5 November 2016,
Making Water Supply Smart
A team of engineering students from the city has developed a device that could solve the stress on water supply by transforming water resource management. The device, termed a smart water meter, is based on the technology of Internet of Things (IoT), wherein interconnected physical devices send and receive data to create efficient and intelligent infrastructure. According to the developers, this is the first consumer-level IoT product to be developed in India.
The smart water meter was developed under the aegis of a start-up company named Dia-meter, which comprises Sajeev C. Rajan and Sooraj N. P. from the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K), Gibsen and Ajay from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) chapter at the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET), and Simeon Jacob Samuel, a former student of IIITM-K. They were guided by R. Jaishanker of IIITM-K and Indulal S. of CET.
How it works
The smart water meter, which consists of a flow meter, a microcontroller and a server, measures the volume of water that flows through a pipe and transmits this information to a remote database through the Internet. This simple technology can make the existing piped water management system much more effective by accurately measuring water consumption, by detecting leakages, thefts and pipeline damages, and by enabling e-payment of bills. The instant communication of information enhances the efficiency of the supply and maintenance chain, benefiting the consumer and minimising the financial losses incurred by the supplier, according to the makers.
A unique feature of the smart water meter that sets it apart from similar devices available in the foreign market is that it has an integrated self-sustaining power source, wherein electricity is generated using the flow of water, Dr. Jaishanker told The Hindu. While a foreign-made product would cost around Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000 per unit, the smart water meter would only cost up to Rs.1,000 per unit.