Introduction to Electric Load Forecasting and its Significance

Load Forecasting- An Introduction

Electrical Energy cannot be stored at large scale, it has to generate whenever there is a demand for it, Load Management is very important for electrical power utilities to estimate the load on their system in advance. This estimation of Load is commonly known as Load Forecasting. Thus the load forecasting is the only way to predict the power/energy needed to meet the demand and supply equilibrium.

Power system expansion planning starts with a forecast of anticipated future load requirements, Estimation of both demand and energy requirements is critical to effective system planning. Demand predictions are used for determining system generating, Transmission and Distribution capacity. Load forecasts are used to establish procurement policies for construction of generating stations. Capital Energy forecast is required to determine the future load requirements. Thus a good forecast reflecting the current and future trends of generation and consumptions of electrical power.

Purpose of Load Forecasting

Load Forecasting would be done to facilitate the  following :
  1. Proper planning of Power System
  2. Planning of Transmission and Distributed Facilities
  3. Power System operations
  4. Financing
  5. Manpower Development
  6. Grid Formation
  7. Electrical Power sales

1. Proper planning of power system

Proper planning of power system is required to determine the following
  • Potential need for additional  power generation facilities
  • Location of units
  • Size of Plant
  • The year in which they are required

2. Planning of Transmission & Distribution Facilities

The load forecasting is required for planning the transmission facilities so that the right amount of power is available at the right place and at the right time, Wastage of resources due to improving planning, like a purchase of equipment not immediately required, can be avoided.

3. Power System operation

Load forecast based on the correct value of demand and diversity factor, it will prevent the higher rating of a conductor as well as overloading of distribution transformer and feeders. Thus it might help to correct voltage, power factor and reduce the loss in the distribution system.

4. Financing

Load forecast helps the state of electricity boards to estimates future expenditure boards to estimates future expenditure, earning & return and to schedule their financing programmings.

5. Manpower Development

Accurate Load forecasting reviewed annually will help the state electricity boards in manpower planning on a long-term basis.

6. Grid Formation

An interconnection between various grids is now becoming more common and the aim is to have fully interconnected regional grids, ultimately even a super grid for the country as a whole. These expensive high voltages interconnection must be based on reliable load data as otherwise. The generator connected to the grid may frequently fall out of step, causing power shut down.

7. Electrical Power Sales

In countries where spinning reverses are more proper planning and execution of an electrical power sales programming is aided by proper load forecasting.

PS- Load forecasting module prepared as per syllabus of M.Tech - power system in Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun.

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