Editorial Feature

Maintaining Renewable Energy with the IoT

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To create a future that is sustainable, the energy sector is on the cusp of going through a major overhaul, as we recognize the time of fossil fuels is coming to an inevitable end and we turn to renewable sources of wind, solar and hydro energy to power our world.

The major challenge that needs to be overcome before these renewable energies can become widespread, is handling the natural variability of power generated by these environmental inputs. For renewable energy to function as a reliable source, we must find a solution to the natural peaks and troughs of power. This is where the Internet of Things steps in.

IoT Maintains Renewable Energy

The Internet of Things (IoT) facilitates the connection of distributed systems, and allows smart items in any corner of the globe to communicate with one another. Through this system, the IoT holds the answer to the issue confronting experts wanting to scale up the use of renewable energy so it can be relied on as our main power source. Conventional fossil fuels have the advantage of being storable, and they can be relied on to prevent a reliable energy source. Renewable energy is dictated by environmental fluctuations, presenting an obstacle to their widespread use. To compensate when energy input is low, experts have considering how to create a centralized energy store, which is extremely difficult to do.

Fortunately, IoT removes the need for this energy store. It does this through allowing all points of the system to connect, and areas generating excess power can therefore be distributed to areas where power is low, creating a fluid and efficient share of energy with minimal wastage, allowing the risk of blackouts due to low energy input to be minimized. Data is collected and analyzed in real-time, allowing for powerful predictions of energy input and energy usage to be calculated, allowing it to know where the power is coming from, and where it needs to go to. In this way, the IoT maintains renewable energy sources as a sustainable energy input.

IoT Uses Sensor-Based Technology

Further to this, the IoT maintains renewable energy by using sensor-based technology to allow it to work to its full potential, making it more efficient and cost-effective. Take wind farms, for example. For power to be harnessed efficiently, frequent complex adjustments to the turbines are required. In addition, maintenance is essential to keep them running without breakdown. Data collected from these sensors is analyzed and accurate calculations are made so that adjustments and repair predictions can be made automatically. A similar process is possible for solar fields and geothermal plants.

With the rapid growth in demand for renewable energy, scaling up will mean more than growing the network and improving its functionality, it also will mean the birth of smart cities. These cities rely on this system of high-tech sensors to harness renewable energy as efficiently as possible, allowing renewable energy to be utilized for all our energy needs, making fossil fuels redundant. The foundation of the smart city is the reliable, resilient, efficient, and smooth flow of energy to all corners of the city, such as to the homes, schools, hospitals, transportation, and offices.

Availability of Renewable Energy

The IoT provides the means for all components of the smart city to have access to the energy they need by keeping them interconnected and synchronized through the sensors. The IoT is opening up the availability of renewable energy, making it possible for households to manage their own energy consumption connecting tech to a chosen source of renewable energy, and maintaining a “green home” through the use of a mobile app. Facilitating an ease of use that has not been seen before through the pairing of the IoT with renewable tech is allowing people to maintain their energy supply themselves.

Sources and Further Reading

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Sarah Moore

Written by

Sarah Moore

After studying Psychology and then Neuroscience, Sarah quickly found her enjoyment for researching and writing research papers; turning to a passion to connect ideas with people through writing.

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