A group of eighth semester students of the Electrical and Electronics Engineering course at the Mary Matha College of Engineering and Technology, Paliode have put together a device for the remote monitoring of power utilisation.
The Advanced Energy Monitoring System (AEMS), as the students have named their prototype, consists of a transmitter, a receiver and a monitor. Installed at a location, say, at a house, the transmitter can serve as a new-age electricity meter relaying data relating to power consumption to the receiver located at another location, say, an office of the electricity board.
According to A.A. Hameed, team member, the AEMS can be integrated into a remote power monitoring system functioning somewhat on the lines of the landline telephone service. “We visualised a central power exchange to which the AEMS installed at each consumer’s premises will be connected. The transmission of data can be done in diverse ways; it can go through the telephone lines, it can even be carried by the overhead power lines,” he explained.
Thus, the power consumed by each consumer will be recorded at the computer server located at the ‘power exchange.’
As with the phone bills each consumer will also get a power bill from the power exchange. At a stroke this will do away with the need to employ large number of people as meter readers. Since the data from the transmitter/meter is being constantly monitored at the exchange, any fault in the meter or any instance of tampering with the meter can be detected at once and remedial action initiated.
Moreover, the possibility of error is also greatly reduced. If a consumer so desires, he/she can get break-ups of power consumption during billing period. This, according to Mr. Hameed, can help a consumer study and modify, if need be, his power consumption patterns.
For Mr. Hameed and his team mates S.K. Aravind, N.G Sabarinath, and J. Rajarajan, the AEMS is not just another electricity meter. Their core idea is that of a centralised and digitised energy utilisation monitoring system that covers the production, transmission and utilisation of electricity in Kerala.
Though the team spent over Rs.8,000 for the production of the AEMS prototype, they say they are confident that the system can be mass produced at a small fraction of this cost. The students were guided in their project by their head of department Daniel Raj.