How IoT Is At The Forefront Of Renewable Energy
Air pollution is a major concern for most countries. Some nations have banned the use of fossil fuel while others have passed strict laws that regulate the emission of fumes by industries. Renewable energy is an efficient and environmental friendly form of energy. It accounted for 60 percent of the global net new energy capacity in 2016, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). In this article, we explore six ways in which the Internet of Things (IoT) is at the forefront of renewable energy.
Smart Energy Storage
Leading energy providers are using IoT-enabled energy storage systems to increase the stability of renewable energy. They normally store excess energy generated for future use such as when a frequency variation occurs or when demand increases.
The energy storage market for renewable energy grid integration has been growing at an annual rate of 33 percent since 2017, according to Research and Markets. The storage systems are essential in increasing the flexibility of renewable sources. They allow energy providers to integrate them with main power grids.
Remote Asset Management and Monitoring
Geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar farms are dispersed. But, they are the main sources of green energy in California this year. However, it is tricky to physically monitor these farms. Energy providers can install IoT sensors to monitor and manage power distribution, transmission and generation equipment.
The sensors measure different parameters including temperature, wear and vibration. Energy firms can use them to optimize their maintenance schedules. This will help them maintain the optimal performance of equipment and make timely repairs.
Automation and Control
Most of the equipment that generates renewable energy is complicated. It is often installed in vacant fields or the sea, as they need to adapt to frequent environmental changes. Sensor-based IoT technology automates solar and wind farms’ management. It cuts down operational costs and improves operational control. Besides, IoT improves safety as sensors detect leaks and offer timely alerts.
Improved Energy Efficiency
Energy companies manage many small generation resources in the grid. IoT-powered smart grids enabled them to distribute energy evenly to consumers. The technology enables the grid to autonomously react to electricity demand and supply changes. It offers operators vital information on how they can configure networks, switch loads and control voltage.
Energy firms are installing IoT sensors on energy equipment to analyze and monitor load. The sensors ensure that energy plants are operating optimally and they manage congestion along distribution and transmission lines. Companies use this information to upgrade or build new infrastructure. Moreover, sensors allow energy providers to switch off power to fault lines in case of outages.
The increase in demand for renewable energy has forced energy providers to expand the smart energy grid. Nevertheless, this poses a challenge to them. Besides managing primary generators, the providers need to manage small generators across the grid. IoT helps them monitor smart grids better.
The world is shifting from relying on fossil fuels to generating renewable energy. The Internet of Things is transforming the energy sector through increased cost efficiency, improved load management, asset management and monitoring, improved automation and control. The demand for renewable energy is expected to increase by 22 percent by next year.