Giving the utility practices and operations a new makeover, IoT is changing the industry's working methods and perceptions. Take a deeper look at it here.
FREMONT, CA: The rise in global energy consumption has assisted the utility sector to emerge out as one of the most profitable areas for business. In 2018, the utility industry generated $845.3 billion as revenue. Despite generating such a huge sum as revenue, there are underlying challenges in the utility sector, such as equipment failures, unsafe working conditions, and insufficient power and water distribution. Moreover, it’s extremely difficult to manage the increasing demand for limited resources such as water and electricity. Thus, business executives and leaders are always exploring alternative solutions that may replace conventional models. The internet of things (IoT) is a promising technology in this aspect.
IoT has significantly influenced our everyday lives in recent years. Be it is a smartphone, smart thermostats, wearables, or others, IoT has contributed to a myriad of smart devices. Further, the massive data gathered via the connected devices can be used intelligently to produce collective intelligence, which is critical to the efficient utilization of the available resources in the utility sector.
Here are some of the trending IoT applications backing the Utility industry.
• Smart Meters
Smart meters are one of the most common applications of IoT in the utility sector. In contrast to the conventional meters where an employee had to take meter readings manually, smart meters automatically transmit the energy consumption energy via electric energy to electricity companies. Smart meters keep track of energy consumption in real-time. Further, smart meters provide critical insights for the electric companies and consumers over the energy usage patterns.
• Smart Power Grids
Against the conventional power grids, smart grids allow real-time data monitoring that can assist the utility providers in meeting demand-based power generation and distribution requirements. As a result, providers can efficiently distribute energy based on consumption. For instance, providers can supply more power to industrial zones and corporate hubs as compared to the residential areas.
• Energy Conservation
Smart IoT-backed innovations and applications, utility organizations, can restrict energy wastes with the help of remote monitoring and other practices. Utility providers can also promote energy conservation by incentivizing customers who use low units of power.
• Automated Reading Monitoring
Against the conventional practice of collecting reading that involved human involvement, smart meters automatically collect the accurate readings of the energy consumed. Thus, organizations can easily monitor such readings through smart meters remotely.
• Water Management
Water scarcity is a major issue that requires immediate attention. Smart water sensors can address the above challenge by tracking water pressure, temperature, quality, and consumption. Various smart water sensors collect data and send it to utility providers for analysis. Providers can display the varying water consumption readings to the consumers, enabling them to restrict their water consumption.
IoT can also play a vital role as a water leak detector. IoT driven leak detectors can spot leaking appliances and faulty pipes easily, and the sensors can notify the providers, thereby enabling early maintenance of the fault.
IoT-enabled sensors have the potential to transform the utility sector beyond recognition. Several other useful IoT applications will also emerge in the future with further advancements in technology. Early investment in IoT technology will reap long term benefits for the utility industry.