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What are IoT Platforms

by Team Digireach

The idea of connecting the physical world to the Internet has been around since the 90s. But the idea didn‘t accelerate until twenty – or even ten – years ago. It is accelerating now. The phenomenon of an interconnected world is called “Internet of Things” (IoT) and it will dramatically change our lives in the coming years.

The surge in the uptake of IoT in recent years is due to various factors-

  1. Hardware has become cheaper, smaller and more powerful in recent years.
  2. Cost of mobile devices, bandwidth and data processing has reduced exponentially.
  3. Wide spread availability of supporting tools and cloud-based infrastructure.
  4. Increased awareness about IoT and its innumerable benefits and applications.

Now that we’ve seen WHY IoT is on the rise, let us look at WHAT makes up an IoT system-

  1. Hardware- such as sensors or devices, to collect data and/or perform actions.
  2. Connectivity- i.e. a way to transmit and receive data from the cloud such as gateway or routers.
  3. Software- hosted in the cloud, to analyze the data received and make decisions based on it.
  4. User Interface- a way for the user to interact with the system e.g. a web app.

One of the most important parts of the IoT System is the “Platform”. This Platform exists in the software and the user interface of the system. IoT platforms are the support software that connects everything in an IoT system.

IoT platforms help:

  • Connect hardware, such as sensors and devices.
  • Handle different hardware and software communication protocols.
  • Provide security and authentication for devices and users.
  • Collect, visualize, and analyze data the sensors and devices gather.
  • Integrate all of the above with existing business systems and other web services.

Thus an IoT platform facilitates communication, data flow, device management, and the functionality of applications. With all the varying kinds of hardware and the different connectivity options, there needs to be a way of making everything work together and that’s what IoT platforms do.


Electricity Reliability Indices

by Team Digireach

We are entering an energy intensive world. It is very important to keep track of the energy utilized by the consumers so that necessary action can be taken to optimize it’s usage. There are various reliability indices which help us in determining the efficiency of distribution system.

SAIFI is the average number of sustained interruptions per consumer during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of interruptions to the number of consumers.

SAIFI = (Total number of sustained interruptions in a year) / (Total number of consumers)

SAIDI is the average duration of interruptions per consumers during the year. It is the ratio of the annual duration of interruptions (sustained) to the number of consumers. If duration is specified in minutes, SAIDI is given as consumer minutes.

SAIDI = Total duration of sustained interruptions in a year / total number of consumers

CAIFI is the average number of interruptions for consumers who experience interruptions during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of interruptions to the number of consumers affected by interruptions during the year. Consumer is counted only once regardless of the number of interruptions.

CAIFI = Total number of sustained interruptions in a year/Total number of consumers affected.

CAIDI is the average duration of an interruption, calculated based on the total number of sustained interruptions in a year. It is the ratio of the total duration of interruptions to the total number of interruptions during the year.

CAIDI = Total duration of sustained interruptions in a year/total number of interruptions.

MAIFI is the average number of momentary (less than 5 minutes) interruptions per consumer during the year. It is the ratio of the annual number of momentary interruptions to the number of consumers.

MAIFI = (Total number of momentary interruptions in a year ) / (Total number of consumers)

The above indices are the commonly used parameters used to judge the reliability for electricity generation, transmission and distribution. These outage indices are based on the duration of each power supply interruption & the frequency of interruption. It is clear that all three major functional components of the power system – generation, transmission & distribution contribute to reliability.

IoT and monitoring of electrical parameters enables to keep track of the various energy parameters which can be used to further judge the reliability of electricity distribution. The tariff can be adjusted according to this reliability indices. It would be a win-win situation for the all the stakeholders in electricity domain. Also, the end consumers will be benefited and charged according to the quality of power delivered. It would be a step towards Electricity 4.0.


Internet of Smart grids

by Team Digireach

A smart grid is an IoT enabled grid of geographically proximate devices which uses an Internet connection to receive and analyze sensory information.

Smart grids are generally classified according to the scope of their operations. These classifications are: home area network, neighborhood area network, access network, backhaul network, core and external networks.  

The devices connected in a smart grid include smart meters, smart appliances and renewable energy resources.

Benefits of a Smart grid

Smart comparisons

The information is gained in such a way that it is easy to compare readings on the various devices connected to the grid and take smart decisions.

Macro smart and micro smart

A smart grid enables you to look at the grid of devices as a whole and as individual devices. Gaining different perspectives is a very important factor in understanding the needs of an area and charting out a path that utilizes generated power in the most efficient and profitable way possible.

Smart energy resources

A smart grid makes using renewable environment friendly sources of energy a plausible reality. With IoT enabled devices, renewable resources like solar energy and wind energy can be harnessed to greater effect. Previously considered unwieldy, the extent of monitoring now makes it a feasible reality. Solar or wind setups generally consist of many units to generate sufficient power.

Smart energy usage

With a smart grid you can map the accuracy of electricity consumption of a particular area. A record of the surges and ebbs in the pattern of energy usage in a particular time period can help fine tune the services provided. This is cost effective and has the benefit of preventing electrical outages.

Smart grids for smart cities

In the near future, smart cities will emerge and rely on having smart grids to function. A smart city is one where digital technology and an Internet connection is used to gain data, analyse it and deploy solutions to create a sustainable city that uses its resources to the maximum.

Security risks

An IoT enabled Smart Grid is vulnerable to cyber attacks because of the Internet connection that enables a 2 way communication pathway.  

Ill intentioned hackers can easily exploit this weakness for crimes like identity theft, data tampering, unauthorized access, and eavesdropping with potentially disastrous effects.

Parting thoughts

IoT is ground breaking technology that is gaining momentum at astounding speeds. It won’t be long before there are inventive solutions to these challenging problems.


How does IoT save energy?

by Team Digireach

IoT stands for Internet of Things. What are these ‘things’ exactly? The answer is- everything. Everything with a physical presence can be connected to a network which may not necessarily be the public Internet but could be LAN, PAN or BAN. There are different kinds of networks to suit varied needs.

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