Insight on control and monitoring of Internet of Things (IoT) based energy systems help manage energy better, improve energy efficiency, help conserve energy and ensure compliance with the government and environmental regulations.

Cloud-based intelligent systems employing insights from machine learning and Big Data Analytics – are able to relate devices to the environment in which they function as an interconnected network with inherent communication. Certainly, smart energy management is definitely a priority in business operations today – efficiency and effectiveness can be calibrated to the finest detail through the use of purpose-built Internet of Things (IoT).

What Analysts Have to Say about Value Creation from Internet of Things (IoT) in the Energy Sector

“Insights from IBM estimate 1.5 billion connected devices by the year 2020, which is triple the number of devices that were available in 2013.” IBM articulates that Energy companies need a transformation towards efficiency and greater partnership with businesses and consumers. Energy sector companies are currently embracing IoT products and services at an appreciable rate. During the period 2014 to 2020, smart meter installation is estimated to double (Asia Pacific carrying 65 percent of the global installation share) and revenue from smart grids is projected to increase ten times.

  • Companies in the energy domain will get benefitted in terms of positive impact on performance, costs, risks, employees and consumers – through the installation of smart grids and smart meters and monitoring and maintenance equipment assisted through an IoT infrastructure.
  • Suggested IoT strategy for maximum operational success and consumer engagement would touch upon concerns related to security, user experience, and innovation.
  • Enabling the IoT and digitizing energy management would most certainly be achieved through cloud virtualization and big data analytics. The value of planning through the broad perspective and adapting through iteration and with the help of Agile methods should not be underestimated.

nternet of Things(IOT) in the energy sector

McKinsey and company focused on the economic aspect of IoT and their 150 use cases analyzed during the study period suggested an estimated impact of $4 trillion to $11 trillion per year until 2025. Major findings from the McKinsey’s report reflected that huge value could be realized by way of interoperability among systems. Plummeting chronic disease costs and reducing the possibility of breakdowns and therefore downtime, through predictive algorithms.

The Gartner report of 2015 presents a detailed outline on the best way to implement an Internet of Things (IoT) in an infrastructure with the focus on achieving bottom-line benefits and targeting new markets for greater expansion. While most energy companies struggle to digitize their infrastructure, their vision is not well-defined or their technical capabilities are not estimated accurately.

Gartner lays down some of the best practices that organizations can rely on, while undergoing IoT planning processes, guided by “IoT Readiness” and “IoT Maturity Assessment”. According to this formal strategy, organizations could be rated on a three value scale (“Basic”, “Intermediate” and “Advanced”) based on Gartner criteria, “Technical Capabilities” and “Vision”.

  • Organizations can perform detailed assessment – regarding where they stand based on this scale and what they plan to achieve in future before investing in a companywide IoT strategy.
  • While the process is clearly iterative in nature, the use of best practices and clear goals at each milestone will ensure that the IoT implementation will generate maximum benefits in terms of economic and competitive advantage.
  • Lastly, Gartner stresses on the value of integrating the IoT as part of the organization-wide digital strategy to achieve true business value.

Noteworthy Strategies in IoT Implementation for Efficient Energy Management

Microsoft Ignite 2015 showcased astounding technologies that addressed critical crisis situations through Smart Energy Management, rendered smarter via association to Internet of Things:

  • In drought-stricken California, conserving water had become equally challenging to conserving electricity in terms of energy management goals, especially since moving water through electrical pumps proved costly. Towards this end, the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) embraced Internet of Things (IoT) and managed to leverage data collected from sensors and empower their strategy with insights that later minimized energy use and optimized distribution of water among farmers and consumers of water.
  • Chicago-based CityWorks executes tough ambitious goals with a vision to transform cities globally, even when scarce resources are involved. Predictive analytics, cloud virtualization, machine learning technologies, Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) are major enablers for such smart cities and their efficient management of energy, resources, infrastructure, and communication.
  • Architecture experts at the Carnegie Melon University are engaged in enabling 35 of their campus buildings to transform into empowered IoT operating units. Campus-wide buildings which are in an IoT network now, relying on the modern day data analytics, cloud computing, and machine learning trio are able to present efficiencies in terms of time and energy and reduced carbon emissions, which were otherwise not possible.

IOT Implementation

One of the most thorough IoT implementation strategies for efficient energy management is the Intel IoT Gateway for Kingspan, a truly efficient solution that was instrumental in getting the energy company the prestigious ISO 50001 accreditation. The transformational Intel technology restructured Kingspan, Ireland headquarters into a “net-zero” building. Kingspan, with the help of Intel’s revolutionary Quark SoC, identified from collected data, that its energy consumption was a third less than the energy it was generating, clearly proving its efficiency.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will Eventually be Perceived as a Fulcrum in the Smart Energy Strategy

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an indispensable vehicle to leverage Smart Energy Management and this comes by through intelligent systems offering analytics that feedback into the system for major performance improvements:

  1. IoT enabled environments can easily decode the cause behind episodes of higher than usual levels of energy consumption on the basis of captured data through statistical techniques
  2. The multitude of devices installed as part of an infrastructure can be easily monitored for efficiency in real-time – based on preset variables in specific environmental conditions
  3. The use of predictive analytics is crucial as an estimation tool to calculate precise maintenance costs and the possibility of breakdown for individual devices. The nature of components and the possibility of failure can be easily estimated through analytical capabilities.
  4. Carbon emissions can be calculated for successful compliance with standard guidelines enforced in the geographical setting
  5. Energy management systems almost always go through a series of exceptions, manual overrides, and more of such discrepancies during their operation. Analytical capabilities enforced by the organization help ascertain causes for such exceptions and assist in enforcing preventive procedures, that would help ensure smooth functioning of the system in a holistic style.

While smart energy management is a familiar term, perspectives related to efficiency and competitiveness in the energy sector are changing considerably. Businesses are transforming through the discovery of hidden data and this information is being leveraged to create informed, smarter decisions to rise above benchmarks on the regulatory, environmental and operational fronts. In future, energy systems are bound to increase their reliance on IoT, Big Data analytics and transition to the cloud for achieving maximum leverage in terms of smart energy management.