Once, we dreamed of being able to harness the lightning and we succeeded. It was only a period of time till we went big and harnessed the sun for energy. The great thing about humanity is that we take the forces of nature around us and try to impose our will on it which is both a boon and a bane.
Of course, there were logistical difficulties such as:
- Fluctuation in energy intensity: while we have the power to use the sun’s energy, we don’t control it. Sunlight varies according to the time of the day, the season, location, pollution and other factors.
- Dependency on weather: Day to day weather also causes variations in the amount of sunlight we receive. On cloudy or rainy days, the sunlight may not be enough to power up your grid.
- High cost of installation: Installing solar panels is expensive. The panels have to be connected to a grid in order to function smoothly.
- Difficulties with monitoring performance of the panels: When more than 1000s of panels are added to a grid in order to boost power, monitoring them becomes humanly impossible, greatly increasing the chances of error.
With the advent of IoT, most of these problems are voided. With the help of an Internet connection, it is easy to keep tabs and ensure that the system is setup and is functioning smoothly. All that is needed is an interface to connect to the cloud base and access the information that is available into easily understandable terms. Sometimes, the system maybe giving the desired output but you spot a problem with one of the devices. You can immediately take steps to correct it. IoT helps you to monitor your devices as though you’re right in front of them.
To make any real impact on the environment and installation cost, solar energy needs to have a lot of panels and grids to integrate them in. You also need to ensure that from one end to another, that includes your cellular modules, gateways and web platforms are all integrated properly, with no room for error in continuity.
Even with a fully integrated system installed, you obviously have to maintain the levels of the energy generated. Any glitches need immediate address. As mentioned earlier, it becomes really difficult to watch over thousands of panels and other devices that comprise the whole system. It would be like trying to hold water in your hands. No matter how hard you try to hold the water in your cupped palm, it is going to escape from somewhere or the other. IoT bridges this gap between human error and technical perfection. It is the one and only ‘cloud’ that can make solar energy more powerful!