Until recently, smart energy referred primarily to electric grid systems that used IoT and analytics. However, the scope of this term has broadened, and intelligent systems are now used in all major industrial and corporate sectors. Transportation, power plants, OEMs, telecommunications, and other industries, according to recent research, use data-driven and analytical solutions for intelligent energy management.
Let us take a step back to understand smart energy on a more fundamental level before delving into how these sectors leverage it as a concept.
What is Smart Energy?
Smart energy is the intelligent optimization of energy costs and efficiency through the use of cutting-edge technology to design and operate a long-term energy management system. This is accomplished through the incorporation of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics technologies into processes utilizing IoT sensors.
They assist us in collecting data on these systems, monitoring them, and understanding waste patterns, load, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to optimize energy usage. Furthermore, smart energy integrates and leverages renewable energy sources in order to create environmentally friendly infrastructure.
But why exactly is smart energy necessary? Let’s find out.
Why is Smart Energy Important?
With the advent of technologies such as edge computing, big data, and 5G, energy consumption in all sectors will skyrocket. Traditionally, power plants, telecommunications, and other major technology sectors used energy systems that provided no insight into energy usage, waste, or distribution.
As a result, there was a constant lack of cost and energy efficiency, as well as an increasingly negative environmental impact. Adding smart energy technologies to traditional energy sources can reduce energy waste at remote sites by up to 90%.
Smart energy technologies were introduced to address these significant challenges. The goal was to make industries operate at optimal cost and energy use metrics while minimizing environmental impact and improving operator visibility. Here are a few examples of how smart energy can help with this.
Preemptive Outage Management
Data centers are operational around the clock in the ICT industry. As a result, the administrator must be notified if a power outage or equipment failure is imminent. Galooli’s solutions give these data centers visibility and real-time alerts to continuity disruptions or malfunctions. This way, operators can potentially predict outages and take preventative measures in the event of a disaster or downtime.
This oversight can also be applied to smart grid systems that address issues of energy availability and stability. Data can be collected and analyzed using RMM solutions embedded with AI-enhanced analytics and insights to immediately identify an error, send an alert, and easily switch to backup power before a power outage occurs.
This is one of the most compelling reasons for businesses and organizations to switch to smart energy. Smart energy will enable stakeholders to monitor and manage the energy use of their facilities and assets intelligently and actively. It will also optimize those energy sources, particularly renewables, lowering energy costs even further. The introduction of an IoT-oriented Remote Management and Monitoring (RMM) solution is a critical component of success in this area.
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Companies in Industrial IoT (IIoT) or Industry 4.0 carry out their daily operations all year. This means that the equipment must perform optimally in the face of high operational loads, idle times, changing weather conditions, and fluctuating power.
IIoT-optimized solutions can actively collect data on the energy requirements of various machinery and equipment throughout the day. Throughout the day, the system records the usual idle time and overloads. As a result, energy distribution and asset management become easier, resulting in less energy waste. Optimization improves demand management, lowers maintenance costs, extends the life of assets, and increases overall labor effectiveness by 20-40%.
Integration of Renewable Energy Sources
While smart energy systems use AI and machine learning technologies to improve energy efficiency, they also aid in the integration of renewable energy sources. This is significant because renewable energy sources can be intermittent at times.
Intelligent infrastructures, when combined with storage solutions such as batteries, can provide greater flexibility in managing energy supply and demand, as well as help store excess energy. As a result, the systems can assist businesses in shifting to renewable energy sources while also efficiently leveraging them.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Intelligent systems combined with energy storage solutions have the potential to reduce carbon footprints by 90%. Currently, the ICT sector accounts for approximately 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
To address this, energy management professionals such as Galooli offer energy and carbon footprint monitoring and analytics. These can assist businesses in tracking parameters such as carbon intensity, carbon savings, total emissions, and even how much money they save by using renewable energy.
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What are the Use Cases of Smart Energy?
As stated at the outset of this article, smart energy implementation has become so widespread that it is applicable to almost any industry. However, the following are some of the major industries that make use of this concept and system:
- Industrial facilities must optimize operations using IIoT sensors to reduce costs and ensure asset longevity.
- Continuous monitoring is required for data centers, and RMM solutions can assist them in executing contingency plans in the event of an energy fluctuation or a power outage.
- Power plants can use IoT-enabled systems to optimize energy production, renewable energy use, and energy storage.
- To reduce the cost, maintenance, and carbon footprint of electric vehicles and charging stations, smart energy systems are required.
The telecommunications industry is massive, and it requires smart energy solutions to function efficiently. With the advent of 5G, the rate of data usage and the number of phone users will both increase. There will be over 3.6 billion 5G connections worldwide by 2025. Companies will need to monitor and use their energy more efficiently as their financial and operational costs rise.
The transition to intelligent systems is difficult, but Galooli can assist businesses and governments in making that transition and achieving their sustainability and energy efficiency goals.