Indian Railways: Estimating Electrical Contract Demand
At the very end of 2019, Jay Prakash Pal, divisional electrical engineer (Traction Distribution) for the Sealdah division of Eastern Railway in India, was asked to prepare a consolidated report for revising the contract demand with power distribution companies. Over the last six months, demand charge penalties had been imposed on multiple occasions for two power stations under his jurisdiction (Barasat traction sub-station and Sonarpur feeding post), as the monthly maximum demand had crossed the existing contract demand for these stations. He would have to provide a revised contract demand value to minimize the annual expenditure due to a demand charge penalty for the next year. While proposing the new contract demand, he would also have to ensure that the cost arising from the unutilized portion of the minimum guaranteed demand would be minimal. Samir Biswas is affiliated with Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. Preetam Basu is affiliated with Indian Institute of Management Calcutta.