Top IoT Solutions for Energy and Utilities
Updated on Oct 10th, 2023
IoT and utility combination has been a buzzword for a long time now. It has now emerged to be a stronger force, from just being a topic at the discussion table. Enabling public services to evolve as consumer-friendly and safer industry, data and analytics derived from the IoT solutions for energy and utilities help improve the quality of life and establish better engagement among the service providers and consumers.
This blog talks in detail about some of these applications and how they change the life of users for the better.
Table of Contents
Top IoT Solutions for Energy and Utilities
Let’s look at some of the popular IoT solutions reimagining the energy and utility industry.
1. Smart Water Management Systems
Smart water management systems give an edge to the traditional alternatives, with an improved quality of life. A combination of sensors and software applications allows the utility managers to use water cautiously and ensure less wastage. These systems monitor real-time water meters, pressure, and flow to identify problem areas. These issues can include wastage, overflow, poor quality, etc. Once the problem is identified, IoT-based water management systems alert the concerned authorities to take timely corrective measures.
Key benefits of smart water management systems include:
Real-time Leakage Detection and Control
Sensors installed at the location constantly monitor the distribution systems. They trigger alerts to the concerned authorities whenever there is a leakage. The officers can therefore take care of the same time and eliminate water wastage.
Real-time Pressure Monitoring
IoT systems track the meter pressure in real-time. This helps the authorities to regulate the water supply in areas and know the demands. They can therefore increase or decrease supply in a given location.
IoT systems collect data and use it to analyze the current trends with records. This creates a demand forecast information pool for the utility business to ensure optimum resource usage.
Resource Optimization and Strategizing
IoT systems hold a wide data pool. This helps them to identify the problem areas and help deploy the resources where they would be best suited.
Immediate Incident Alerts
A high-water pressure can create a ridge anywhere, or a distribution pipe can leak anytime without authorities knowing. If unreported, it can cause water loss and even cause companies financial disruption. IoT-based water management systems trigger incidents on time, ensuring authorities are notified for a timely response.
Custom Reporting and Analytics
IoT-based water management systems track all vital elements of the distribution channel, which help create detailed reports. Managers can view field-wise and comprehensive information with deep analysis to make informed decisions further.
2. Smart Cities
IBM defines a smart city as “one that optimally uses the interconnected information available to understand and control its operations and optimize the use of limited resources.”
Smart cities have been a point of focus for governments across the globe. Being at the forefront of the digital revolution, smart cities aim at using technology to improve the quality of life and drive economic growth. An example of the smart cities’ application would be smart parking system that help drivers find parking spaces or street lights capable of dimming themselves with the sunrise. Other smart sensors and monitoring systems alert the authorities about potential problems such as water leakage, accidents, etc. Let’s take a look at the working of smart city infrastructure.
The working of smart cities depends on the data and its collection. This data is collected via interconnected devices. Here are the steps that act as a backbone to the smart cities’ implementation:
- Data Collection: Smart sensors collect real-time data
- Data Analysis: The data is analyzed to turn information into actionable insights about services and operations.
- Communication: Actionable insights are sent to the decision-makers.
- Action: Right actions are decided to improve processes and manage assets.
Key benefits of smart cities include:
Improved Quality of Life
Smart cities' first and most evident benefit is the improved quality of life. By streamlining various services using data, smart cities and their extension tend to make the life of citizens easier. Examples include smart parking meters, smart energy grids, traffic monitoring systems, etc.
An Aid to Governments
Smart cities bring real-time data to the fingertips of the governing authorities. This helps them know about the citizens' pain points and take strategic measures to improve them. They can also plan the city services and operations much better.
Reduced Environmental Footprints
With systems like traffic monitoring, water management systems, and more, smart cities help reduce the environmental footprint. This, in turn, contributes to a sustainable future with a better world.
Smart cities are safer. With smart surveillance systems installed at the places, potentially illegal activities can be easier for the police to take measures on time.
3. Smart Plants
IoT has started industrial revolution 4.0. This has made the manufacturing industry stronger, more profitable, and safer. Sensors installed within the plant help authorities and managers gain real-time insights into the production cycle. This data gives deep insights into efficiency, worker safety, plant security, quality of the products, inventory, and more. Everything combines to reduce the business downtime and ensure higher revenue.
Key benefits of smart plants include:
Smart plants are empowered with automation that helps speed up the production cycle. They also enable real-time visibility for the managers to make informed decisions. While avoiding the manual inaccuracies that creep in during production, they allow for higher accuracy. Some of these systems can also create automated choices in case one method doesn't work.
A significant business revenue goes into repairing the machines due for maintenance. Additionally, missing out on regular maintenance causes business downtimes that contribute to the losses furthermore. Predictive maintenance systems come in here to address the issue. These systems are capable of identifying the potential problem areas in the working machines and sending an alert to the managers concerned. They can also schedule machine maintenance to ensure regular operations, decrease business downtime, improve worker safety, boost asset reliability, and increase machine life.
Improved Worker’s Compliance and Safety
Smart plants also take care of workers’ safety. Wearable devices such as GPS and accelerometers constantly monitor the workforce and send an alert to the managers in case of slips, incorrect posture, etc. This helps take the right measures on time and improve Worklife. At the same time, smart plants are equipped with equipment that detects hazardous work environments such as chemical or gas leaks, water leakage, etc. Having the right information at the right time can save many lives.
4. Smart Energy Grid using IoT
The electric grid refers to the network of transmission lines, substations, transformers, and more than transmitting electricity from powerplants to the target locations. Smart electric grids represent the digital transformation of electricity networks. It allows a two-way flow of electricity. They can collect real-time data to detect, analyze, and proactively react to changes in usage and related issues. They also have self-healing capabilities and enable consumers to participate proactively.
Smart grids are the answer to the series of power failures that can disrupt multiple operations and hence the lives of citizens. They make the power systems more resilient and improve their preparedness in emergencies like storms, solar flares, floods, etc. Smart grids allow automatic rerouting in case of a power cut or appliance failure. Anytime there is a power outage, this technology isolates the outage before it becomes large-scale.
Key benefits of smart energy grids include:
- Reduces emissions
- Lesser fuel cost
- It can be integrated with different energy sources, including renewal options
- Instant feedback on energy consumption and production
- Seamless fault detection and solution
- Efficient energy supply based on demand
5. Smart Gas Management
Gas aids such as cylinders are susceptible to human negligence. This often causes gas leakage that can even be life-threatening and destroys buildings. Smart gas systems can avoid this, besides offering a lot of other functions. IoT-based smart gas management systems are end-to-end remote solutions that help gas distribution agencies to collect consumer records and take timely measures in case of red flags.
These solutions are installed with the gas meters and regularly monitored for malfunctions, leakage, demands, etc. The data collected from the smart gas meters is transmitted to the management for them to make critical data-driven decisions.
Key Benefits of Smart Gas Management System Include:
Detection of Harmful Gases
Toxic gas such as h2S, methane, and CO can be life-threatening. Consumers need to detect the same on time to avoid explosions. IoT systems allow for timely detection of these gases in buildings to limit the chances of adverse impacts.
Measure Oxygen Level
Even a minor drop in oxygen level can be a cause of concern. Especially in areas with limited space, they can lead to dizziness, brain injury, and death. IoT-based solutions can help detect the oxygen levels in the plants and mines to ensure that the facilities have sufficient time for corrective measures in case of red flags.
Lead the Revolution of IoT in the Utility and Energy Market with Matellio
IoT offers a wide array of opportunities for stakeholders in the utility sector. Businesses are increasingly investing the technology to improve this sector and make it more efficient, safe and sustainable. If you are someone looking to lead a revolution with an innovative IoT development company by your side, Matellio can help.
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