global Technical achievement award, Patents & Publications Award, Project leadership/management awards. He also won prestigious Global-level "Excellence in Technical Innovation" Award (2019) by ISA (International Society of Automation) in 2019, and District-14 level "Excellence in Leadership" Award (2015) for his professional technology R&D contributions.

Details :

Dr. Jayesh talked about the motivation, technical background, and some perspectives based on his own industrial R&D & pilot-plant experiences related to HDP micro-grids. The talk highlighted Physical & Digital transformation covering some details of a latest HDP solution, that combines novel HDP Physical Systems (i.e. Solar PV, Battery, IC Engine, Power-Energy Controls & Management etc.) integrated with state-of-art HDP Digital platform (i.e. cyber-secured Edge-CloudApp based advanced IIOT automation platform) developed at GE Global Research Center, Bangalore and with several plants successfully deployed & operational globally in last 1-2 years. Finally, an overview of urban microgrid energy management platform & pilot was provided.

Dr. Jayesh provided an overview on the classification of Power Plants. He talked about the emissions from Power generation sources and mention about the Low Carbon dioxide emission in India. US and Europe account for nearly half of the Carbon dioxide emissions. He mentioned about low electrification in Africa and that the trend in power consumption is going to go up. The share of renewables in Power generation is also going to go up while share of fossil-based power generation will reduce. Distributed Generation trend is likely to increase with a lot of micro-grid and off-grid generation. The approach will become one of generating only required units depending on local demand. EV Grids, Nano-grids, Hybrid Distributed Power solutions are expected to grow substantially. HDP is expected to be a solution for Universal Energy access. The Operating costs of various generation options like Kerosene, Solar, Diesel Generation (DG) sets, HDP systems and the Grid reduce from around $1 to $0.1 per kWh. Compared to DG sets, Capex is high but Opex low for Solar-home & HDP systems.

A total of 32 persons attended this talk. A view of the audience
Dr. Jayesh is explaining a point in the photograph above.

He talked about Solar-Diesel Hybrid Power Generation approach from GE next. He mentioned that Coal-based Thermal Power plant efficiency is typically 30-35%. Whereas, Gas based power plants gives ~45-50% efficiency; whereas Combined Cycle power plant efficiency has reached to ~60-65% recently. On the other hand, fixed speed DG sets gives 35% efficiency, which drops significantly, if load reduces to ~30% levels. Dr. Jayesh then covered the Modular Hybrid Power Platforms recently developed in his work at GE. These are based on a variable speed diesel engine coupled to a Doubly Fed Induction Generator (DFIG) with variable excitation - a concept seen in Wind turbine generators. Both Lead-Acid as well as Lithium Ion battery are available integrated to take care of essential loads. The technology approach adopted by his work provides better characteristics – a wider operating range and higher efficiency. Safety concerns with Lithium Ion battery can be taken care of with a robust design of the battery management system. Energy storage life cycle is subjected to accelerated tests for VRLA cells. It is observed in lab and field a rapid drop in storage capacity below 50% SOC limit is reached. This was followed by an overview slide for the automation system from the Field Instrumentation Layer to the Planning layer. Next, the Micro-Grid Energy Management System for Urban requirements was also briefly discussed. The system encompasses Operations Planning, Forecasting, Scheduling, Asset Performance Management, Visualization & Reporting, Operations Dashboards, etc. Dr. Jayesh then covered the traditional Industrial Automation approaches and then described how the IIOT and cloud-based systems provide the new architectural framework. He ended the talk by showing two videos of the implementation of these systems in Bihar and Ethiopia and the difference it was making in people's lives. The system is thoroughly pre-tested in an integrated package in the form of single 20" shipping container. It can be quickly deployed at site with the Solar panels on top of container or on the ground at an adjacent space saving local installation time.

The Talk generated a lot of queries and comments from the audience on various technology, cost and implementation aspects and Dr. Jayesh Barve answered them well. All-in-all it was a very interesting and valuable evening.


ISA Bangalore Chapter organizes a monthly program called Tech Talk wherein we get an Industry expert to come and address the Chapter members and some invited non-members on topics of interest and the latest technology evolution.

ISA Bangalore | 174, 19th Main Rd, HSR Layout, Bengaluru - 560102