Boosting Smart Grid Efficiency with the IoT

Before the turn of the century, the power grid primarily distributed energy from a handful of large producers to consumers. This changed with the rise of micro-generation technologies that allow renewable energy companies, and even individuals with solar panels, to feed the grid and become for-profit energy producers. This evolution was made possible by adding digital processing and communications to the power grid, thus making it smart.

Smart Grid Challenges

The smart grid was created to improve the distribution of electricity, especially at peak times, to curb the number of blackouts and brownouts. But now the smart grid is being called on to support far more energy producers, large and small, by handling the distribution and billing of their energy. The transition is not fully complete, as the following challenges are still being worked out:

  • Fluctuating energy demand
    • Balancing unpredictable consumption with local generation
  • New energy sources vs old infrastructure
    • Moving from single-source energy generation (eg, power plants) to a network of multiple energy sources, primarily renewable companies (eg, wind and solar)
  • Connecting disparate systems
    • Integrating decentralized systems to provide a holistic view of the grid and ease system management

Better Data Analytics Needed

One of the more difficult aspects of implementing a multiple-energy-source grid is putting all the data to good use without becoming completely inundated by the volume of data. This is where Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can be a big help. They provide a way to push the data from energy producers, substations, and meters to an energy data center, where it can be thoroughly analyzed to identify ways to maximize energy efficiency. Perhaps equally important, data analytics implemented in meters on the grid can filter data to make sure only what’s relevant is sent to the data center, like short status reports when all’s going well, or more data when an issue is detected.

More Efficient Energy Production and Usage

Learn more about how IoT technologies can help boost smart grid efficiency by attending a webinar on June 23 offered by B&R Automation and Intel. They will discuss:

  • Addressing energy issues, spanning security, predictive modeling, and future-proof scalability
  • Achieving maximum computing power and cooling in systems that work 24/7 in harsh environments
  • Extracting the untapped value in energy data to unlock new business insights

Webinar: Charting the Future of Efficient Energy Production and Usage

Date/Time: June 23, 2015, 9 am US PST, Noon EST, 18:00 (GMT+2)

Register and learn more.