Internet of Things: Time for Energy Managers to Get Stuck In
New technology trends or buzz words always create a great deal of hype. Wary buyers must determine how this trend will translate into tangible new solutions. So with the Internet of Things (IoT) on everyone’s radar Verdantix asks the question of what’s in it for the energy management world.
The IoT is in fact a perfect fit for energy management – witness the smarting of the grid. The core idea behind the IoT is to have networks of assets enabled by embedded technology, which allows remote data acquisition, control, and interlinking of multiple networks to add value in various ways. Translated to energy management: gathering data from a large set of dispersed energy consuming assets, applying analytics involving (including other data such as weather), and managing them remotely. This should sound familiar to regular Verdantix readers. This is a continuation of the major trends in technology applications for energy management which has led to greater efficiencies, scalability and visibility. In fact there is little greater praise than when someone says of an energy manager: “they can really make the data talk”.
There are three major reasons energy managers should take notice of this trend:
- There is lots of confusing marketing. Along with hype, comes the marketing. Suddenly everything is IoT. In a rapidly moving ecosystem, buyers that want to maximise the energy management need to make a thoughtful use of technology rather than jump in onto a technology that comes with an unclear business case.
- Asset management will be revolutionised. A major trend in energy management is the application of energy data analysis to the more general problem of asset management, and particularly maintenance. Because of the opportunity to capture contextual information from the assets, the power of the analytics will go up exponentially, translating into faster and more accurate diagnostics. When combined with remote management capabilities, and a better coverage of the assets (think IT/OT convergence), we get a powerful new set of possibilities.
- Solutions will change fast. One of the less obvious aspects of the IoT is that, once networked, the intelligence in any solution can move away from its traditional place. Building managers comfortable with their BMS and local energy management solution, will have access to much more powerful cloud based solutions working in conjunction with the local controls. This is prompting everyone, from incumbents such as Schneider Electric, to energy management software firms such as Elster EnergyICT and BuildingIQ, to new entrants kWIQly to develop propositions that will leverage the IoT paradigm.