The world consumes more energy than ever before. How we produce, manage, and distribute energy infrastructure must change to keep up with demand. The problem with meeting growing demand using current energy infrastructure is that if done poorly, we will continue to increase global carbon emissions at a greater and greater rate.
Aside from the multiple benefits to the electricity supply chain, IoT energy management systems offer vastly improved security and huge improvements in cost-saving efficiency. This means a less wasteful and more secure power grid system that costs less and is better for the planet.
How smart energy management will improve the industry and our lives is changing. Here are the most immediate ways intelligent energy management provides us with benefits:
The list of benefits is constantly evolving along with improving sensor and connectivity technology. Let's look more closely at some key aspects.
IIoT (infrastructure internet of things) is starting to take shape as the cost of quality sensors, connectivity, and IoT platforms begin to reduce. The vision of energy IIoT is simple and relates to efficiency:
"Sensor technology, big data and analytics are now used to optimize operations, such as efficiently balancing supply and demand as customers connect to a smart grid. New business models are challenging the traditional industry players." (Industrial Internet Consortium)
The economic benefits are some of the main reasons governments and companies are seriously exploring IoT's capabilities for efficiently maximizing energy, even over the environmental impact. Real-time power monitoring, smart metering, data-driven machine learning predictions, and predictive maintenance help every energy supply chain player reduce spending and waste inefficiencies.
As the gravity of global warming starts to be more thoroughly understood, national and local environmental regulations regarding emissions and energy consumption are ever-changing. IoT allows companies to leverage better energy management and use embedded analytics tools to comply with current and future environmental regulations competently. Modern IoT platforms provide specific tool sets to do this and integrate green energy protocols that didn't exist a few years ago.
"Green energy" is inevitable, and professionals both upstream and downstream within the sector understand this is the case. Governments and companies are looking into using IoT to understand better how to maximize renewable energy resource consumption. For instance, when we start putting wind energy into the power grid, having an intelligent system seamlessly integrate renewable and traditional energy sources onto a single grid is essential. Data-driven analytics, with the assistance of machine learning, can look at the way energy moves throughout the system and develop better energy conservation strategies.
This means that no matter where or how energy is produced in the grid, providers can rest assured it is maximized for efficiency and costs. This will not just be a company-driven shift either. We are already seeing government regulations passed requiring this sort of energy management efficiency. Failure to do so could lead to hefty fines and disruptions in service, so there is an economic impact that incentivizes the development of efficient systems through IoT.
Storing energy is an entirely new marketplace. We see it in a few key areas, including the innovative home energy sector, with homes producing their own power through solar panels and IoT's ever-growing role in smart cities. For consumers and homeowners, smart energy storage allows them to be more energy independent and resilient when the power goes out from failures or environmental weather. Utilities and renewable energy providers can more effectively manage the energy they generate and better store surplus to ensure the lights stay on in their network.
Renewable energy sources are variable by nature. After all, the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. Integrating smart energy storage is necessary to balance renewables' intermittent nature and sustain a system's energy requirements during reduced output (cloudy or windless days). There are further advantages in other areas, such as load demand reduction, voltage control, frequency regulation, capacity firming, distribution mechanisms, and more.
The cloud has been the predominant data management system used worldwide in recent years. The problem with using traditional cloud services for infrastructure management is that the cloud is a centralized network vulnerable to attack. There is a real risk when hackers can target a single area or entry point to compromise a system. Using a decentralized intelligent energy network, you eliminate singular points of entry that hackers can target as the system is spread out over many devices (nodes).
Today, advances in edge cloud computing, artificial intelligence, encryption, and decentralized blockchain technology have created a more robust security landscape for energy systems. Advanced analytics of systems help single out attack vulnerabilities and provide greater confidence as the digital landscape of the grid expands. AI-driven cyber risk monitoring systems help give a complete view of the overall security landscape within a system, from sensors to software to storage and everything in between. Energy systems are becoming far more integrated, so having trust in security and integrity as there are more moving parts is critical to prevent attacks and service lapses.
Sadly, we are already seeing our ecological system begin to wane, with non-human species experiencing alarming die-off rates pushing many close to extinction as the world warms. This means that maximizing the efficiency of energy production and consumption is more important than ever and goes beyond exclusively economic needs. Extracting more from what we have now will be the cornerstone if we are to mitigate the developing human-led global climate crisis. The faster we can maximize how energy is used, stored, and distributed, the quicker we can try to save the entire ecological system.
One problem today with modern energy systems is that most are not data or "smart" driven. The technology is new, and the experts are so limited that much of our energy infrastructure remains stuck within legacy systems ripe with inefficiencies and vulnerabilities. Finding the right IoT platform to maximize efficiency while improving security is tricky as there are few options to consider. The difficulty with currently using AWS, Azure, and other similar systems is that they are inefficient and extremely costly.
Companies, utilities, and governments need efficient and cost-effective solutions regarding smart energy systems. Out-of-control costs are one of the main reasons we see such poor global smart grid adoption. When you cannot predict operational expenses using legacy systems, your costs can spiral and become untenable, especially in the developing world. The Internet of Everything Corporation (IoE) has developed the leading IoT energy system platform, EDEN.
Eden is a decentralized, autonomous, portable, secure virtual infrastructure for managing clustered workloads over Depos (decentralized pods) and services facilitating declarative configuration and automation. In other words, Eden is a private online Edge Cluster developed around a sustainable computing core focused on efficiency and functionality.
IoE has opened applications to find suitable partners within the Eden ecosystem. Please apply today, and let's discuss how Eden can change how your company works, regardless of your vertical.