- Geethesh T G, Anupama, Ajith, Lochan Sri A
It is estimated that around 35% of the energy supplied to the households is wasted. The typical sources for wastage include:
- Inefficient insulation for cooling or heating
- Faulty gadgets or appliances
- Not using energy efficient models of appliances like refrigerators, AC
- Vampire appliances or electronics (consume power even when switched off or in standby mode)
- Use of incandescent or spot lights
While many households might not even be aware of this wastage, but at the global level, this wastage adds up to a significant percentage of the energy generated.
Industries and big buildings conduct regular energy audits to identify and fix energy inefficiencies and wastage. It is imperative that such measures are also made available for the households. Current methods of auditing will not be feasible for households as energy auditors are few in numbers and their charges are quite high.
Especially in developing countries like India where sufficient energy is not generated, it is quintessential that the energy already generated is not wasted.
Hence there is a need for an inexpensive or free solution that could be used by typical households to identify areas of energy wastage and measures to stop those.
The system that we develop can be used in a variety of power distributions starting from simple households to massive workplaces.
Let us consider the case of a simple household. The users will not consider the energy getting wasted because of factors like ineffective/faulty gadgets, inefficient insulation etc. These hidden factors make use of more power even when the expected power usage is estimated to be very low. For such a case the user will need a system that monitors the power usage and reports to the user if there is any abnormality in the trend of energy usage and also this system should be able to find where the fault is. In this way, the user will be notified of any power leakage or wastage of energy. From this, the user can take necessary actions, like he/she can repair the device that has been malfunctioning. This will save a lot of money and energy as the problem gets identified way before.
Now, let us expand this use case for a much bigger scenario where much more energy gets consumed everyday. For example, we can consider an industrial workplace or a IT company. These workplaces require a lot of energy to operate smoothly. These workplaces often conduct an energy audit by hiring some companies. But they may have to pay a lump sum amount of money to conduct them. There is also another chance that, if the company chooses not to conduct the audit they may never find out that energy is getting wasted in some way. For this, if the company makes use of a system that monitors the power usage and get notified about the irregularities in the power usage, the company will save a lot of money both in terms of energy usage and also they can replace any electrical devices at a much cheaper cost than the actual power wastage.
"The industrial sector accounted for 44% (532 billion KWh) of total electricity consumed (1,208 billion KWh) in India for the year 2015. Even considering 30% of this energy input being wasted by industry amounts to 160 billion KWh annually, equivalent to 20,000 MW of coal-based power generation capacity. This huge amount of waste heat is caused due to equipment inefficiencies and thermodynamic limitations of the equipment/processes"
The above given draft was released by the government of India about the energy wastage from industrial sector.
The purpose of our project is to minimise the power wastage in both common households and in an industrial sector. If this wastage is not monitored frequently, the amount of power wasted will increase to as much as half the power generated. By implementing our project we ensure that the wastage will be significantly reduced.
There are some existing solutions to solve similar kind of problems. The industrial sector can afford to hire some energy auditing companies that monitor the energy usage of the company and identify the irregularities and leakages. The company will then take necessary actions to minimise the wastage and thereby saving a lot of energy that may get wasted. But this process takes a lot of investment and the user becomes dependent on the energy auditing companies. This problem not only occurs for the industrial sector, but also for the common households. If this problem persists, the country's economy may go down as a lump sum. There is a need for such a system which monitors the power usage and identifies the defective appliances using the irregularities in the trend.
The industrial sector and common households may not find the power wastage until there is a system that identifies the irregularities. For example, let us consider the case of a fan. There are cases where the fan gets slower than usual, the user might not realise this problem and instead of finding the problem in the fan, he/she might keep the regulator at a higher level, thereby consuming more energy without his/her knowledge. In such a case, the problem might have been solved by repairing the fan as soon as the problem started. But since the user may not know the problem with the fan, there is a lot of energy that gets wasted. This is the case for a simple appliance like a fan. For a large household or for an industrial sector, this problem will be in an immense scale resulting to huge loss of energy.
By using our system to constantly monitor the power usage, we can identify the problems in any appliances and solve them as early as possible. If the appliances are treated properly, the energy wasted can be minimised drastically.