Real time monitoring of a prepaid meter
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Umeme, the biggest power distribution company in a Uganda estimates power losses in billions of shillings in annual revenues due to power theft through meter tampering, meter bypass and direct connections. This triggered Umeme to institute a team through contractors to physically monitor the prepaid meters periodically. This is very costly approach, does not yield results in real time and also coupled with several challenges such as integrity issues. The real time monitoring system and noti cation platform for prepaid meter (Yaka meter) allows detection of meter tampering, meter bypass, identi es customers on direct supply and also ascertains the customer power consumption data. This is a new solution to the physical monitoring of meters through hiring a team of contractors. This was achieved rst by analyzing the losses in electrical power distribution system and existing approaches to meter tamper detection. The circuit was designed and the code was developed. Using python Django, a web-based database was developed to aid the display of results/ data for analysis. With this system in place, it will be possible to monitor the prepaid meters in real time and in case there is any discrepancy in the data, an noti cation is sent to the utility company operator to take a decisive course of action on the problem/ fault arising. The data includes; the Meter number, clients Name, current, voltage, date and time with the exact location of the meter. This will help utility company lower their monitoring costs, reduce tari s, identify areas with power surges and blackout, and provide better customer service delivery among the very many uses that can be obtained from data analysis. However, to have an e cient system, the utility companies has to invest in infrastructure to improve the signal for data transmission throughout the country.