Tadepalligudem: Researchers at the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Andhra Pradesh have developed an “Edge Computing Stack” to monitor and control electrical loads.
The new device is an Internet-of-Things (IoT) based electrical switch designed to check the consumption of electrical appliances. The device is unique due to its hybridized approach of power line communication and WiFi, and it has received an Indian patent too.
IoT-based monitoring system for individual appliances will help the consumer for balanced utilization of energy and also save the power bill, the NIT team said.
The AI-based suggestive mechanism of this patent will help the user to get notifications regarding the health of the appliance, L N Sastry Varanasi, a Research Scholar at AP NIT stated.
In the existing devices, automatic electrical switches are limited to operate the loads via wireless medium and they fail to record and store the consumption data of each electrical appliance. The invention is a miniaturized, low-power, flexible, easy to mount plug-and-play system and it can be used in building energy management systems, the team claimed.
“The system addresses energy mismanagement at the consumer end, which is a problem for both the utility company and customer. This product is intended to optimally manage electrical energy and monitor appliance level health by utilizing the existing electrical infrastructure. This will also reduce the recurring maintenance cost and the power bill,” said Phani Krishna Karri, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, NIT Andhra Pradesh.
How it works
-The system consists of two modules namely “Master” and “Slave”. The Master Device communicates with a mobile device through a wireless medium.
-The Slave devices are directly connected to electrical appliances, which sense the voltage, current, power, and power factor of each appliance.
-The sensed information is communicated to the Master Device through a Power Line Communication (PLC).
– The system efficiently uses the existing electrical infrastructure as a communication medium inside the house or the organization which records the consumption of each electrical appliance and makes it available for the user to monitor and control via a mobile device remotely.
Start-up to commercialize the device
The researchers plan to establish a start-up to commercialize this device, which will help solve challenges of micromanagement of electricity and has applications such as IoT farming, smart street lighting, energy management in micro and smart grids.
However, for wider outreach, we are looking at licensing the technology to develop various products. The unique contribution of this patent is the optimal usage of both Wi-Fi and Power Line Communications whereas the existing solutions are mainly based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a combination of both.