IoT and its impact on Energy Efficiency
Smart cities are a concept based on the collection of information, by means of sensors, over a large area of land, allowing the interconnection of factories, buildings, shopping centers, urban infrastructure, transportation and even the energy distribution network. The implementation of this concept allows the optimal use of the energy used throughout a city, evaluated in applications.
What is IoT?
IoT stands for ‘Internet of Things’, which is known in English as the ‘Internet of Things‘. It is one of the technologies that make up the fourth industrial revolution and refers to a series of everyday objects that are connected to an Internet network, a connection that allows data to be obtained in real time, for greater control and ease of decision making.
The information is obtained from mobile devices with sensors, designed to recognize what is happening around them, such as speed, temperature, altitude, movement, among others, and through integrated circuits such as IOT nodes or smart devices, the data is sent to a server or an application.
Currently, you can find different household objects with IoT, an example is the dimmable light bulbs, which, through an application on the cell phone, allows you to control the color or the amount of brightness you want. Other examples are smart locks, smartwatches and smart refrigerators. The industrial zone also has a large implementation, such as traffic lights, fire alarms, etc.
According to research conducted by Justina Alexandra Sava, a research expert in the global IT security market, in Colombia there are 68.2 million devices that are connected to IoT and it is estimated that the number will increase considerably in the coming years, due to the great technological advances that are currently taking place.
The graph below shows the behavior of the number of IoT devices in the country since 2018 and an estimated forecast until 2023.
Illustration 1. Number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in Colombia from 2018 to 2023
In the article written by Justina Alexandra Sava and published on Statista’s website, it was estimated that by 2021, Colombia will have a value of 424 million US dollars in the IoT market.
IoT focused on energy efficiency
This pillar of the fourth industrial revolution can be applied to different sectors, generating added value and boosting their development. The energy sector is one of the most benefited, because the impact of the implementation of IoT-based technologies can be reflected from the generation of energy itself to the distribution and use of end users.
Reliability, energy efficiency, environmental impact and damage caused by poor maintenance plans are the biggest challenges facing power plants. Having the ability to constantly monitor equipment is a plus provided by IoT-based technologies. Through sensors, smart meters and monitoring platforms, smart power plants have the ability to distinguish and alert any operational failures or abnormal decreases in power generation.
IoT and the other technologies of the fourth industrial revolution allow the term digitized power generation to come to light, referring to the ability to analyze large amounts of data and control many generation units on different time scales. This improves security of supply, reduces the cost of backup capacity prevention, accelerates response to loss of load, among other benefits.
On the other hand, when it comes to energy efficiency, the role of the end consumer is fundamental to achieve the savings rates necessary to help the environment. Monitoring the energy consumption of an entire city is the goal that can be targeted today with the implementation of IoT-based technologies.
Smart cities are a concept based on the collection of information, by means of sensors, over a large area of land, thus enabling the interconnection of factories, buildings, shopping centers, urban infrastructure, transportation and even the energy distribution network.
The implementation of this concept allows the optimal use of the energy used throughout a city, evaluated in applications. For example, the rationed supply of electricity between different sectors and the control of lighting based on the flow of vehicles circulating on the streets.
A key pillar in smart cities is smart assets, from factories and buildings to homes and farms. Energy consumption in the residential and commercial sector is mainly based on lighting, equipment consumption (household appliances), refrigeration, heaters, ventilation and air conditioning. These last three elements account for approximately 50% of energy consumption. Implementing actions to reduce the consumption of these factors is fundamental to achieve energy efficiency.
To achieve this, assets must be prepared to enter the world of the fourth industrial revolution. Therefore, by purchasing equipment that already has IoT technologies or developments that make their existing equipment smart. And on the other hand, carrying out savings strategies based on the data collected, thus generating the greatest impact on energy consumption savings and the least impact on its normal operation.
To reach the goals of smart cities and reduce energy consumption, assets must be supported by companies that are fully dedicated to generating energy efficiency based on technologies of the fourth industrial revolution.
Azimut Energía is a company with a clear objective: to generate energy efficiency. For this reason, it has a department dedicated exclusively to the development of IoT equipment, which to date has more than 700 Gateways installed around the country.
Illustration 2. Gateway Azimut self-developed.
These gateways monitor energy consumption, as well as the status of the critical equipment of our customers’ assets.