The Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Ilorin, has developed a prototype anti-theft device that can remotely monitor and detect customers stealing electricity.
Acting head of the department, Engr. M. Akorede, who developed the device together with some students, said that the device can also cut the main supply to the location of such illegal act, and also send a message to the utility control room simultaneously to alert the system operator with the customers’ details displayed on the control panel.
Premium Times reports that the Unilorin Laboratory to Product Centre (LABTOP) has started the processes for patenting the invention, according to Engr. Akorede. The students, who are currently on National Youth Service, are T. Olalekan, R. Adepoju, D. Itodo and M. Dickson.
Engr. Akorede noted that the invention is now up to the standard that it can be patented.
“I have brought this to the attention of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) although not officially… if adopted, the device would enable distribution companies to cut their commercial losses substantially.”
He. However, pointed out that the tripartite arms of generation, transmission and distribution lack adequate funding in the sense that some of their equipment are over-aged and need to be replaced.
“They need funding to expand their facilities such that a transformer, for example, will not be overloaded, because if power is supplied to an overloaded transformer, it means the customers will not enjoy good quality electricity supply,” he said.