Students of the College of Technology of the University of Education have developed an automatic energy-efficient system that controls lighting in a given area.
The system is able to turn off lights and other electrical appliances connected to an installed facility when the room is vacant after 10 minutes.
“Automatic energy-efficient system that controls lighting points in a given area. With the system, all lights and fans in the installed areas go off automatically within ten minutes after the last person leaves the room, in order to conserve energy”, Principal of the College of Technology Education, Prof Frederick K. Sarfo, explained.
The system is designed to switch off power automatically, between 10 and 15 minutes after the last person leaves the room.
Officials say it can be used to operate anything, it depends on what the user connect to but currently, in the school, it is connected to the fans and lights.
It was engineered by Isaac Prempeh a final year student of the university with support from Francois Sekyere, a lecturer of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department of the school.
“You can actually tune the time to whichever time you want but we realized that the 15 minutes is ok because if we set it at a lower time and people come into the room and there is no movement, it will be flicking but 15 minutes is enough time”, Head of the Electronic and Electrical Technology Department of the University, Dr Albert Awopone, explained.
He continued that, “If people come to the class and there is no movement, the light will be flicking. The sensor is a movement sensor so if you don’t move at all it will not sense you.”
Principal of the College, Prof Frederick K. Sarfo, says the automatic energy system will help reduce actual electricity consumption.
“The automatic energy system will help in the reduction of actual expenditures on electricity consumption, and the surplus funds could be used to support the expansion and improvement of other facilities to promote quality teaching and research.”
After a year of piloting the system in four lecture rooms on campus authorities say it saved 70 percent of electricity cost.
Dr Albert Awopone explained that an economic analysis and we realized that the cost of energy saved will actually pay for the device after three months.
“Initially we measured it after the first three months and it conserve about 70 percent of power. So we actually fixed it at four months as the break-even point.
So if you can calculate it, you will realize that sometimes the 70 per cent is even conservative. With this device on, we only have the lights on when students are here that is from around 6 pm to about 11 pm.”
The school says using it for almost a year, it believes that is enough time to have tested it and therefore intends to replicate it across the university and commercialise it.
Solar and Electrically powered hand-washing machine
The Faculty of Technology Education of the school has also developed a hand-washing machine that is powered by both solar and electricity.
Engineered by two students of the Electrical and Electronic Technology Education Department of the school; Prince Asabere and Oduro Boateng, it is in support of the fight against covid-19.
The Automated Hand washing Machine greatly improves the popular Veronica Bucket, against challenges of having to open and close taps during use, and the use of paper towels for wiping up wet hands.
The device has a detector that dishes out when the hand gets under it, then an automated hand-drier that prevents one from contaminating the washed hands.
Principal of the College of Technology Education, Prof Frederick K. Sarfo, says this forms part of our efforts towards supporting and achieving measures that the Ghana Government and UEW Management have put in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Management has supported Department of Electrical and Electronic Technology Education (DEETE) of the Faculty of Technology Education to manufacture twelve pieces of the machines and COLTEK is going to share with other campuses of UEW.
Professor Sarfo says the initiative is part of many innovations produced by the student engineers.
“These innovations we are introducing to you are only a microcosm of the many things that we have been doing as a university. These two innovations and many others are significant for several reasons, for which the school was established.
They are clear indications that we have the capacity and capabilities to train quality TVET teachers to train TVET students to develop expertise to design and develop electronics, machines and automobiles to reduce human discomfort”.
Prof Sarfo plans are far advanced to replicate these in all facilitates on the Campuses of UEW.
“We have the capacity and capability to develop integrated set of knowledge and skills that help the workforce to become more responsive to the needs of society and the labour market. We have the faculty to train students to develop entrepreneurial skills to improve their livelihood.”
Meanwhile, leadership of the school says this is a clear indication that the school has the capacity to develop expertise to enhance productivity at the workplace.
Support Government Initiatives
School authorities say the college of technology education has the potential to produce technical and vocational expertise to help government to achieve its industrialization dreams of 1D1F and Ghana Beyond AID.
Leadership say the college and the university is willing to complement and partner government in its drive to transform Ghana into an industrial hub in the West African sub-region and beyond and by that to address youth unemployment challenges in the country.
“We are prepared to collaborate with the council for technical and vocational education and training (COTVET) industries and other stakeholders to run the University to produce innovative and inventive concepts, projects and products to help the government to solve societal problems and to help the country survive and stand competitive in this era of 21st Century.
I wish to extend an appeal and invite to all industry players and other Ghanaian entrepreneurs to team up with COLTEK of UEW to produce these two innovations in mass quantities for the Ghanaian market.”
THE University BILL
Government through Parliament had recently passed a bill into law, to convert COLTEK and Ashanti Mampong Campus of UEW into an autonomous University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development, with a unique mandate to train Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teachers to teach at all levels of TVET institutions in the country.
This is one of the Government’s educational strategies to promote TVET for the rapid development of the country.
Leadership of the Colleges of Technology of UEW say these innovations are only going to give credence to their preparedness to become autonomous universities.
“We wish to assure the Government that COLTEK and all allied institutions constituting the New University (University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development as proposed) are ready to effectively execute this mandate. These innovations are only going to give credence to our preparedness”, Prof Sarfo added.
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