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Smart Technology Leading to Smarter Energy Practices
By Utilities Tech Outlook | Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Taking technology into its fold and assigning the right task to the right tool is how the energy industry plans to fly to the next level of efficiency and growth.
FREMONT, CA: The energy sector is in the middle of dynamic changes. There is an apparent shift from conventional and non-renewable sources of energy to greener alternatives, which are renewable and environmental-friendly. The parallel development in technology, increased digitalization and emergence of artificial intelligence, IoT, and 5G is proving to be very impactful for the energy sector. These technologies have applications in energy production as well as distribution. High-speed connectivity highly sophisticated monitoring capabilities and intelligent analytics are optimizing the industry like never before.
To make the most of the available assets, companies in the energy sector should use these technologies for asset management and optimize each aspect from equipment to power grids. These days, the usage patterns, as well as the production pattern of electricity, have changed. Tracking the changes is integral to understand the demands which necessitate a strategy driven by data. Sensors are the most appealing ways to collect data in today's industries. The data collected by sensors is processed and analyzed through software. Energy companies can use this approach to regulate production and make it responsive to the tiniest of details.
Some instances of how hardware and software can be linked for better performance can be found from the oil and gas companies. Data from thousands of oil wells are collected to derive optimization strategies. Even seismic activity is monitored to enable maximum oil flow. With the help of artificial intelligence, companies are predicting the presence of resource-rich locations. Making accurate predictions increases profits by a substantial margin. In the wind and solar energy sector, AI is enabling automated adaptation to weather conditions and advanced weather predictions.
Maintaining production facilities from potential breakdowns becomes convenient with IoT and AI. Rather than detecting a breakdown after it has occurred, a predictive maintenance system can successfully alert if it detects any anomalies, thereby preventing revenue losses and longer downtimes. IoT sensors that monitor parameters are instrumental in optimizing processes. Equipment can have a longer lifecycle with the power of digital vision.
Environmental safety and reactor safety in case of nuclear power plants are of prime importance. Machine learning is assisting industries to ace the role. Tedious jobs of determining the full security of chambers are now being transferred to machines that can analyze through video imaging techniques. Human inspectors can be half as efficient in twice as much time. The effortlessness that comes about with technological applications makes even complicated problems simple.
Rapid development in robotics and automation is also something that will affect the energy industry. Higher levels of automation will make production and transmission units self-sufficient. Every step in the supply chain has the possibility of automation as network capabilities are about to incorporate the speed of 5G. Apart from speed and efficiency, worker safety will increase manifold with the use of technology. Surveillance drones for physical surveys and safety surveys are improving worker safety.
Refining the process of energy production and generation with the whole bundle of modern technologies can make energy sustainable and reliable.