The renewable energy and energy optimization can be combined to enable sustainable energy transitions and mitigate climate changes. IoT is a disruptive technology that has resulted in a positive change by facilitating the demands in the energy sector. The Internet of Things targets the energy sector by providing a large number of applications such as energy supply, generation, transmission, and distribution. Furthermore, IoT can be implemented to improve energy efficiency, increasing the role of renewable energy, and reducing environmental impacts due to energy usage.
Today, the energy industry depends on fossil fuels that constitute 80% of the total energy present on Earth. Excessive combustion and consumption of fossil fuels result in increased air pollution and climate change that affect the environment and health adversely. Thus, the main alternative to bring IoT with the energy sector is to minimize excessive energy consumption and diminish the harmful impacts of fossil fuel usage.
IoT is an emerging technology that aims to connect physical devices or “things” through the internet. Appropriate sensors planted on these physical devices and communication networks help extract valuable data and enable diverse services to users like controlling the building energy consumption smartly with reduced energy costs. This article focuses on the key aspects of IoT that make the energy sector more autonomous and advanced. Highlighting the four phases of a smart grid system, it also throws some light on how a consumer can be benefitted from the combination of IoT in the energy industry.
IoT in the Energy Sector
The technological advancement has made our lives simpler and automated. But most importantly, there is a vast spread of the Internet of Things in the energy sector. The introduction of IoT has proposed smart ideas to conserve energy at a more efficient, reliable, and robust level. This can also be termed as a smart grid, which mainly incorporates power transmission and power distribution processes. It further facilitates smart and efficient electricity supply from the power plants to potential consumers.
IoT plays a significant role in all these phases of electricity generation and distribution. In power generation, IoT helps the users to keep a track of all the electrical parameters like current, voltage. The installed current or voltage sensors are connected to a control unit, which receives the sensor data and transfers it to the cloud database for storage. Thus, making electricity generation more efficient and powerful.
Initially, periodic visits were performed to maintain the power transmission system or check the status of the equipment. Since the transmission system is widely spread across different and remote areas, it becomes a challenge for manual labor to visit frequently. IoT based online monitoring system is a reliable, and robust system that facilitates prior detection of any fault along with its solution. Thus, involving the Internet of Things with the energy sector maximizes employee safety along with the reduced cost of labor.
In power distribution, smart energy meters are used to help the authorities distribute power efficiently. The smart energy meters then send the consumption data to the cloud, which further helps the authorities to keep a record of the information regarding the load consumption in each location. Furthermore, this helps in making an efficient and optimized energy distribution. Additionally, IoT minimizes the required human efforts to go and keep a check on the generation, transmission, and distribution equipment.
The Internet of Things is helping humans in a lot of ways. It can identify the faults in the machinery equipment and alert the user to take the necessary actions. A smart distribution grid has different sensors to detect multiple parameters like temperature, humidity, and noise of the grid that further helps in proper and secured maintenance.
A smart energy monitoring system plays a crucial role in supporting the daily habits of consumers. The power is generated and is then distributed from the distribution centers to the customers, both industrial and residential for practical usage.
How do consumers consume smart energy solutions through IoT?
IoT is making energy consumption more intelligent to consumers by providing innovative solutions for home automation, vehicles, and smart cities.
Every member at your home is intelligent, but have you ever wondered about an intelligent lighting system? The passive infrared sensors are used to keep track of any movement in the room, which signals the switching on and off of the lights. Also, the light switch is connected via the internet and thus, the user can monitor the status of lights through his mobile device from any remote location.
Many electrical appliances are modernized as per human needs. Appliances such as refrigerator, air conditioner, television, etc. can now be connected to the internet. For instance, if your air conditioner is connected to the internet, you can optimize the room temperature before reaching home. Also, sensors like power analyzers can be planted with the appliance’s connecting wires to detect the amount of power consumed.
Advantages of Implementing IoT with the Energy Industry
- Increased energy efficiency
The efficient use of energy results in minimized wastage of resources. The Internet of Things helps provide enhanced control over energy consumption, therefore making organizations reduce excessive waste and pollution. Moreover, using IoT applications with businesses leads to an increase in cost savings and cuts down the CO2 emissions. As a result, it creates a positive impact on the environment.
- Reduced costs
One of the biggest advantages of using IoT with the energy industry is money saving. It helps reduce the extra cost of monitoring and provides enhanced productivity at an advanced level. IoT is widely adopted in the energy industry due to its effective functioning and energy consumption. In our daily routines, physical appliances can be connected effectively by using the Internet of Things and thus, it conserves the energy and cost, making our systems efficient.
With the advancement of technology and incoming of IoT, automation walks parallel to us. It surrounds us with various sensor-enabled devices and helps in mitigating daily life challenges by providing real-time solutions. Now, you are just one-button away from operating big machines and that too with accuracy. Streamlining the Internet of Things has provided each one of us with an automated environment like smart device control, energy management, improved device connectivity, etc.
The Future of IoT in the Energy Industry
The Internet of Things reflects a new reality that surrounds us with automation. The connection between physical devices has certainly made our lives easier and more advanced. Each one of us carries a personal mobile device; and how better it would be that we can operate and manage our daily tasks easily with that one device.
Whether you own multiple energy plants, or a firm and looking for automating your operations and cut excessive energy consumption, an IoT energy solution is there to meet every need. In the times when the communities are striving hard to go waste-free and provide sustainable functioning, taking an initiative towards integrating smart energy solutions with your business requirements is always an innovative idea.
There is a significant growth in the demands of power and fuel across the globe due to infrastructural development. Hence, it is a great opportunity to implement IoT applications with the energy sector to provide efficient use of resources. Thus, we can say the Internet of Things has a great future ahead in the energy sector and also, it provides enhanced business opportunities for efficient usage of natural energy.