The Internet of Things (IoT) represents a new production reality. The information derived from the data gathered from the new devices connected to the Internet can be used to develop new services, improve productivity and efficiency, improve decision making in real time, resolve critical problems and create innovative experiences.
In the energy sector, IoT devices have been able to create intelligent networks (also called Smart Grids) through the collection, transmission and use of large quantities of data.
In this way, it integrates in an intelligent manner all of the assets connected to the network, optimising operation and increasing the flexibility of the systems.
IoT in the energy production chain
The IoT technologies offer greater availability of information throughout the chain of value, allowing for amortisation of better tools for decision making (such as artificial intelligence or automatic learning). They also permit remote control and automated execution of these decisions.
These technologies constitute a control loop that consists of four functions:
- Physical process: such as the generation, transmission or consumption of electricity.
- Measurement process: The sensors measure the statuses and outputs of the physical process.
- Decision making process: independent and decentralised or in coordination with other components.
- Action process: the decisions are sent back to the actuators positioned on the network for implementation.
Given the connectivity between the functions of this control loop, successful implementation requires architectures and standards that ensure interoperability between IoT technologies.
IoT applications in the energy sector
The majority of the IoT projects in the energy sector focus on applications oriented towards demand. However, correctly used IoT brings infinite benefits for the optimisation of the entire chain of value, optimising all of the phases and the communication between them:
As the energy systems become increasingly complex and decentralised, the IoT applications improve the visibility and response capacity of the devices connected to the network.
We offer some of the most important benefits for the energy sector.
Automated control of the network
The availability of data surrounding all aspects of the supply chain permits the operating system to make accurate decisions regarding a broad variety of factors.
The transition from a reactive perspective to a proactive one permits automation of efficient processes in order to focus on the strategic part of the systems.
Also, the decentralisation of the energy systems must be in line with the digitalisation. Only in this way can the status of all of the distributed and disperse energy resources be controlled.
Higher stability and reliability of the network
Using IoT technologies to connect, add and control the industrial and residential loads permits regulation of frequencies and balancing of the network operation.
It must be possible to observe and measure this network before it can be controlled and automated. Improving the knowledge of the situation of the assets and values allows us to identify how to soften the demand on the load.
This relieves dependency on long term investments and other capital investments.
Reduction of maintenance and operating costs
Another key benefit of IoT data is predictive maintenance. Proactive testing and repair greatly reduce the time that the machines are inactive, as well as the maintenance costs.
The intelligent sensors and devices, for example, can send information from remote equipment to indicate an imminent error, thus avoiding damages and stoppages, providing the system with much more flexibility.
Boost the generation of renewable energy
The IoT products and solutions, like intelligent gateways, provide construction blocks for fundamental systems that facilitate integration, reduce development costs and accelerate the commercialisation time for new and innovative technologies.
These technologies are fundamental for boosting the generation of new and more efficient renewable energies.
Thus, this removes the restrictions that often impede their development and force us to depend on fossil fuels which are already limited.
Discover more about Digital transformation in the renewable energy sector.
The future of the energy sector
The use of the IoT in energy production helps to satisfy the energy demands in smart cities in an efficient way. However, a robust digital infrastructure is crucial for the roll-out of an architecture of connectivity and data.
If the IoT applications are wisely directed towards specific problems, the oil and gas companies can mark the start of a new industry with lower cost and higher efficiency, capable of facing these growing challenges.
Lower cost and higher efficiency with Nexus Integra
With Nexus Integra you can precisely and intelligently measure all of the systems involved in your supply chain and obtain specific data necessary for controlling any production environment through an industrial IoT solution with a common operations platform.
Contact us so that we can guide you on the path towards digitalisation. Supported by our energy partners, we guarantee the highest level of quality in all of the solutions that we offer.