IoT and the Cloud for Renewable Energy Adoption
More people are interested in green energy for their homes and businesses, but can the renewable energy sector keep up with the demand? Some inefficiencies could keep the market from growing unless industry leaders embrace the latest Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud advancements.
Both will enhance the renewable energy sector as demand for solar and wind power increases. These are a few of the most notable benefits for industry professionals who take advantage of new technologies.
1. They Make Maintenance More Affordable
Solar panels are primarily self-sustaining, but wind farms are different. The latest research shows that it costs $26 per kilowatt (kW) annually to send green wind energy to consumers. That’s a cost disadvantage to operators and may cause some to avoid investing in that type of green energy.
IoT and the cloud can reduce those maintenance costs. The software and sensors would track things like humidity, temperature, corrosion and more while backing up the data to cloud servers. Artificial intelligence (AI) programs would analyze the information and automatically adjust to prevent repairs or slowed production.
2. They Make Grid Monitoring Easier
Deciding how to optimize electrical grid configuration is more challenging and time-consuming without improved technologies. Smart sensors could monitor renewable energy grids and alert utility companies to any issues reducing production or slowing equipment.
Smart meters would also analyze electricity flow between panels on solar farms, pinpointing problems so engineers wouldn’t have to arrive at solutions after guesswork. Cloud backups would provide the information needed to optimize how each panel works if they wanted to compare energy production.
3. They Make Renewable Energy Employees Safer
Working at extreme heights on wind farms or in intense sunlight on solar farms creates health risks for green energy employees. IoT software or devices would take their place when monitoring power production and potential maintenance problems, ultimately reducing workplace accidents and dangers.
IoT tech also helps in other areas. Anyone working in manufacturing facilities would benefit from smart devices that monitor for pests remotely and provide real-time tracking that prevents the spread of disease. Technologies that make renewable energy workplaces safer mean more people will want industry jobs, ultimately boosting production for interested consumers.
4. They Make Equipment Last Longer
Although current IoT endeavors are 95% small or medium-scale projects, creating more large-scale software would benefit green energy companies in the long run. Implementing companywide software at solar or wind farms would improve machine maintenance and performance by gaining active insight.
More efficient use of space would also create opportunities for additional panels or turbines. Energy would be more accessible, lowering the cost for consumers who may want to leave traditional power grids.
5. They Make Natural Disasters More Predictable
The same IoT and cloud technology on renewable energy farms could also offer other benefits. While climate change intensifies natural disasters, smart sensors on solar farms could monitor for wildfires and track precipitation to predict wildfire probability. They could also watch for animals and prevent 538,000 avian deaths annually at wind farms, helping species that may already be disappearing due to global warming.
6. They Make Production Less Costly
Anything that improves production directly benefits consumers. Making energy more efficient and less costly due to maintenance issues or machinery repairs reduces the ultimate cost per kilowatt. Consumers interested in renewable energy adoption will be more likely to make the financial leap if it costs them less than it would have in previous years.
IoT and the Cloud Help Renewable Energy
There are many reasons why IoT and the cloud could improve the future of renewable energy adoption. The numerous benefits for industry leaders and consumers make them viable options for making the future greener without reducing electricity usage.
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