This startup’s 'E-Funnel' ensures users are not duped while purchasing fuel
A Nagpur-based startup has come up with a device connected to smartphones so customers don’t fall prey to faulty measuring devices while purchasing petrol, diesel, or industrial chemicals.
In the age of malpractices and corruption, one is often bound to get duped into paying more for less. This is something we have always experienced when we are out buying products that don’t come with standard measurements.
While technology is yet to catch up with addressing measurement issues with your regular consumer products, Internet of Things (IoT) has taken a leap into future, and Sahil Chawla, a 26-year-old engineer from Nagpur, has developed a device to do away with malpractices in the oil industry.
IoT for measuring fluids
Annually, around 78 billion litres of diesel is sold in the country, out of which around 20 percent of diesel, amounting to Rs 858 billion per annum, is lost in malpractices.
“Every year, the transport industry and diesel users face huge losses. We now have a solution to monitor fuel filling,” says Sahil. The idea struck him when he ended up paying a hefty amount at a petrol pump because of faulty measurement. And he realised that just like him, many others in the country are going through this unpleasant ordeal.
Sahil decided to get trained in embedded technology to develop an IoT-based device that could measure the quantity of the liquid flowing through it. Being a computer science engineer, Sahil took a mere couple of months to come up with the product, which he dubbed the ‘E-funnel,’ an electronic liquid gauging device that measure any quantum of liquid flowing through it. Elaborating further, he says.
“The ‘E’ in its name makes it smarter than any other measuring funnels available. It measures the quantity of liquid with maximum accuracy. It is equipped with cellular technology that records all the generated data along with the system’s real-time location. All the data can be accessed by an easy-to- use app FCA (Fuel Cost Analyser) on your smartphone,” Sahil adds.
The device works on fuels, chemicals and oils and has an accuracy of 99 percent, and is available for different machinery such as diesel generators, trucks and buses. One can also access the data in tabular and graphical forms.
Sahil, along with a few friends, started a company called Tsecond Generation Technology Private Limited, as an electronic and software solutions company, in January, 2014. Tsecond is incubated by IAN (Indian Angel Network) Incubation and Mentoring services and by the founder of Nagpur Angels.
At present, the team is focussing on the telecom sector market as telecom industry is one of the largest consumers of diesel. Diesel costs, therefore, play an important role in the operations and maintenance budget. According to a report by NDTV, It is expected that there will be around 5,00,000 telecom towers in India by 2020.
“The diesel monitoring system (E-Funnel) can give the analysis of expected and actual fuel fillings and generator run hours in analytical form,” says Sahil.
Sahil, who was earlier placed in a multinational company, decided to change his career path as he was interested in innovation and in building electronic devices. He is a firm believer in the ‘Make in India’ campaign for the country’s economic growth.
The company has filed for the Indian as well as US patent for the product E-Funnel. It was chosen for the Hong Kong RISE Festival twice, e. in 2016 and 2017.
“Just imagine if you fill fuel in your bike, moped or car and get notification on your mobile. You don’t need to bother about keeping an eye on the attendant or on the screen. The pricing will be based on the number of features. For the first version it will range from $200-400. The product designed for two-wheelers and cars will be less than $150.”
Tsecond has already installed E-Funnels in three educational institutions in Nagpur, for the generators operating here. In Jaipur, a different version of the product is installed in the Taj Hotel through SEE tech, an energy conservation solution company, which is partnered with Tsecond. Tsecond has also collaborated with Napino Auto Electronics Ltd., a company that produces Hero products.
With their current product set to have quite an impact in the Indian market with their inventiveness, the teams says that the next product will be a consumer-based one running on Li-Fi technology.