Microgrids and IoT to Reduce Mismanagement of Energy

By CIOReview | Friday, June 28, 2019

Microgrids and IoT solutions are two popular technologies paving ways to reduce energy consumption and loss. With the utilization of the two, both commercial and residential buildings can mitigate and prevent energy mismanagement.

FREMONT, CA: The consumption of energy has increased with the increase in facilities inside residential buildings. A recent study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration has reported that in the past year, 39 percent of the total energy produced is utilized by the residential and commercial sector. The two most popular technologies to decrease the consumption and loss of energy are:

Microgrids:

Microgrids can be used to minimize the loss of energy while transmission by decentralizing the production of electricity to community levels. The central power stations distribute energy through transmission cables, which in the process, loses an average of 66 percent of electricity, whereas microgrids allow for more spreading, losing about 33 percent of the generated energy.

With traditional grids, about 6 percent of electricity is lost in transmission and about 7-30 percent in the conversion from AC to DC and vis-à-vis while achieving compatibility with the appliance. It can also be avoided by reducing the transmission distance and implementing more sustainable practices.

The microgrids are interconnected to various electricity generators from different sources of energy, hence are unlikely to face total failure simultaneously increasing the resilience of the energy networks. This redundancy allows smart load matching disabling the necessity to put up with exorbitant start-up costs linked to fossil fuel based generators.

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Internet of Things (IoT):

Internet of Things (IoT)  is a distributed web of sensors that are cross-connected, enabling machines to communicate with one another to create an individualistic action based on processed data. The connected water pipelines, heating and cooling equipment, electricity circuits with IoT lead to gains in large volumes. Even more so when it is linked to a smart grid that can immediately scale the quantities, pricing, and supply to fulfill the demands. The savings in costs and resources are observed, Irrelevant to the scale of systems for which IoT is deployed.

Many other applications of IoT include monitoring of gas emissions in community scale and hyper-specific local scale. IoT enabled smart grids avail features of management to consumers by providing greater access to information, reducing the knowledge barrier associated with an inefficient use of resources. The smart monitors also aid in the monitoring and controlling of a building’s mechanical, electrical, and pumping systems with software like building management systems to automatically stop or start a service in case of leaks or problems detected.

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