The potential and realized applications of the Internet of Things #IOT in renewable energy indicate a number of benefits to the different processes associated with the sector. Everything from the initial harnessing of green energy to its delivery into the workplace and your home are made more efficient and economical by IoT-enabled devices. On this path, IoT devices help to harvest renewable energy, communicate and monitor that energy as it enters a smart grid, and use smart metering to limit energy usage.
Harnessing Renewable Energy with IoT
Using sensor and communications technologies facilitated by IoT make the harvesting of solar and wind energy a more reliable process. When it comes to solar energy, IoT sensors and controls can automatically and remotely adjust the angle of solar panels to track the sun’s movements. Without relying on manual calibration, these solar panels can receive the maximum level of solar radiation on a more cost-effective scale.
For wind turbines, IoT sensors can be used to ensure that energy production is stable while checking for adverse environmental conditions and allowing for predictive maintenance. This maintenance is especially useful in offshore scenarios where manual checkups would be more costly.
In the Smart Grid
Once this renewable energy is effectively harnessed, it needs to be stored and distributed using methods that limit waste to conserve energy (and its ‘green’ connotation). Installing IoT sensors and similar solutions through a smart grid helps operators keep an eye on substations and distribution lines. If there’s a hazard affecting a region on the smart grid, this area can quickly be shut down to reduce wasted energy.
Sensors in the smart grid also help companies gather consumption data from consumers in real-time. Despite the proliferation of principal and smaller generators to meet residential and commercial demands, smart grids using IoT applications help to monitor and control these expanding grids using real-time data from energy production and transmission lines.
Smart Metering and Economic Incentives
Strictly monitoring and controlling these lines is made easier with IoT smart meters which monitor water, gas, and electricity usage. Smart metering allows consumers to access detailed reports on their consumption so that they can better conserve energy and see where any wastage lies. Consumers can also expect more detailed and accurate billings which may encourage them to reduce their electricity, water, and gas usage where possible. The hope is that making consumers more conscious of their consumption will lead to a greener mentality. Offering economic and social incentives for reducing energy consumption is another idea encouraged by the smart metering capabilities made possible by IoT.
As renewable energy travels from production to principal generators, into smart grids, and into the commercial space or home, IoT makes the transfer of energy more reliable and efficient. Using IoT sensors to improve energy harvesting, reduce usage, and provide more accurate billing positively effects everyone from producers to consumers. As IoT solutions become more varied and sophisticated, so too will the applications of IoT in renewable energy.
The potential applications of IoT are virtually endless, with IoT connectivity opening doors for companies and consumers across all industries. For more information about how IoT can transform the renewable energy sector and beyond, contact us at Evolution Data.