Innovation: How gas can be measured before it runs out

Late last year, a Technical University of Kenya (TUK) student amazed the country by innovating a method of measuring amount of gas in a cylinder to avoid last minute inconveniences.

Henry Onyango , a fifth year student specializing in automation and control said the invention was inspired by an upsetting experience. Henry says that his gas ran out when he was preparing ugali late in the night. He tried calling his neighbours to help him out but none was picking his call. That is when it dawned on him that he can invent it.

The innovation is a combination of a physical system and a mobile app where where updates are relayed to the household and gas manufacturers.

The invention uses a load cell, micro- controller and a Wifi module. The load cell is where the gas cylinder is placed to measure the weight of the gas.

The load cell also converts weight data in grams to electrical signals that are picked and transmitted to an online database through the Wi-Fi module. It is the user who determines the duration in which the data is picked.

Onyango says the innovation also conveys real-time consumption of the gas in the house.

“One is able to know for how long they have used the gas and can plan ahead,” Onyango said.

The innovation is also said to help gas manufacturers know the amount of gas they are selling in regards to varied demographics. The 25-year-old says manufacturers have warmed up to the innovation.

Onyango said that the innovation is still at the prototype stage.

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