Saroj Joshi PE., Phd
Above title of the article mainly concerns developing countries & under developing-countries :
There are numerous incidences of property damages and loss of lives occurring almost daily due to faults in electrical system distributions across the world.
Who is responsible?
Utility companies in developing countries like Nepal and other developing and least developing countries do not have strong code compliances and also not complying codes like developed countries .
Numerous people had been electrocuted, huge property damages have been recorded just most recent one Indreni complex of Kathmandu Nepal caught fire due to short circuits reported in inverter. Property damages reported about $200,000. In my openion Investigations of above subject is not complete one.
Fault current may starts from Source of utility company that is NEA ( Nepal electricity Authority) and it shall be protected based on utility fault sizing KAIC ratings.
And you can not find any single building design based on such factors in Nepal with my involvement with S & P consultants Nepal for last 5 yrs plus , if you will find one may be less than 0.1%.
There may be several other factors cause of failure of inverter / ATS & other electrical equipment that may be in life threatening as well as sever property damaging stages, which may due to the power surplus in utility net work say excess reactive power, surges due to switching in utility side and lightning surges, voltage sags , high voltages generations due to different reason, phases imbalances, phases out of sequence and many more causes including harmonics, transients etc.
It’s urgent to have property & life safety damage compensations and provision to Sue if it’s disaster started due to utility’s fault or other 3 rd parties installations, which are stil under warranties.
It is sad general people have no idea and any losses as stated above they simply taking it as normal bearing heavy losses in their own although it’s not their faults. Reason behind they are not aware of modern laws available in the world and their rights in such cases.
They need to be protected by laws now on!
If strong regulatory body & watch dogs will be there for such issues it will create forced moves to increase drastic quality of the system installed both by utility companies & other firms.
Particularly due to frequent Utlity distributions poor power qualities, surge generations including transients, voltages variations ( high / dip) and overloads and many other causes almost evey day somewhere in downstream people/ clients ( residential, commercial & industrial clients).
Due to these causes client losses many electrical equipment that will include highly expensive ones as well as daily household equipment such as inverters, refrigerators, microwaves, induction heaters , water pumps etc. So it’s time to investigate, pin down whose faults? Say if it’s fault by utility company Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), then definitely NEA must sue by clients and ask for compensations that may extend to property damages by them not limiting to the electrical equipment but every hazardous involved including losses of lives as consequences of faults as described above.
In such cases there must not be any way out to get away from it . On the top strong laws and regulations must be there in the national government level to protect all downstream clients like in developed countries.
It is time to act and protect lives and properties particularly in poor countries, where laws and qualities of power distributions / energy sectors are extremely weak in all aspects.
It is scary and life threatening in every walk of life in those countries.
So no doubts urgent action needed and government & local authorities shall issuing mandatory measures making all concern authorities, companies to comply such as say National Electrical Codes, Life safety codes plus if not they will have to faces sever penalties, charges and consequences due to their negligence, poor practices!!
Source : Sone pics are used from news of social medias for this article.
Editor : KS
Reviewer: Jiban Bajracharya