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Smart Energy Management: First Step Towards IoT Adaptation

Smart Energy Management

One of the fastest ROI generating use case of Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) is Smart Energy Management. It is because the cost savings are immediate and significant. McKinsey & Company evaluated the worth of investing in smart energy management. Here are the estimates:

  • Smart energy management solutions can reduce energy consumption in offices by 20%.
  • Manufacturers can save 10-20% on energy bills by implementing IoT powered smart energy management solutions.

According to Research and Markets, energy consumption by residential buildings counts for nearly 40% of global energy consumption and commercial buildings including retail stores, hotels, shopping malls, and hospitals, count for further 30%.

How Can IoT empower an Energy Management System?

IoT tools help EMS (Energy Management System) collect and analyze real-time energy consumption data. In addition to constantly monitoring the equipment to improving maintenance and prevent downtimes, IoT powered EMS tools measure energy usage and flow via a network, providing valuable insights that can improve energy consumption efficiency in many ways.

The holistic view of energy consumption in a building is provided by the network of smart connected things. By monitoring Humidity, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning systems smartly, the systems can help offices in optimizing the energy usages.

Tracking and Monitoring Energy Consumption Automatically

“Mount a CT sensor on any equipment or just anything that consumes electricity.” that’s all one has to do to monitor and manage the electricity consumption throughout the factory. But, the full potential of such IoT powered smart solutions doesn’t limit to just the energy consumption tracking. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. The smart energy management solutions are capable of automating the power status of electrical equipment. Here is how:

  1. Smart thermostats

The technology required for room temperature automation is in existence since 1883 when an American college professor Warren Johnson developed a pneumatic control system. The system was invented to maintain a constant temperature in classrooms. It’s been 135 years since the pneumatic control system innovation. Has anything changed in the basic temperature control architecture during this duration? Not much! Even today, a single temperature sensor is used to sense the HVAC units in most of the offices and residential buildings.

The “smart thermostats” are a very recent innovation in smart energy management ecosystem. One such example is GLAS by Johnson Controls, which includes multiple sensors that help the device to be familiar with your schedule for a personalized experience for every user. The device also supports voice commands via a third-party integration (Amazon Alexa).

This third-party control interface leads to a new thermostat architecture that add-on a new way of signaling for the hardware HVAC unit other than just the software algorithms.

  1. Smart Lighting

Smart energy management systems allow the coordination among sensors and lights to automatically keep lights off when not required. The systems alert users in real-time when the light bulbs go out.

The system uses a combination of technologies to enable data-driven lighting automation. Smart LEDs can send information as well as receive commands in real-time which enables automation in them. Sensors senses changes in surroundings such as human presence and light. Software algorithms act as a brain which enables automation based on the sensor information and historical data.

  1. Smart Energy Meters

Almost 80% of the companies worldwide are overbilled on utility expenses through inconsistencies and wrongly calculated bills. Smart energy management systems allow businesses to detect any faulty bills charged by utility providers.

Using the smart energy solution, businesses can also know the electricity consumption per department. The systems provide business with an easy way to automatically analyze the power quality events.

  1. Office Devices Monitoring

Ranging from servers and PCs to lab equipment, monitoring office devices is usually a low priority for companies. Large office buildings having huge workforce have huge energy saving potential and the smart energy management systems help in tapping the potential savings.

Not just the Energy Consumption Management It Covers More

Improving Overall Equipment Availability in Manufacturing Plants

It has been realized that by implementing energy management systems, manufacturing plants have reduced product defects by 16% and improved the OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) by 24%, labor utilization by 12 points, and production line output by 10%.

The IoT powered energy management systems help facilities improve operational efficiencies by ensuring high equipment availability. It provides facilities with all-time machine uptime-downtime data using which they can identify the issues and improve equipment availability.

Implementation Approach

You have to measure in order to manage”. A successful energy monitoring project always starts with monitoring energy usage. Once you know where the energy leaks are, you can effectively optimize the usage to reduce your operational expenditure.

Start small and scale once ROI is proven”. You may start with air refrigeration in an outlet. Once you get the favorable results in energy consumption optimization, you can scale it thorough your supply chain.

The future of energy will be inevitably linked to IoT technology. A huge number of devices, factories, buildings, smart cities, lighting systems, communities, and transportation systems will be connected and controlled via the internet. Cloud systems will optimize energy consumption to a larger extent. Increased number of IoT sensors and devices will enable more control and greater energy savings over time.

With the evolution of IoT, energy management has become smart and more efficient. IoT seems a promising platform for smart energy management. With ultra-reliability and wide range of use cases in energy management, IoT is to be considered as a pioneering approach in the area of energy management.

Sanjeev Verma's picture

Thank Sanjeev for the Post!

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Discussions

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 4, 2019 11:25 am GMT

Sanjeev,

Thanks for sharing-- it looks like these types of smart energy management tools you're talking about are the ones that would be installed & monitored by a facility manager or energy manager who works at the building site. What about the utility side of things? Are utilities involved in this process, should they be pushing building owners to embrace these types of tools, and how can they get involved?

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