Students from the American University of Sharjah developed a 'smart utility meter reader' allowing homeowners and utilities to check the status of meters at any time.The utility meter reader is able to monitor the status of meters at any time and any location, reports Trade Arabia News.

The project was declared the winner of the Future Generation Undergraduate category of the Middle East Electricity Awards 2017 held recently at the Dubai World
Trade Centre.

The project titled, 'IOT-based Smart Utility Meters', was designed and developed by Mais Haj Hassan, Mohammed Abdelsalam, Mustapha Ezzeddine, and Mohannad Baseet, four students from the Department of Computer Engineering at the university’s College of Engineering.

Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Ali and Dr. Taha Landolsi, both professors of Computer Engineering at the university, were advisors to the project.

"The utility meter is designed based on Raspberry Pi, the latest single system-on-chip computing platform. It is empowered by the internet of things and utilises cloud computing for storage and big data analytics as well as Google Maps," explained Dr. Al-Ali.

"Using mobile phone and utilities’ operation centres, home owners and utility operators can wirelessly access the meter to monitor and control home appliances and manage power, gas and water consumptions. Both utility companies and home owners can check the status of the meter anywhere, anytime." he added.

The competition was run as part of Middle East Electricity, an international trade event hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy, and asked students to develop projects that dealt with energy efficiency or alternative energy.

The final round saw nine teams from AUS, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Higher Colleges of Technology – Sharjah Women’s Colleges, RIT University Dubai, University of Bolton RAK Campus, Birla Institute of Technology – Offshore Campus RAK shortlisted.

DEWA utility meters

In related news, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has claimed that its transmission and distribution losses are down due to the installation of smart meters in late 2014.

DEWA said the utility had linked 120,000 meters to the network two months ago and losses are down to 3.5%, "one of the best percentages worldwide, compared with 6 or 7% in the US", said Saeed Al Tayer, chief executive of DEWA. Read more ...

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