Power Demand

Published by GayaMadhusanka on

The Power demand of Sri Lanka is increasing at a high rate because of current projects in Sri Lanka and as a developing country, industrial power requirement also increases.

In the current situation, Sri Lanka can manage the supply and demand with several power sources but in near future. There will be a gap between supply and demand due to currently ongoing projects such as,

  • Colombo Port City
  • High Rise Building in the Colombo areas like Residence and Hotel buildings.

Other than those civil projects Sri Lanka is developing a lot of Industrial projects with BOI zones.

Sri Lanka has a lot of renewable energy sources also such as hydro, wind, and solar power. But future demand cannot fully fill with only renewable energy options. Then Sri Lankan engineers especially mechanical and electrical engineers have to find alternative energy sources otherwise at some point Sri Lanka will be stuck due to lack of power.

A nuclear power plant in Sri Lanka?

Nuclear Power Plant

Nuclear power plants are a very good option for a high-power demand and a lot of developed countries are running nuclear power plants and produce huge power to cover power demand without thinking about renewable energy sources. 

Is it suitable for Sri Lanka? The simple answer is No. Because Sri Lanka is a very small Island with open wind flow therefore too risky an option to go for a nuclear power plant.

  • Chernobyl disaster in 1986
  • Fleurus Belgium in 2006
  • CRL Ontario Canada in 1952
  • Lair-et-Cher France in 1980
  • Greifswald East Germany in 1975
  • Kalpakkam India in 2002
  • Fukushima Dai-ichi Japan in 2011  

These are some good examples to identify the risk of nuclear power plants. Other than the Risk, Initial investment and running cost can’t be invested by Sri Lanka.

The thermal power plant is the only option?

Then Sri Lanka’s main option is looking for a server thermal power plant. But that is not the one and only solution for increasing power demand. Sri Lank can go for a combined answer for lack of power, Firstly generates power with alternative methods which means HydroSolar, and other renewable energy sources.

But already Sri Lanka is in the maximum level of hydropower plant then Secondly go for Solar Power project but not only for large solar farms but also individual home solar projects that are currently Sri Lanka is doing now. 

Downsize the large wind power plant to a small scale and locate that downsize wind power plants on top of beachside Hotels and High Raised Buildings in Colombo. That will cover the lack of monsoon wind flow in the entire year.

Reducing the wastage and managing the power source which means all the thermal power plants get only the electricity and waste the hot water through the cooling tower and drop some of the hot water to the ocean. In the middle of the country, aging produces hot water for hotels and factories by using electricity. The hot water wastage from thermal power plants can be used for factories and hotels and that will be the best saving in this country.

For that, there are two options one is locating the new factories which need hot water for their production. Another one is starting to build a small cogeneration power plant or tri-generation which can generate cold water as well for the factory zone and the hotel industry.

Power Supply and Demand with alternative methods 

When considering the alternative solutions, we can go for completely new power generation methods of electricity generation and introduce new methods/ Power options. People need to replace the current activities which they already use for electricity with alternative methods.

Geothermal energy:

This can be used in several ways which mean direct use for industrial & agricultural applications or electric power generation.  Geothermal electricity generation is produced electricity by using steams which come from reservoirs of hot rock or hot fluid found a few kilometers below the earth’s surface. There are three types of geothermal power plants,

  • Dry Steam Power Plants
  • Flash Steam Power Plants
  • Binary Steam Power Plants

Any of these power plants need more than a 150 °C steam source to generate power. Do we have that must high-temperature reservoirs? Sri Lanka has seven sources of hot springs which is a place underwater is heated by an earth energy source, with surface outflow temperature range 35 – 74°C and underground source of these outflows have a temperature range of 140-170°C.

According to this Sri Lanka can go for a geothermal power plant but earth drilling is going to 1 to 20kms to reach enough temperature for a power plant. that will be a big cost as a developing country. So, we can go for another application of geothermal energy which can get energy source withing several hundred meters like,

  • Agricultural application of dehydration or drying process of vegetables and fruits, tea, milk pasteurizing, Sugar processing.
  • Residential and Tourism Industry – Hot water systems, Heating applications in cold areas, cooking applications (It will increase the tourism demand as well).
  • Industrial Applications – A lot of apparel and other industries use boilers and thermic fluid heaters to generate hot water and hot air for their processes then geothermal energy can be used geothermal energy for those hot water systems.

Ocean Energy:

Ocean energy can be identified as four methods which are,

  • Wave Energy
  • Tidal energy
  • Salinity Gradient Energy
  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

All of the Ocean energy sources are renewable energy sources and have less impact on the environment. Are that energy can apply for Sri Lanka,

Wave Energy: 

 Wave energy means converts the energy in ocean waves to electrical energy. Oscillating water columns trap into pockets to connecting the other side of the pocket to the turbine. According to that air is oscillating inside the pocket with the frequency of water oscillating and that turbine generates the electrical power. There are some issues of this method which are capital investment is very high and these types of plants can only install in the locations which have high sea waves.

Tidal Energy: 

Normally Tidal change four times a day and Ocean water density are very high when considering the air density because of that Tidal energy harvesting is more effective than wind energy. Issues of this tidal energy harvesting,

  • Tidal cycles don’t match with the power demand cycles
  • Capital Investment is very high
  • Constructing time period is also very high

Followings are the three types of tidal harvesting methods,

  • Barrages
  • Fences
  • Turbines

Cost impact and the payback period is not suitable for Sri Lanka’s economy. Other than the cost impact all of the tidal harvesting methods generate the noise in the water, it will directly impact the Dolphins and Large size fishes’ life cycle in Sri Lanka.

Salinity Gradient Energy: 

Salinity Gradient energy plants can be only located at, where a river empties into an ocean. Sri Lanka has nearly 103 revers as an Island then we can think about the Salinity Gradient Energy Harvesting Method. There is a chemical difference between the seawater and river water. Due to that when rivers flow into the sea there is chemical shock will be generated. Due to that shock wave, river water can naturally flow into a turbine and generate power. This method is in the reaches level.

Solar Power:

Power getting by using Solar Power Plants are not the only solution when considering the Solar renewable energy source, Solar power can be used in different ways to reduce electricity consumption. As an example solar hot water system for residence and hotels rather than using electrical power to generate hot water. Solar power can be used for cooking works and solar light tubes can be used for lighting purposes in the daytime.

Green wall:

Green walls and natural ventilation can use for Air Conditioning and Ventilation purposes rather than go for an electric air conditioner and ventilator.

These suggestions and comparisons of methods are suitable for Sri Lanka and in near future, we have to face some power crises. Therefore all the Sri Lankan Engineers have to do reaches, experiments to find a new power source. Otherwise, the development of Sri Lanka will be stuck at some point due to the lack of power.

Hope you get some idea about Sri Lanka Power supply and Demand and Alternative options for full fill the gap between supply and demand. CEB is always try to balance the supply and demand.

Really appreciate your taking the time to read the article. Feel free to add some comments here and share your knowledge with us.


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