Design and implementation of an electricity monitoring and control system based on AC power line carriers
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According to Umeme, the current prepayment system (YAKA) allows customers to conveniently manage and control their electricity; however, this is true only to a small degree in reality as the information provided by YAKA is not sufficient to drive any meaningful behavioral change in consumers where conservation of electricity is concerned. The purpose of this project is to create a tool to provide sufficient and comprehensible energy usage information to domestic users thereby promoting demand side management by consumers. This was realized by building a prototype of an electricity monitoring and control system capable of verifying state of loads, verifying energy consumed by such loads and also capable of remote control or switching of any loads connected onto the domestic electricity system. The key results obtained included real time feedback on state of connected loads on a display screen and also via text by GSM, verifying the total energy consumed by individual loads and the duration for which they consume this energy, and also remote control of loads over text by GSM. Further study on the incorporation of a domestic load forecast should be done. Also, deployment of such a system in domestic households should be done to check its effectiveness in reducing energy wastage. In conclusion, the necessity of such a system to effect demand side response as a result of the availed information is based upon positive changes in behavior patterns in electrical energy consumption.