IoT is a technology which helps to establish connections among different devices and allows these devices to communicate with each other over a network. Connected devices make it possible for real-time detailed data to be available and in turn, aids better and well-informed decision making.
IoT has applications in numerous sectors. The applications of IoT in Energy and Utility sector are :
IoT at the source of energy generation
IoT Sensors are attached to the energy generation equipment in the power plants. They help improve efficiency and reduce downtime and maintenance costs. The equipment can be maintained at optimal health through continuous monitoring by sensors. Connectivity among equipment also allows for decentralization of energy generation. Energy generated from various sources, called distributed generation, can be taken into account for distribution.
IoT in energy distribution
The energy (electricity) generated from different sources is distributed to the consumers using a grid. IoT based Smart Grids can automatically detect a failure in the distribution network and immediately reroute power distribution to service the area affected by the failure. A smart grid can identify the exact failure points and allow for faster restoration without affecting customers. Smart grids can also determine the real-time power requirements and prevent loss of power by distributing only the required amount of power through the grid.
See also: IoT in Electrical power Industry
IoT in energy consumption
Using IoT to connect devices in the home or office, consumers can get data about their energy consumption and use it to tweak their behavior and save energy.
Some of the applications used in this regard are:
Smart meters :
Smart meters allow consumers to understand their energy consumption patterns and how much energy their household or office devices are consuming. They can take appropriate actions when a device is consuming more energy than necessary. Smart meters can also monitor the time of consumption along with the amount of power consumption. This allows utility companies to offer incentives to customers like peak and non-peak hour pricing. When the consumers can better understand their energy consumption, they can be motivated to change their behavior to conserve energy wherever possible.
Smart lighting :
One type of smart lighting is the connected bulb, which is connected to the internet and can be controlled by an app on the user’s mobile. A larger application of smart lighting is for street lights. They can help reduce energy consumption by turning the street lights on or off automatically based on schedule, reducing the light intensity based on ambient light conditions.
See also : Energy Management Using IoT
Smart building :
The Smart building connects major systems of a large building like heating, lighting and provides a detailed view into their operations. This allows better decision making by building managers. Thus, building managers are armed with the tools to work towards reducing the energy consumption of the building.
The energy sector is one of the largest application of IoT. It will continue to grow in the coming years. Energy conservation and efficiency in the entire energy sector is a priority around the world and IoT is a major factor in achieving that efficiency.
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