The evolution of IoT in energy and utilities is yet another way that IoT is benefiting different industries.
The technology offers several benefits including, efficiency, enhanced management and solutions for low-energy issues.
During our research, we came across the EIA report on energy usage. EIA claims that there shall be a nearly 50% increase in world energy usage by 2050. This report is actually a call for better and smarter ways of managing energy and utilities.
In this blog post we will look at the role of IoT in the energy and utilities sector. To learn more, read this blog till the end.
How IoT is transforming the energy and utilities industry
Check out our blog post on how to use smart METERING FOR ENERGY AND GAS FOR SMART HOMES
IoT in Energy and Utilities: Utility Metering IoT Technology
There is a wide spread of utility smart metering across the globe and IoT is driving the evolution. In developing countries, this is a very common thing because they are trying to improve energy consumption and utilities.
How does the Smart Utility Metering IoT Technology Work?
IoT-enabled smart metering is changing utility for water, electricity and gas.
Friendly-tech.com explain how utility metering works. When they say that they work by automatically tracking both usage and wastages.
Also, that the smart meters provide real time “real-time insights to utilities and end-users.” Smart meters in the utility industry use data for effectiveness and efficiency. “The Data is transmitted over cellular networks in real time with minimal security risks.”
IoT in energy and utilities powers smart meters by enabling them to use various applications for accurate tracking and reading. The role of IoT in smart metring systems also extends to allowing efficient monitoring of energy consumption. The device uses IoT sensors that collect such relevant data in real time.
IoT in Energy and Utilities: Predictive Maintenance In Energy With IoT
Utilising IoT technologies for predictive maintenance in the energy sector is very important. In this case, IoT is implemented for the monitoring of system performance at different levels. Smart sensors are embedded into different energy equipment and tools.
The IoT sensors are programmed to monitor and collect useful data which are sent to a central system for advanced analysis. These central systems are integrated with AI technologies for effective, efficient and accurate performance.
Having analysed the data, the system generates reports on the health status of all system operations which are forwarded to the right team. In some cases, machine learning algorithms are applied in the analysis, and where there are issues of emergencies, they automatically send quick notifications of danger to the right team.
This helps in maintaining a proactive maintenance culture to keep all assets and equipment in good shape. By this, it reduces the potential for downtime and keeps operations and performance at optimal levels.
To unlock such possibilities in the energy sector, businesses need to take full advantage of IoT in energy and utilities. It offers transformative opportunities for the decision-makers. It also plays an important role in helping to cut costs and implement sustainability.
IoT in Energy and Utilities: IoT Analytics for Energy Management
Medium asserts that “30% of energy in commercial buildings is wasted through inefficient operations”. However, with the “implementation of IoT analytics for energy management, organizations can optimize energy usage substantially.”
In other words, organisations can utilise technologies of IoT in energy and utilities, such as smart thermostats and lighting systems for effectively managing their energy consumption.
IoT in energy and utilities is transforming energy efficiency in the following ways;
IoT-enabled demand response and IoT in grid monitoring and control
IoT in Energy and Utilities for Real time monitoring and control
IoT in energy and utilities enables effective monitoring of energy consumption. Using smart sensors, IoT offers real time monitoring of data, thereby giving users effective management powers over energy consumption. With relevant
IoT in energy and utilities tools, users can make relevant and timely adjustments for power optimisations.
IoT in Energy and Utilities for Automated Energy Management
Automation is another way that IoT in energy and utilities is optimizing energy consumption. With automation, IoT enables intelligent control of different connected devices.
Using IoT tools like smart thermostats, IoT devices can learn all user preferences and make all relevant adjustments for improved energy management.
IoT-Enabled Demand Response
In the power grids, IoT technology can automatically analyse real-time demands and consumer patterns. Afterwards, use these insights to make adjustments to the energy supply. This includes optimising the supplies to suit the demands and patterns which ultimately meet user requirements.
IoT in Grid Monitoring and Control
IoT in energy and utilities for energy demand response can also help in reducing the load on the power grid. Since it monitors demands and patterns, it can tell when the grid is supplying more amount of energy than the demand.
In this case, it will help in adjusting the supply, thereby reducing the workload on the grid.
Leveraging IoT technologies for efficient energy management is one of the most common trends in the energy and utilities industry. IoT analytics offers viable solutions in energy optimisation. This helps organisations to save huge amounts of money.
IoT in Energy and Utilities: The Role of IoT Sensors for Power Distribution
IoT sensors play very important roles in power distribution. This works when sensors are embedded in power distribution network systems.
The function of the IoT sensors is to collect relevant measuring data for a central system. These include geographical locations/positions and energy flow to the nearest node. The sensors also collect and transmit data related to the value of energy consumption over an extended period on the entire network.
IoT smart sensors play exceptional roles in the smart grid system. While monitoring all physical assets, smart sensors are effective in informing the central systems of all happenings. For best results, smart sensors spread across the transmission tower, lines and distribution transformers. They are also embedded in substations.
Smart sensors can measure the safety of the weather conditions in different directions of the wind, temperature, rain and humidity. They play important roles in managing natural disasters on the grid.
Other IoT sensors are mainly for monitoring assets and power quality. They include IoT devices like GPS and other monitoring sensors. They offer monitoring services on power tower lines and substations.
Both types of sensors are important in IoT in energy and utilities. These sensor types offer real-time monitoring services in power distribution.
The Industrial IoT in Power Generation
There are lots of changes and evolutions in the power sector. These changes, for the most part, come as solutions to the existing problems in the industry.
Some of these existing problems seeking sustainable solutions are environmental, some regulatory and some are infrastructural. Others are related to pricing, or upgrading. Also, there are improvements in how power plants operate.
Today, from the traditional system, we are witnessing an era of great flexibility. And the power industry needs modern solutions that match all the existing dynamics. This is where the importance of industrial IoT in power generation comes into play.
Priyanka Sharma posits that “IoT-based platforms and solutions for digitization are in high demand in the power generating industry. This is because they need “to optimize & model their performance and improve their Key Performance Indicators.
These performance key indicators according to her include the following;
- Operational efficiency,
- Economic generation dispatching
- Inventory management.
The adoption and implementation of industrial IoT is important for efficiently managing data for better performance. The technology offers better and improved ways of data communication, and big data analysis for best results.
Industrial IoT is also powered by Artificial intelligence advanced digital analytics.
How Industrial IoT in Power Generation Enhances Power Plants
Optimisation of Processes
Industrial IoT enhances power generation with both data-based and algorithm-based modelling. With this, it offers a great level of flexibility in power plant operations.
Industrial IoT also uses smart sensors and data analytic tools to offer useful insights into patterns and behaviours. With AI integrated into the system, it predicts and alerts the management team on maintenance.
This is a viable tool for proactive actions and preventing downtime or breakdown in power generation plants.
Improved Decision Making
Since Industrial IoT offer accurate and adequate utilisation of data, it helps in improving decisions. The technologies play a vital role in analysing data on several parameters so the management team will have a lot, if not enough data for making decisions. The decisions will be very precise, accurate and timely.
IoT in Energy and Utilities for Economic Benefits
With the application of IoT in energy and utilities, energy companies can easily target profits and cost minimisation. This is because they have all the required data on market dynamics.
For example, they have accurate insights on customer behaviours and patterns, demand and supply. Also, IoT offers power generation and distribution companies efficient data on existing gaps in the industry, with specific details like locations or distributed areas.
With such information or insights, IoT in energy and utilities, offers essential benefits to power generation and distribution companies. They can easily design effective marketing and sales strategies, that customers will find enticing. This will in essence, lead to great levels of customer satisfaction.
IoT Applications In Renewable Energy
If you look at the impact of IoT applications in different industries, you will agree that is indeed transforming our world.
Let us look at how IoT plays transformative roles in renewable energy.
First of all, the IoT market size can be capped at tens of billions of dollars. Some researchers have predicted its growth to reach a market size of $35.2 billion in the year 2025.
IoT in Energy and Utilities and Smart Grids for Renewable Energy
When a power generation plant and distribution system is unreliable, there will be no sustainability in renewable energy.
This is mostly the case with traditional energy grids. The power plants in the traditional system use one-way transmission plans with a once-a-month billing system.
However, with the invention of IoT-enabled smart grids, there are options for energy generation. This simply means grid managers can switch from and between other power plants to renewable systems.
This helps ensure an uninterrupted power supply.
In other words, using a smart grid opens up opportunities to harness the utilization of alternative power supplies, especially renewable energy.
IoT in Energy and Utilities: Increasing the Adoption of Renewables
IoT-enabled smart grids are contributing to the growing adoption of renewable energy sources. As we have mentioned, IoT offers strong support for real-time monitoring, and power consumption management among others.
How do they contribute to renewable energy?
Electricity customers are on their own, exploring better ways of generating and consuming energy.
For example, many people are embracing solar energy, which they can simply install on their rooftops for power generation. This reduces the demand on the traditional power grid, which also reduces the emission for supplies.
IoT IoT in Energy and Utilities Helps in Balancing Supply and Demand
IoT-enabled smart grids use smart sensors to efficiently monitor customer demands in other to improve supply. The sensors are capable of providing accurate data that in the end contributes to balancing supply.
For example, smart grids reduce waste or excess power supply whenever there is a drop in demand. They also improve supply when demand increases. Such balance will reduce the need for customers to source alternative energy like fuel or diesel using power generators which is usually the case in developing countries.
IoT in Energy and Utilities: Using Smart Meters for Renewable Energy
Smart energy meters also play important roles in renewable energies. They are embedded with smart sensors that offer real-time data on the consumption of electricity to the suppliers.
The data may also contain different patterns, behaviors or trends of the users or load usages. With this, the smart meters can switch automatically to either reduce or increase performance or supply.
The use of IoT in energy and utilities is a welcome development. Everyone is pretty much happy about how technology is transforming power generation, consumption and renewable energy.
In the future, we will see more innovations with even more benefits to power-generating companies, distributors, and consumers.