The KNUST-Switch (K-Switch), an automated street and outdoor lights switching device which uses a unique SMS-timing based concept was developed by Ing. John Kusi, an MPhil Power Systems Engineering student and a senior laboratory technician in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering under the College of Engineering, KNUST.
According to Ing. Kusi, the K-Switch device was initially developed to automatically turn streetlights on and off at preset times and the SMS feature of the device enables the overriding of the switch’s on and off times. The K-Switch device was successfully piloted on twenty-nine streetlights on KNUST campus. The device automatically turns the streetlights on and off at preset times. The SMS feature of the device that enables overrides of the switch’s on and off times was also successfully tested. Hitherto, the streetlights were manually controlled which resulted in significant energy wastage. Furthermore, several man-hours were wasted when the switch required someone having to switch the streetlights on and off. K-Switch completely takes away the need for manual switching. he intimated
He revealed that the K- Switch device has an added feature of regulating any electrical appliance (fridge, fan, rice cooker etc) as well. He explained that when the electrical appliance is connected to the K switch device, one can use the underlisted SMS codes from a mobile phone to regulate the appliance:
- 111 (for knowing the status of the appliance, whether on/off)
- 222 (for switching the appliance on)
- 333 (for switching the appliance off)
Prof. Emmanuel Frimpong, Head of the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department in an interview said the K - Switch device has been piloted on street lights on KNUST campus. He mentioned that, a grant from the KNUST research fund has been received to expand the project. Additional piloting will also be done in the Kumasi Metropolis and then scaled up nationally to help curb electrical energy wastage translating into money loss, he stated.
Ing. John Kusi, won the best KNUST Innovative Student award with the K-Switch device at Otumfuo's Innovation Exhibition organised in April 2019 to mark the 20th Anniversary of the KNUST Chancellor’s ascension to the Asante throne and he also won the most innovative project award at the KNUST Science and Technology Exhibition in May 2022.