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As energy consumption is anticipated to rise by 40% over the coming 23 years, the demand for smarter energy solutions could touch its pinnacle point at that time.
Fortunately, there have been significant shifts toward energy management that are making this sector more efficient. From smart bulbs to autonomous offshore oil rigs, the current effect of the Internet of Things has brought a revolution in the entire energy industry. So, businesses belonging to this sector are exploring IoT use cases to improve their process automation and operational efficiency.
But what exactly has IoT brought to the table? How has it transformed the energy sector? And why businesses are investing in IoT development services and solutions?
Let’s try to find answers to these questions below.
The IoT is bringing forth ample potential opportunities in the energy industry. The use of this technology in this sector is majorly driven by the need for more streamlined energy management. Yet, there are many other ways IoT can propel this industry. Some of them lie in the following:
Higher energy efficiency: The increased control over energy consumption results in reduced waste, saved costs and enables the cutting of CO2 emissions, which makes the world a better place to live.
Reduced operational cost: IoT-enabled solution helps companies to eliminate operational and maintenance costs through system modernization and automation.
Increased power supply reliability: The cost of power outages amounts to about $150B each year in the US, and around 25% of all industrial outages and interruptions were caused due to equipment failures. Taking this into account, IoT energy devices are deemed to be the panacea of these issues as they provide a more stable and reliable source of power.
New data sources: In terms of gathering and processing of abundant data, IoT-enabled devices offer real-time insights into the system’s analytics and performance. These insights facilitate the implementation of predictive maintenance models and ensure the protection of the staff.
Energy system monitoring and maintenance
IoT can be used to keep track of the number of system metrics, comprising performance, health, efficiency, and thus, facilitate the maintenance of the energy system. Be it a wind turbine or any other equipment, it might be challenging to detect the exact issues before the system crashes. Also, checking the problems manually is a very tedious and time-consuming process.
This is why companies are leveraging IoT sensors to examine the efficiency and outcome of their equipment. By gathering data from the sensors, they are able to implement the predictive maintenance models based on the IIoT platform. Thus, the organization could predict their maintenance needs in a better way, improve their efficiency, and lessen system downtime.
IoT facilitated the development of entirely autonomous oil drills or energy plants. As said earlier, IoT sensors enable monitoring the system’s efficiency in real-time, and thus, automatically improve its performance using machine learning and AI.
Simultaneously, smart drilling tools can automatically modify the drill depth as per the external conditions using AI algorithms for the optimum results. It also eliminates the need for manually tampering the equipment.
Likewise, smart solutions can make power plants more productive and minimize waste. They also have the potential to increase coal power plant efficiency, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is obtained by leveraging fuel combustion, interpreting data from over 10,000 sensors, and adjusting the whole process to the specifics of burning fuel, i.e., automatically tuning the oxygen flow in the boiler.
Safety and disaster prevention
Smart IoT solutions can be used to prevent production accidents and improve operational safety. Organizations have been exploiting drones to detect methane leaks during the wildfire in Northern California. The drones transferred data to the unified control system, which resulted in automatic isolation of the leaks until the damage was overcome by the crew on-site. Companies have also been analyzing this method to inspect infrastructure daily.
Smart meters directly connect consumers to the power station, thus facilitating two-way communication. It allows consumers to share real-time operation information with utility agencies. This helps the agencies to identify the performance issues and minimize the system downtime immediately.
These IoT energy devices can also detect and automatically separate the damaged part without affecting the performance of the rest of the system. Besides, the consumer can reap the benefits of smart meters in many ways such as:
Smart energy grids are the outcome of smart meters connected in a single network. This represents how IoT-enabled devices help in energy management in other ways.
For example, a company in North California launched a “self-healing grid system”, which is designed to automatically readjust itself in case of a power outage and, thus minimizing downtime.
Another example: Chattanooga, Tennessee, was one of the pioneers to implement and leverage smart grid solutions. This helped the community to save over 1.4M dollars in operational expenses during a single storm.
Furthermore, due to the positive impact of smart grids on the environment, it has been prognosticated that they will dwindle the air pollution by 30% over the coming 10 years.
Smart IoT solutions can automatically detect and manage the humidity, heating, and lighting in a building, thus reducing energy consumption. These systems also make possible the zero-energy building concept, which says that the total amount of energy annually consumed by the building is equal to the amount of on-site created renewable energy.
Akin to buildings, the infrastructure of an entire town can also be managed with IoT energy solutions.
From street lights to electrified public transport, the Internet of Things offers a plethora of ways to manage energy consumption and make urban cities more sustainable.
Vancouver, San Francisco, and Copenhagen are a few cities that have put considerable effort to reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency, and become sustainable.
The Internet of Things has started ruling the energy sector by improving efficiencies. Considering the growth potential IoT has shown, it will soon be recognized as a boon for various energy organizations that ensure more resilience, care, and prudence than ever before.
If you also are also endeavoring to take your business to a next level, capitalizing on smart energy solutions would be a great idea, especially in an era where the global community strives to spend a more sustainable, waste-free life. To explore the opportunities hidden within the IoT landscape, you can tap into a reliable and experienced IoT development company.