Smart Grid Innovator: V. S. K. Murthy Balijepalli bags UNIDO recognition

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V. S. K. Murthy Balijepalli is an imaginative mind, enthusiastic, young, versatile research scholar at IIT Bombay. Murthy is known to have developed “Smart Grids” in electrical grid solution, a field unknown to many in the country. Though faced with dubiety in the beginning, his dauntless research opened up the flood-gates of thoughts, giving India a strong foothold in the smart grid world map. The path-breaking research has been identified by the United Nations Industry Development Organization (UNIDO).
02hyrrr15-murthy-a-1040686e“Smart Grid” is a term spanning various functionalities geared towards modernizing the electricity grid. Inculcating the spirit of control – automation and communication in the grid operations to an unprecedented extent, the smart grid concept aims at primarily empowering the consumers to actively participate in the power demand-supply flow.His research boasts of a significant reduction in non-technical losses of electrical energy (pilferage) through active end-consumer participation and infrastructure up-gradation. Promotion of demand-response through customer participation for meeting the demand-supply gap existent in the Indian scenario is the other flag-bearing topic of his research. In such a scenario the end consumer is faced with the challenge of being enabled with smart tools which guide them in their involvement in grid decisions. One such tool among a plethora of others is forecasting. Forecasting electricity parameters such as price, grid frequency, and load can facilitate consumers’ participation in balancing the power demand-supply ratio.
The novelty of his research, especially in the field of forecasting with a smarter grid in vision, has fetched him prestigious awards and merits. In fact the United Nations Industry Development Organization (UNIDO) has invited him to co-author an in-house publication on smart grids, titled, “Smart and Just Grids”.The scholarships and awards have their own importance in research. It not only motivates the present generation but also inspires the coming young generation of researchers at IIT Bombay. He has been awarded the Prestigious MIT young innovator award, the Prestigious Department of Science and Technology (DST) Lockheed Martin Gold Medal, and Gandhian Technology Edge Award from the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI). Along with his research work Murthy actively participate in spreading awareness about the smart grid technology, he has started a portal for doing so, – /
Qns : Where does theme of your research fall in? Murthy: Energy Sector
Qns : Who are the beneficiaries of your research? Murthy: Useful for all the players in the energy supply chain, which includes end-consumers, power distribution operators, Market participants, Transmission operator, generators, and system operators.
      Qns : How will your research bring about a change in the society? Murthy: Smart Grid is a new research area, it is all about exploring the ways for modernizing the existing power grid and empowering the end-consumers (house-hold, industry, commercial etc) to participate into the power grid activities. I have also authored a publication on the Indian smart grid, and it is the first international publication. For educating the Indian audience on the smart grids, I have also started a educational
      Qns : Is this the only such research or invention? Murthy: Yes
      Qns : What do you aspire to become? Murthy: Professor at IIT (in short-term), Member of Rajya Sabha (in long-term)
      Qns : Tell us a bit about Smart Grid technologies. When did you start? What does it do? Murthy: I have started my research in 2008. During that time, there were no one doing the research on the Smart Grids in India. Even when I said the concept of Smart Grid to my PhD research progress committee- they felt weird and questioned on its functionality. Once the people acknowledge the need for a smarter power grid, slowly, I received a tremendous support from them.
Qns : What is your next plan of action? Murthy: To focus more on promoting smart grid education in India through and Join in IIT/PSU as a faculty/leader to continue my research and Innovation on the smart grid!

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