By now you’ve probably heard someone talking about the ‘internet of things’. The phenomenon is taking off, but the concept can seem confusing. So, here’s our guide to the Internet of Things (IoT), what it means, and how it could be applied to the energy sector.
What is the Internet of Everything?
The Internet of Things can be defined in one simple sentence, it is the ‘the networked connection of people, process, data, and things’, but what does this actually mean?
To understand it, you just need to look around yourself in any given situation. These days, people connect through their devices, and these same devices can be used to improve processes across all sectors, as well as the way that data is utilised.
Here are just a few examples from around the globe of how the Internet of Things is connecting people and improving processes:
- In Finland, sensors placed in dustbins send signals when they need to be collected – the implementation of this technology has led to a 40% reduction in the cost of waste collection.
- In parts of France a ‘Smart Parking’ system is being used to significantly reduce traffic congestion, boost parking revenue, and even reduce CO2 emissions. The system works by simply giving an alert to drivers when spaces are available in car parks.
- In India, Amrita University faced the challenge of supporting qualified and expert teachers in training and empowering other teachers throughout India. The IoE has led to the development of software that allows teachers across India to share multimedia content, including videos and audio of lectures.
What could it mean for the energy sector?
The Internet of Energy (IoE) is a phrase that has been used increasingly in recent months, and there are a number of key ways that the IoE could improve performance across the energy sector.
- Modernise our existing infrastructure
Rebuilding the power grid from scratch would be an impossible task, so the Internet of Things allows us to improve the existing systems, providing more quality and security as well as continuing to deliver safe, affordable, and reliable energy to all customers up and down the UK. Devices that are connected by the IoT deliver tighter security as well as giving utilities higher levels of control over operations.
- Cutting costs
Connected operations can greatly improve uptime and reduce maintenance costs. Maintenance schedules can be increased in quantity and quality by implementing predictive maintenance analytics. For example, over in the States, company PPL Electric has reported a nearly 40% improvement in service reliability after implementing sophisticated analytic capabilities.
Our Energy Dashboard is an Internet of Things platform that captures the entire range of energy, resource and environmental data relating to the built environment. Users benefit from highly flexible data management, automatic performance benchmarking and effective stakeholder engagement, all delivered through a powerful and intuitive interface.
The Energy Dashboard addresses the main challenges for building owners, occupiers and managers arising from limited data accessibility, poor data quality, lack of performance insights, and low visibility on financial returns of improvement measures.