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Four city students develop system to detect power theft

It took just eight months for four students to come up with a remedy for the power theft menace.

Written by Express News Service | Vadodara | Published: February 22, 2009 1:08:40 am

It took just eight months for four students to come up with a remedy for the power theft menace. The final-year electrical engineering students of Babaria Institute of Technology have developed a device to check power theft instances,thereby providing relief to the Gujarat State Electricity Board and its consumers.

The device detects voltage alteration and sends SMSes to the cell phones of engineers monitoring various transmission lines. The project is now being funded by the Gujarat Department of Science and Technology.

“The idea struck us while going through some international papers presented in Lucknow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers last year. The papers discussed about using Global

Positioning System (GPS) to monitor power transmission. Since GPS is expensive and not yet available on a commercial basis in India,we thought of an alternative — Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications,” said Chintan Jani,one of the developers.

The others in the team are Rutwik Shah,Arpan Shah and Nisarg Shah. Together,they developed the device as a science project under the guidance of the Head of Electrical Department,Deepesh M Patel and lecturer R K Jadav.

The project titled ‘GSM-based e-quality monitoring and control system’ cost the students Rs 15,000,which has been reimbursed by the Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GCST).

“We had selected 10 projects of students from across the state. GSM e-quality monitoring is one of them,” said Dr A M Prabhakar,advisor to the GCST.

It works on the simple model shifts in voltage. “All important electric poles are provided with GSM routers or modems with cellphone numbers of supervisors or executive engineers stored in them. Any change in voltage would be immediately detected by the system,which will then send an SMS to the respective engineer,” said Jani.

He added: “High voltage would mean there is a short circuit because of the collision of two sets of electric lines,which normally results in fire or transformer trips. In case of low or negative voltage,it is the disruption of power either due to shortage or fault or possibly power theft.”

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