Internet of Things
Energy Management

Sep 13, 2019

Digiteum Team

iot energy management

IoT

Internet of Things Energy Management

IoT enables process automation and operational efficiency in basically every industry — healthcare, retail, manufacturing, energy, logistics. IoT applications in the energy sector grow special attention from consumers, businesses and even governments. Apart from numerous benefits to the electric power supply chain, IoT energy management systems give way to new smarter grids which promise unprecedented savings, improved security and enhanced efficiency.

Let’s find out how Internet of Things and energy efficiency are connected and what solutions in this market are worth considering.

You’ll learn about:

  1. The benefits of IoT energy management systems.
  2. 5 ways Internet of Things helps save energy.
  3. Good examples of digital systems and monitoring tools in this sector.

The Benefits of IoT Management Systems

energy management

As we mentioned earlier, energy management based on Internet of Things has a wide range of benefits for every part of the electric supply chain network, from power generation to the point when consumers pay their electricity bills. Here’s what the application of IoT technology can do:

  • reduce energy spending,
  • minimize carbon emission,
  • meet governmental restrictions,
  • integrate green energy,
  • optimize asset maintenance,
  • automate processes,
  • cut operational expenses,
  • gain visibility to energy use,
  • identify malfunctions in time and prevent them,
  • effectively combat outages, accidents, blackouts,
  • predict consumption and spending and plan accordingly.

Let’s go through 5 major categories of energy management devices and systems which enable these benefits.

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5 Ways Internet of Things Technology Helps Save Energy

1. Smart light, temperature, air condition control

The most obvious way to save energy is to cut down on wasting it. Smart lighting, learning thermostats and sensor-based HVAC systems of the new generation are designed to automatically maintain the perfect conditions in spaces and keep energy use at the optimum level.

Equipped with different sensors (light, movement, humidity, CO2 level, etc.) these systems can dynamically adjust the regimes depending on the changing conditions and avoid using energy in potential waste points.

Thus, smart lighting dims depending on the amount of daylight available in the room and automatically turns off once the room is empty. Learning thermostats precool the space before the heat comes to avoid using expensive energy at the peak load time.

Current by General Electric is a good example of an Internet of Things energy management solution. The Company provides a set of LED light, sensors, controls and analytics tools to create a smart energy infrastructure in industrial and commercial spaces, including factories, stores and the whole cities. The solution is promised to save up to 70% on electric bills.

Philips Hue and Ecobee 4 are lighting and smart thermostat solutions which also provide enormous savings, but for households. Philips Hue family of products include outdoor and indoor LED lighting which adjusts to people’s preferences and routines and uses 85% less energy than traditional bulbs. Ecobee 4 thermostat which automatically cuts down on the use of the energy when it’s the most expensive offers an additional 33% energy saving.

energy management

2. Energy management systems

Smart bulbs and thermostats are popular home automation tools that demonstrate how Internet of Things and energy management provide savings without much effort on the user’s side.

Energy management systems include sensors, meters, controls, applications and analytics tools which enable users — households, businesses, energy professionals, communities, governments — to monitor, manage and control processes, assets and resources in the supply chain.

Energy management system market is estimated to reach $9.3 billion by 2023.

Smart meters, for example, monitor power consumption in real-time, dynamically calculate spending and share data between end-users and utility companies. This data helps suppliers tailor demand-response programs and adjust pricing. Residents, in turn, can control their electricity usage at a granular level using applications, respond to load changes, limit wasting energy.

Sensor-enabled assets, be it heavy machinery on a plant or a household boiler, can continuously report load and predict overheating, risks of damage or outage on the line. In the case of the plant’s equipment — motors, for example, — prevented damage results in serious saving. Using tracking data analytics, management can find the right balance between optimum performance of the equipment, wear and energy use and ensure a long life for the assets.

WebNMS is a great example of the Internet of Things energy management system for industrial and commercial spaces. Using the datum coming from a network of sensors and meters on-site, the solution provides saving measures to optimize the use of energy and maximize productivity.

Sense is a smart metering system for households. It is connected to a regular electric panel to enable residents to gain full control and visibility in their energy usage and proactively participate in energy management.

home energy monitoring

3. Adoption of green energy

Today, we can use Internet of Things for energy management and expanding the adoption of green energy. IoT-based residential solar systems and wind turbines offer free power to partially or fully fulfill a household’s energy demand.

In the first case, residential renewables cut the average energy bill by 50%. In the second case, this number goes up to 100% and allows a household goes completely off-grid.

Not only does the adoption of residential renewable power systems help save energy, but also to reduce carbon footprint and contribute to the environment conservation initiative.

The example of Schneider Electric solutions for households and smart buildings is a great IoT energy management case study. The company provides a wide range of industrial, commercial and residential solar solutions, as well as full-scale PV power plants.

Each solution consists of a set of connected hardware such as gateways, power banks, batteries, meters and converters and software for real-time power monitoring and control. Depending on the purpose and configuration, Schneider Electric’s solutions enable full energy independence, efficient backup or hybridization with other power sources.

energy management

4. Energy storage

Energy storage is the whole new market. It is gaining attention in the wake of the recent trends in smart home and smart city sector. Lux Research promises this market to reach $50 billion by 2020.

In general, storage allows consumers to maintain energy independence in the case of an outage or other problem on the line. Smart storage enables controlled and efficient energy backup and gives residents management functions.

In the case of smart storage, for example, the residents can make informed decisions no the loads and choose which loads should be protected, how much energy should be spent in the off-grid mode and where.

Moreover, using smart storage, the adopters of solar and other renewables can now better manage the clean energy they generate, control the surplus and ensure maximized performance for their power network.

In other words, energy storage is the application of Internet of Things in energy management which enables saving energy both directly and indirectly.

Lumin Energy Management Platform is an example of a smart storage and electricity metering solution which provides customers with monitoring and management capabilities and simplifies the adoption of solar in residential buildings.

smart grid IoT

5. Connected stations, plants, solar and wind fields

Another application of IoT for saving energy is focused on optimizing the very source of power production. Stations, plants, solar fields and wind turbines also consume energy, require maintenance and a wide range of effort and resource-heavy works to keep them running. Using IoT in this sector, or Internet of Energy Things, is the right way to maximize the performance.

Resource management in Internet of Energy Things implies a complex of measures to optimize the performance at a power grid. It includes using sensors, data analytics, predictive maintenance and other practices.

Continuous condition monitoring of equipment and wiring using sensors, for example, prevents overloads and helps maintain a balanced load on the line. Predictive maintenance ensures timely repair of the equipment and prevents blackouts, accidents and costly downtime.

In some cases, connecting power plants and renewable grids into a network gives consumers a transparent view of where their energy comes from. And with this information, consumers get a choice to use the cleanest source available at the moment.

This is exactly what Whatttime platform offers to people. The nonprofit organization provides technology solutions to enable “automated emission reduction.” In short, the system monitors the network of grids and dynamically shifts to the power source which produces the least emissions at a given time.

With this application of Internet of Things, electric utilities that produce the cleanest energy get more consumers, reduce carbon-heavy energy and ensure better environmental practices.

energy management

At Digiteum, we have a solid experience in the Internet of Energy Things. Today, our power consumption telemetry already helps consumers across the U.S. save energy, limit emissions and integrate solar power with less effort and hassle. We know how much the adoption of IoT energy saving costs, what it takes to build a viable solution in this sector and how to get it up and running. Check our IoT and big data services and contact our team to talk about your project.

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