Unlocking new models of energy use through IoT

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Unlocking new models of energy use through IoT

Published: Thu 30 July 2015 | by Nigel Chadwick

Renewable resources, such as solar energy and wind power, seem to be an efficient way to manage energy and minimize environmental damage. With more and more electric machines on the planet, however, unpredictable weather leads to inconsistencies in energy output, creating new challenges and need to update electric power distribution methods. The energy supply must evolve to ensure renewable sources can provide consistent power to the electricity grid.

How does the Grid as it exists today deal with consistency?

One such example of steady energy demand is electric vehicles, growing in popularity as an environmentally-friendly alternative to reliance on petroleum fuel, bringing with them increased energy demand. Individual owners as well as corporate fleets create regular demand and predictability when, for example, plugging in vehicles for charging overnight. Household and mobile appliances are also using much more energy, moving from traditionally gas-powered to electric power. On a corporate and industrial level, energy substations and transformers are demanding increasingly more power for utility companies to provide their customers.

The electricity grid must be smarter to handle unpredictability in energy output and increased surge demand. Connected devices can monitor and manage demand, and bring the potential to unlock new models of energy use, including renewable energy. Stream Technologies is helping better decision-making in energy for connected devices through the IoT. Stream's IoT-X platform solution uses IoT connectivity to combat these challenges, with such various applications as:

* Micro-generation:

Allowing users to bring their own energy to the grid, such as solar.

* Pricing to reflect supply and demand:

Smart connected devices allow monitoring of energy usage and price fluctuation for specific time periods, determining the most cost-effective time for energy storage. If multiple devices are storing energy during the night, costs can be increase with demand, and offer reduced pricing for storage in off-peak periods.

* Telemetry:

Determining demand with real-time reporting and adjustment. For example, if the majority of electric devices are plugged in for charging at night, power output can be optimized with trickle charge, or burst of power if there is only a short period of time to charge. Telemetry can also monitor and adjust for On-demand or Surge-pricing.

* Electric vehicle charging:

Connected devices can monitor individual output and notify when vehicle needs a charge. In public settings such as car parks, devices can view individual and collective energy usage, process credit card payments for public use of charging stations, and more.

The grid will need to become smarter to cope with the challenges of being greener. Energy monitoring and adjustment is simplified when IoT connected devices, applications, and analytics are used. Companies can find trends easier, detect faults and cope with expansion. IoT technologies will enable new business models, cost and resource savings, all while making the Grid more reliable, resilient and secure.

To view this article, please visit: IOT World Congress

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