The energy and utilities landscape is constantly changing and creating new challenges as a result. Adapting to these changes, as well as an overarching need to drive greater efficiencies, means that companies are employing new and improved technology to assist their transformation. The Internet of Things is sitting at the forefront of this, and is growing rapidly in the industry. This new infographic from Westbase Technology looks at these utility and energy industry challenges, and the resultant growth of the Internet of Things.
One of the core IoT applications within this industry is remote monitoring and management of the network:
Connecting the entire energy and utility estate, the Internet of Things is enabling companies to embrace new business and operational models, and to drive greater efficiencies across the board. By delivering an end-to-end connectivity solution which enables companies to remotely access and retrieve data from across their entire network – from generation, through transmission, to distribution – the Internet of Things provides essential visibility of energy or water levels throughout.
“By monitoring levels at different points in the network, companies can pinpoint potential issues in near real-time and allocate a field engineer resource to it before it impacts the service,” said Sacha Kakad, Managing Director at Westbase Technology, “using the data provided, central teams can also ascertain what the problem may be, enabling field engineers to be better prepared and making their site visits more efficient.”
As well as supporting maintenance needs, a connected network also provides up-to-date business intelligence for more dynamic decision making. For example it can be leveraged to enable the bi-directional communications needed to enable demand response systems.
The biggest challenge for energy and utility companies though, when it comes to implementing the IoT, is connecting the network securely and cost effectively. With wide-reaching estates, stretching over hundreds of miles into highly remote locations, wired connectivity is simply not an option and satellite can be expensive.
By leveraging the existing cellular networks however, companies can address this challenge easily. Available virtually anywhere, cellular connectivity has long been a go-to for connecting remote, distributed locations – and the advent of LTE in recent years has secured this further. Using 4G LTE for Internet of Things connectivity futureproofs the information network as cellular continues to evolve and more advanced applications come to the fore as well.
“Connecting the network estate for increased visibility and more efficient management is just one example of the Internet of Things at work for energy and utilities,” said Kakad, “By utilising 4G LTE connectivity to answer the demands of today though, companies are also preparing for tomorrow’s requirements by futureproofing their network. This infographic and white paper will hopefully help energy and utility companies to better understand the options available to them, and the possibilities of the Internet of Things and cellular connectivity combined.”