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IIT-Delhi students make 5G-enabled power meters that can alert users on energy guzzlers

The smart device will do away with the need for power distribution firms to manually take meter readings from each consumer’s house.

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New Delhi: A team of students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has developed a 5G-enabled smart electricity meter that can directly send data about energy consumption to a provider’s network. The device would do away with the need for power distribution companies to manually take meter readings from each consumer’s house.

The device can also help a user understand power consumption habits by providing information on which appliance has been using how much electricity.

The team of researchers include Mayukh Roy Chowdhury, a PhD student; Wadood Ahmad Khan, an M.Tech student; and Sharda Tripathi, another PhD student at the Department of Electrical Engineering of IIT-Delhi. They have been working on the project under the guidance of IIT-Delhi faculty Swades De for nearly a year.

Roy Chowdhury said smart connected devices would number in billions in the years to come. And to run many networks efficiently, 5G technology will be essential as it allows larger packets of data to be transmitted quickly.

“We are also trying to prune the data at the device level itself,” Roy Chowdhury told ThePrint.

Edge computing

Instead of collecting and sending an entire volume of raw data to an electricity company’s cloud, the new device uses edge computing — processing some of the data within the device itself.

“The target is to save the bandwidth consumption over the network,” said Roy Chowdhury.

The team has now applied for a patent for the technology and is in talks with industries to commercialise the system. The research is being funded by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under a Rs 224 crore 5G testbed project that aims to encourage Indian startups and industries to take an early lead in 5G technologies.

Various projects at the IIT-Madras, IIT-Hyderabad, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur, Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT), Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru are being funded by this programme.

5G is considered to be the next big leap in internet and communication technologies, that will allow devices to interact with each other with minimum human intervention.

Also read: At IIT Delhi, students are developing 5G-enabled air pollution monitors for the capital


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