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The current energy situation in Ghana is very bad, and due to that, many jobs are being shut down, workers are being laid off, and the economic state of the country has been adversely affected. Since we cannot generate more than what we produce as a country at this time and in the near future, energy conservation is key and necessary.


Electricity has become an important part of our lives each and every day to the point where we sometimes feel we cannot live without it. Looking at our homes, religious places (churches, mosques etc.), offices, workplaces and recreational centers, we do realize how we have made electricity a superior and an integral part of our lives.

Power supply plays a significant role in our country’s gross domestic product (GDP), serving as a lifeline for our industries and all other commercial activities. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the broadest quantitative measure of a nation’s total economic activity. It represents the monetary value of all goods and services within a nation’s geographical borders over a specified period of time.

In Ghana today, power is the most essential commodity. The amount of power consumed per hour is what a watt-hour meter measures, and homes are charged based on that. When energy is wasted, the meter also measures the amount of power wasted per hour which has to be paid for. This incurs more cost that the victim has to pay. In essence, as power is wasted, cost of electricity also increases and, therefore, one has to pay more than he/she actually has to pay for.

Conservation is the process of reducing the demand on a limited supply so it lasts for a longer period of time. As energy conservation reduces the potential wastage of power, and the incurrence of irrelevant cost, it helps to make available sufficient power which could be used by another to enhance productivity, not greatly but appreciably, and saves money. The traditional ways of power (electricity) conservation deals with the inhabitants around. Since Ghana is also in power crisis, energy wasted calls for more power pumping from the generation plant, hence the “dumsor” (which is the inability to provide sufficient amount of watts nationwide). Once there is load-shedding, productivity becomes less in almost all sectors of Ghanaian economy, thereby affecting the nation’s GDP.

Over the years, technological advancements have made it possible to conserve power without the inhabitants being around. Several researches have been conducted by different people across the globe on remote control devices and systems. Several wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GSM, radio, infrared, etc., are involved in wireless control systems. Each wireless technology operates at some distance, convenient for communication or exchange of data. Wireless communication devices are the most widely used devices in this era, ranging from GSM mobile phones to routers and many countless devices.

As stated, Bluetooth is a wireless technology which helps transfer data between different electronic devices. The distance of data transmission is small in comparison to other modes of wireless communication [1]. Bluetooth is a similar radio-wave technology which is mainly designed for communicating over short distances less than about 10m or 30ft [2], and operates in the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band at 2.4 to 2.485GHz, using a spread spectrum, frequency hopping, full-duplex signal at a nominal rate of 1600 hops/sec [3]. It is less complicated and consumes less power. Wi-Fi as a type of wireless technology uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed internet and network connections. Wi-Fi works with no physical wired connection between sender and receiver by using radio frequency (RF) technology [4], mainly using the 2.4 gigahertz (12 cm) UHF and 5 gigahertz (6 cm) SHF ISM radio bands [5].

On the other hand, GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is a wireless, digital technology that digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slot. It operates at either the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz frequency band. GSM is mostly, and widely, applied in cellular telephones (which is sometimes called mobile telephone). Cellular telephone is a type of short-wave analog or digital telecommunication in which a subscriber has a wireless connection from a mobile phone to a relatively nearby transmitter. As the cellular telephone user moves from one cell or area of coverage to another, the telephone is effectively passed on to the local cell transmitter [6]. The most widely used data application in GSM cellular telephones is Short Messaging Services (SMS). The term \"SMS\" is used for both the user activity and all types of short text messaging in many parts of the world. It is a text messaging service component of phone, Web, or mobile communication systems that uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages, with the help of a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM card). On the other hand Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) technology is most popular nowadays. Short Messages Services (SMS) using GSM is considered as the cheapest and reliable means of communication.

So, unlike other wireless technologies, GSM is appropriate for long range communication /and data exchange. In our project, we shall be integrating a GSM modem into our system, which will be able to receive calls or messages from the owner to switch the power outlet (socket) and any device connected to it.   


The use of electricity is negligible in the lives of most 21st century people due to the rise in technology; phones, television sets, refrigerators, fans, blenders, and other household appliance. Everyone everywhere feels the need to use electricity. Truth be told, it’s more like we are incomplete without. In most parts of the world today, power is an important commodity, and in Africa it is the most important, aside food and water. In the homes of most Ghanaians, from cooking, to washing, to entertainment, electricity is paramount. It becomes a disaster if one should enter a dark room and tries flicking the light switch on and nothing happens because power is out.  

Today, most Ghanaian homes face energy/power crisis due to the unavailability of sufficient energy to be produced. And the little that is shared is wasted, mostly in our absence, when power outlets are left on with our devices/ appliances connected. Ghanaians wake up early morning and get ready to work, some leave in a hurry, forgetting to switch of their lights and sockets. Due to these actions, power/ energy is wasted. As a result of no energy conservation, which is one of many reasons, the crisis is less managed. Energy is highly consumed, leading to the increase in bill at the end of the month. The increase in bill payment may be a headache for the inhabitants of the house, thereby suffering two crises: bill increment and “dumsor”.

By designing a system which enables one to switch on/off sockets and light bulbs from anywhere using SMS, we hope to help save energy.


1. To build a control system that will be used to control power outlets using SMS feature of GSM technology.

2. To use microcontroller to control the operation of the SMS feature.


This project is to help use energy efficiently, save energy and reduce high costs of electricity bills.


The scope of this project focuses on using GSM connected to a programmable microcontroller to switch on or off (control) a power outlet in homes.



The project work is going to be categorized into five chapters.

1. The first chapter consists of introduction, background to the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope or limitation, brief methodology, and organization of the study.

2. The second chapter consists of a reviewed literature in GSM controlled power outlet.

3. The third chapter includes a detailed explanation of the system design and implementation, which includes design specification, schematics and methodology.

4. The fourth chapter includes results and analysis.

5. The fifth chapter entails summary, conclusions and recommendations.



The aim of this project is to design and build a system that will control (switch on/off) power at the outlet (socket) in our homes, to help conserve energy and reduce high costs of bill payment, using wireless (GSM) technology. The idea of using the short message service to establish routes in communication networks between receivers and transmitters for the purpose of safety and guaranty of service is not new, but the application, cost, design method and reliability of the system varies.


GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communication. It is a digital cellular technology used for transmitting mobile voice and data services. It is the most widely accepted standard in telecommunications and it is implemented globally. GSM is a circuit-switched system that divides each 200 kHz channel into eight 25 kHz time-slots. GSM operates on the mobile communication bands 900 MHz and 1800 MHz in most parts of the world. Presently GSM supports more than one billion mobile subscribers in more than 210 countries throughout the world. GSM provides basic to advanced voice and data services including roaming service. Roaming is the ability to use your GSM phone number in another GSM network. STRUCTURE AND ARCHITECTURE

A GSM network comprises many functional units. The GSM network can be broadly divided into:

1. The Mobile Station (MS)

2. The Base Station Subsystem (BSS)

3. The Network Switching Subsystem (NSS)

4. The Operation Support Subsystem (OSS)

Figure 2.1 a simple pictorial view of the GSM architecture. [7]

The Mobile station: Mobile stations (MS), or as they are most widely known, cell or mobile phones are the section of a GSM cellular network that the user sees and operates. There are a number of elements to the cell phone, although the two main elements are the main hardware and the SIM. The hardware itself contains the main elements of the mobile phone including the display, case, battery, and the electronics used to generate the signal, and process the data receiver and to be transmitted. The SIM or Subscriber Identity Module contains the information that provides the identity of the user to the network. It contains are variety of information including a number known as the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI). [8]

Base Station Subsystem (BSS): The Base Station Subsystem (BSS) section of the GSM network architecture that is fundamentally associated with communicating with the mobiles on the network. It consists of two elements:

• Base Transceiver Station (BTS):   The BTS used in a GSM network comprises the radio transmitter receivers, and their associated antennas that transmit and receive to directly communicate with the mobiles. The BTS is the defining element for each cell. The BTS communicates with the mobiles.

• Base Station Controller (BSC):   The BSC forms the next stage back into the GSM network. It controls a group of BTSs, and is often co-located with one of the BTSs in its group. It manages the radio resources and controls items such as handover within the group of BTSs, allocates channels and the like. It communicates with the BTSs over what is termed the Abis interface.

Network Switching Subsystem (NSS): The GSM system architecture contains a variety of different elements, and is often termed the core network. It provides the main control and interfacing for the whole mobile network. The major elements within the core network include:

Mobile Services Switching Centre (MSC):   The main element within the core network area of the overall GSM network architecture is the Mobile switching Services Centre (MSC). The MSC acts like a normal switching node within a PSTN or ISDN, but also provides additional functionality to enable the requirements of a mobile user to be supported. These include registration, authentication, call location, inter-MSC handovers and call routing to a mobile subscriber.

Home Location Register (HLR):   This database contains all the administrative information about each subscriber along with their last known location. In this way, the GSM network is able to route calls to the relevant base station for the MS. When a user switches on their phone, the phone registers with the network and from this it is possible to determine which BTS it communicates with so that incoming calls can be routed appropriately. Even when the phone is not active (but switched on) it re-registers periodically to ensure that the network (HLR) is aware of its latest position.

Visitor Location Register (VLR):   This contains selected information from the HLR that enables the selected services for the individual subscriber to be provided.

Equipment Identity Register (EIR):   The EIR is the entity that decides whether a given mobile equipment may be allowed onto the network. Each mobile equipment has a number known as the International Mobile Equipment Identity.

Authentication Centre (AuC):   The AuC is a protected database that contains the secret key also contained in the user\'s SIM card. It is used for authentication and for ciphering on the radio channel.

Gateway Mobile Switching Centre (GMSC):   The GMSC is the point to which a ME terminating call is initially routed, without any knowledge of the MS\'s location.

SMS Gateway (SMS-G):   The SMS-G or SMS gateway is the term that is used to collectively describe the two Short Message Services Gateways defined in the GSM standards. The two gateways handle messages directed in different directions. The SMS-GMSC (Short Message Service Gateway Mobile Switching Centre) is for short messages being sent to an ME. The SMS-IWMSC (Short Message Service Inter-Working Mobile Switching Centre) is used for short messages originated with a mobile on that network. The SMS-GMSC role is similar to that of the GMSC, whereas the SMS-IWMSC provides a fixed access point to the Short Message Service Centre.

Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS): The OSS or operation support subsystem is an element within the overall GSM network architecture that is connected to components of the NSS and the BSC. It is used to control and monitor the overall GSM network and it is also used to control the traffic load of the BSS. It must be noted that as the number of BS increases with the scaling of the subscriber population some of the maintenance tasks are transferred to the BTS, allowing savings in the cost of ownership of the system. [9]

Figure 2.2 diagram shows the GSM network along with the added elements.

The MS and the BSS communicate across the Um interface. It is also known as the air interface or the radio link. The BSS communicates with the Network Service Switching (NSS) center across the A interface.




This presents the design and development of GSM based power control system using SIM300 with AT89C52 microcontroller. Present design, developed user friendly system can be directly implement for automation of different power plant in the industry [10]. There are two options in GSM which are SMS and autodialing phone number. GSM based modem SIM300 with AT89C52 microcontroller can be used to control high power industrial plant [10]. GSM modem activated and controlled by AT commands provided by microcontroller. Received format of message will be stored in memory and extract message data compared with stored message, accordingly generate ON or OFF signal for controlling switches. [10]

 Keywords: GSM, SMS, AT80C52, Remote Control, AT Commands, Password Security, Mobile phone [10]. Functional block diagram and description

The block diagram of the entire system is as shown in the Fig 1.0. All the major subsystem blocks are shown with their interconnections to each module. It consists of AT80C52 microcontroller, GSM modem (SIM300), Max232 circuit. Line relay drive and power supply. System elements

A constant interaction is required between the GSM module, microcontroller, relay, and Keil software. Software development

The software used for the programmable part of the system is developed in embedded C using Keil software.

[10] Conclusion

The use of a AT89C52 microcontroller, GSM module, relay driver provide exciting possibilities in industrial applications. Thus this solution can be customized to suit any other industrial requirement related to controlling. The approach discussed in the paper has achieved the target to control power switch remotely using the GSM-SMS based system satisfying user needs and requirements. Implementation of such system is cost-effective and time saving.


This was aimed at developing a device that will have wireless control of home electrical appliances, and be made affordable so that everyone can have. This device was basically built for home appliances control system that can provide remote access to household electrical/ electronic appliances, at low cost and efficient way, from anywhere. It shows the construction and working of the device to wirelessly control the home appliances based on GSM networking and 8051 microcontroller. An authenticated signal is sent from the user’s cellular phone via Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) network to the phone which is fixed to the equipment. This signal or code consists of the information about the function or action to be taken place i.e. what appliance should be turned off or turned on. The receiver phone receives the DTMF signal or SMS message sent from the user’s phone and then sends it to the DTMF decoder or the GSM modem which in turn sends the output digital signal to the microcontroller. The microcontroller, based on the received signal, controls the different relays connected through ULN2003 (Darlington transistor) and triggers the required appliance.

Keywords: GSM communication, Wireless Control, SMS, DTMF, LCD [11]. Circuit design and Procedure

The instruction is sent by the user through the GSM network, which is received by the receiver phone. The received code can be in either DTMF (dual one multi frequency) format which is send to the DTMF decoder connected via headset jack of the phone or through an SMS. The DTMF decoder the converts it into digital signal and sends it to the microcontroller interfaced to it. The code is the processed by the microcontroller so that the specified operation is then carried out. The

ULN2003 is used to drive the relay circuits which switches the different appliances connected to the interface. The power supply basically powers the microcontroller to make it functional.

Fig 2.0 Block diagram [11] Equipment required

Sr. NO. Equipment Device Quantity

1 8051 microcontroller IC AT89S52 1

2 DTMF decoder MT8870 1

3 Crystal oscillator 3.579545 MHz 1

4 Crystal oscillator 11.0592 MHz 1

5 Relays SPDT 3

6 Transistor ( Switching ) ULN2003 1

7 LED’s 4

8 Voltage regulators NJM7805 2

9 Transformer 1

10 Bridge rectifier 1

11 Capacitors As required.

12 Resistors As required

13 GSM module SIM300 1

Table 1.0 [11] Limitations

The system [11] only works in the places of good reception of signal, and in remote areas where there is no strong GSM signal, the equipment does not respond always. Also, there should always be continuous supply of power to the equipment so that the microcontroller and phone connected to it works. Conclusion  

It is a fast and efficient way to control devices. The equipment works anywhere. The result is attained with GSM module Sim300 based outline for effective and compelling result.


An ATMEGA168 microcontroller can be used to remotely control security lighting via Short Message Service (SMS) from a Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) phone anywhere outside the home. A Mobile phone is configured to transmit SMS signal to a home-based GSM modem. The GSM Modem then sends the received SMS to an ATMEGA168 microcontroller. The Microcontroller accesses the received SMS and changes the state of the appliances if the received signal aggresses with a pre - set code. When this is done, the microcontroller then sends signal to the GSM modem which in turn sends back a reply to the mobile phone via SMS. The system utilizes a LCD display with resolution of 96 x 64 using PCD8544 Driver/Controller to display the ON/OFF state of the lighting device. The owner can control the system through his mobile phone by sending Attention (AT) commands to the Modem line and in turn, to the microcontroller. The system can also provide password security against operator misuse/abuse.

Keywords:  GSM, LCD, microcontroller, modem, SMS. [12]

[12] Principle of operation

The system is divided in two parts: the transmitting and receiving parts.  The transmitting part consists of the GSM phone to transmit the commands, and the receiving part comprises a microcontroller, a GSM modem, a buzzer, buttons and the appliance to be controlled. When an SMS is sent by owner/user, the GSM modem receives and sends it to the microcontroller for processing, to change the state of the appliance in accordance to the programming code. The switch button is available to allow the owner manually switch on and off when he /she is close to the receiving end of the system. The buzzer notifies a change in state of the appliance connected. The Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) displays the results after the signal has been processed. For the security aspect, if one presses any of the switches, the GSM modem will send a signal via SMS to the GSM phone, notifying that there is a change of state in a particular appliance. Another security aspect is that if the cable of any of the appliances is cut, the GSM modem will also send a signal via SMS to the GSM phone notifying that a particular cable has been removed. Software development

This paper uses software for the microcontroller and the computer system. These programs were written using embedded C language, AT command and visual basic 6.0. Conclusion

The Switching of Security Lighting System using GSM was discussed and the aim of the work which is the design and implementation of a GSM based Security Lighting system Controller has been completed. This system would make it easier for the owner to control Security Lighting system from a distance. For places where GSM coverage is not available, there is need for the installation of GSM base transceiver stations, since the system operation is largely dependent on availability of efficient communication (network) coverage. [12]


Fig 3.1 Software programming flow chat [12]


From document [10], SMS and autodialing of GSM technology were employed. The aim of [10] was to control power switches. The design included a password security measure. From document [11], the design was aimed at wirelessly controlling electrical appliances via GSM technology.

Both documents, in their attempt, employed the GSM network among the existing wireless technologies. Microcontrollers, GSM modems, relays, SMS, DTMF operations, and external power supply for the microcontrollers, were all included in the designs. A constant interaction is maintain between the microcontrollers, relays, GSM modems, and the software used for the programming. Document [11] included LCD to display the state to the system.

Document [12], was aimed at controlling lighting system using only SMS from a GSM phone. With documents [10] and [12], both included security measures in their designs. Also. Microcontrollers, GSM modems, relays, SMS, and external power supply for the microcontrollers, were all included in the designs. A constant interaction is maintain between the microcontrollers, relays, GSM modems, LCD, and the software used for the programming. Both documents were programmed with embedded C language with Keil software.

Document [12] added a buzzer to its design to notify the change in state of an appliance. The system reports back to the user its current state.

The designs of document [11] and document [12] both contain the same fundamental materials such as microcontroller, GSM modems, relays, SMS, and external power supply. Whereas the system reports its state to the user and has added security measures, the design for document [11] doesn’t include these.


In summary, the designs reviewed are efficient, fast and cost efficient. In our design, we shall be including security measures that will allow the user to key in a password/passcode before have full control of the system. We shall also be focusing on controlling the power at the outlet supplied to the appliances that shall be connected to the socket. Also, our design shall also include a battery alert system that shall alert the user if the power supply to the microcontroller is running out, with the user being able to check the power level of the power supply to the microcontroller when a certain code is entered.


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[12] B. I. Bakare and F. M. Odeyemi, \"Switching Of Security Lighting System Using Gsm,\" American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER), vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 126-137, 2015.

[13] [Online]. Available: [Accessed november 2016].

[14] S. Alla and B. Babu., \"Remote Control of Electrical Appliance using Wireless Technology “GSM”.\".

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