By Salah M. Alajeel
The renewable energy sector has been undergoing transformation since it was first discovered. The integration of newer technologies has been the driving factor for most, if not all of the changes in this sector. The integration of IoT into renewable energy grids has helped renewable energy take huge strides towards the future. But what does the future hold for the renewable energy industry? Here’s a sneak peek.
- Grid Management
Sensors placed in substations will provide real-time data on energy usage that utility companies will use to make decisions on voltage control.
Sensors on the grid will also alert operators to outages and damages to the electricity cables, allowing the operators to turn off electricity on some power lines to prevent disasters like fires and electrocution accidents.
The data received from sensors will also help in load forecasting. This will help manage congestion along transmission lines. This will in turn ensure that all connected power plants meet the required voltage.
- Remote Asset Monitoring & Management
IOT sensors in power generation equipment and power transmission equipment will allow close monitoring of the grid. These sensors will provide information on the voltage in different parts of the grid, the wear of parts and machines, and temperature of different components.
This information will make it possible to predict and avert disasters. Preventive maintenance will be possible, thus avoiding costly breakdown of the system.
- Ease of Maintenance
Maintenance of the grid will be made easier by the placement of sensors that collect information on the condition of the system. Wear and tear of any components will be detected early in advance and the maintenance teams alerted.
Data on the condition of any component in the grid will be streamed in in real-time.
- Security Systems
IoT will be used in security systems to warn of any breakage in the transmission media. This will help in prevention of fire disasters caused by failures in the grid, and quick management of the fires that manage to break out.
Vandals will be apprehended with ease because data on their escapades will be streamed to security apparatus.
As the tech industry grows, the technology used in IOT systems will be cheaper to buy and install. This will cut the initial cost of installing an IOT powered renewable energy grid.
The use of IOT in renewable energy production and distribution will improve the efficiency of the system tremendously. Every decision that is made will be backed by sufficient data from sensors all over, and leakages will be reduced significantly
- Ai Technology
With the continued use of IOT technology, there will be a great demand for smarter systems. Eventually, Ai will be widely embraced for increased efficiency.
Ai software will run IOT devices. Ai systems will collect data, process it, look for any discrepancies or faults, find the causes, and try to fix them.
But even with all these positive effects, IOT will have some negative effects on this sector too.
- Batteries used in the IoT devices will end up in landfills.
- The waste produced during the manufacture of the devices will pollute the environment
If IOT is to be the future of renewable energy, we have to find ways of mitigating the negative effects IOT has on the environment. If this is done, renewable energy, propelled by the success it will get from integration of IOT into it, will power our future for generations to come.