Optimizing maintenance schedules can significantly improve reliability. Preventative measures taken to improve reliability by keeping equipment in optimal condition and detecting problems so that necessary repairs can be done before it fails.
The energy sector is undergoing a massive transformation. IoT sensors measure parameters such as vibration, temperature and wear to optimize maintenance schedules. Data and other energy parameters are tracked via energy meters. In addition to providing more information to utilities, IoT technology can help customers to be more informed about their energy usage. Internet-connected smart meters collect usage data and send it to both utilities and customers remotely.
The data collected can be used to generate reports. Based on these reports, action can be taken by the utility companies or the customers at a personal level. The reports and graphs can enable the authorities to take action and optimize the energy consumption by identifying leakages and optimizing generation, transmission and distribution.
IoT technology has improved to a great extent in the electrical utility sector. The data collection points, memory space, data processing at the edge-level or the cloud-level can be chosen appropriately so that optimized data collection and preventative action can be taken.
IoT technology can enable the integration of more distributed resources into the grid, but it can also improve grid management in other ways as well. Placing sensors at substations and along distribution lines provides real-time power consumption data that energy companies can use to make decisions about voltage control, load switching, network configuration and more. Some of these decisions can be automated.
Sensors located on the grid can alert operators to outages, allowing them to turn off power to damaged lines to prevent electrocution, wildfires and other hazards. Manual activity of isolating problem areas takes up a lot of time and leads to unwanted losses. Smart switches can isolate problem areas automatically and reroute power to get the lights back on sooner.
Load forecasting is another aspect of smart power of the future. Power usage data is already collected using an assembly of IoT gateway, cloud, processing power and memory. There are pockets of high power generation and high power consumption both region-wise and time-wise. Load forecasting can help in managing congestion along transmission and distribution lines and help ensure that all of the connected generation plants meet requirements related to frequency and voltage control. This power consumption data can also help companies decide where to build new infrastructure and make infrastructure upgrades. More informed decision and investments in the power sector can go a long way in providing reliable power capacity for each location.
The IoT is transforming nearly every sector of our economy, including the one that powers — the energy sector. Over the coming years, the energy industry is going to get smarter, more efficient, more distributed and more reliable, thanks in part to the IoT.