One of the problems with domestic electric pressing irons is that they can cause fire if they are left plugged in for a prolonged amount of time.

During this period, the iron still consumes power, raising total energy consumption.

However, students from the Department of Physics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have designed a low-cost socket adapter which has the ability to turn off the pressing iron after a predetermined time, set by the user, elapses.

According to a 2016 report in the journal of health and safety at work, domestic fire accounted for 41% of the total number of fire incidents in Ghana.

The electric pressing iron is one of the predominantly used domestic appliances.

These irons are the most common cause of contact burns in children, accounting for up to 75% of such injuries.

The students, Peter Azure and Kenneth Akanbodiipo, tell their motivation behind the innovation.

“This project was undertaken with the objective to save energy and to reduce the risk associated with leaving an electric pressing iron powered for extended periods from being a potential cause of domestic fire due to human negligence,” they said.

KNUST students design a time-based energy-saving socket adapter for electric pressing iron
Peter Azure and Kenneth Akanbodiipo

The design uses a microcontroller, an AC-to-DC converter, and a rotary potentiometer that allows a user to set the desired ironing duration.

The adapter is programmed from 5 minutes to 1 hour.

The socket adapter provides power to the electric iron connected to it according to the selected duration.

After the selected time interval has elapsed, the socket automatically cuts power completely to the iron.

This reduces the risk of fire and injury associated with accidentally leaving the electric pressing iron unattended.

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