Enabling Smarter Utilities with an Integrated Approach
As our resources dwindle and populations boom, the expanding world looks toward renewable energy and alternative energy distribution sources as integral parts of modernization in the face of climate change. With the invention of the Internet of Things (IoT), the technological integration of smart cities, smart grids and smart utilities make it possible to curb excesses of power through wireless data monitoring and more accurate readouts of power consumption. For example, a network of sensors attached to a home’s water pipes can gather data on everything from water pressure, leaks and temperature, then offer solutions for energy savings and alert consumers to areas of concern.
What technologies are helping smarter utilities make life easier for users around the globe, and what kinds of innovations might we see in the near future?
What Technology Will Lead Us to Smart Utilities?
Using modules and a network of inexpensive sensors, industries such as utilities can make intelligent decisions and use automation to become more efficient. With new network standards that require less power and can transmit across a longer range, we will see enhanced optimization, reliability, more robust security, less disruption and increased safety benefitting a vast spectrum of industries.
Smart Water and Waste Management Utilities
Smart water and waste management improves efficiency and reduces costs. Sensors across a network of water pipes and drains will send real-time data readouts on water quality, temperature, pressure, water consumption, spikes, leaks and more. The resulting diagnostics help users better understand their consumption and monthly usage. For power companies, these readouts offer asset visibility and a better chance of stopping theft, preventing loss and avoiding flooding during emergencies.
Smart waste management is utilized throughout the city through optimized truck routes, quick responses to traffic and weather conditions, and even waste bins that alert collectors to whether or not they need to be emptied. These waste sensors can thwart wasteful trips and save time and money on materials and operations.
Smart Lighting Utilities
Energy efficiency starts and ends with electricity. Whether it’s controlling in-home lighting or street lights across the city, IoT solutions are helping to reduce energy consumption and costs through smarter lighting decisions.
Smart lighting in the home can improve security through total, independent control over every light while the consumer isn’t home. Like water utility, smart lighting can help keep utility costs down by giving a readout for usage. It can also alert users to potential power surges and faulty areas that are consuming too much or too little energy.
In the city, cellular LPWA solutions guarantee through better connectivity that maintenance on lighting in a parking structure won’t be a hassle. Smart lighting sensors can monitor usage and provide lighting based on needs; adapt to environmental conditions, such as fog, snow or rain; alert city maintenance to broken links; and be programmed to meet a weekly or daily schedule. First responders can even gain access to the smart grid in emergencies to direct traffic, cut off power and restore it as needed.
The Future of Smart Utilities: The Time is Now
According to a recent article by Business Insider, “The International Energy Agency expects global energy demand to increase by 37 percent by 2040, which would likely put a strain on energy supplies.” Integrated IoT technology and solutions will help to curb that need while new energy sources are being developed. A smarter future is just around the corner, and more businesses are looking to IoT deployments to save them money and boost their efficiency now.
A Smarter Path to Integration with Telit
With years of leadership in IoT solutions, Telit’s experts are busy connecting the world one device at a time. Find out how Telit modules at the heart of hundreds of devices used by system integrators are helping with cost-effective ways to upgrade your business for smart utilities today.
If you are a solution provider to the energy and utilities space, let our experts help you find the IoT product or solution to meet your needs. Request your FREE evaluation kit today.