Internet of Things has introduced a lot of benefits into the utility industry. Smart technologies help in utilities management, offer remote control options, increase safety, reduce costs, as well as help solve the problem of resource depletion faced by all regions of our planet.
The market size of IoT in utilities is forecast to amount to $53.8 billion by 2024. In this article, we will consider why it is an appropriate next step for companies and individuals to implement IoT in water, gas and electricity distribution.
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Why Connect Utilities and IoT?
To rationalize the management of assets, utilities companies partner with providers and try to get the most of IoT, big data and machine learning technologies. There is still a lot of space for improvement when it comes to the right approach to allocation and preserving of resources. With the emergence of smart cities, innovations such as electric vehicles, IoT power grids, water meters, and cutting-edge techniques for generation and transportation of energy have appeared.
The extensive application of IoT in the utilities sector is an opportunity to monitor and manage energy more effectively, reduce energy waste, and, ultimately, improve safety and operational efficiency along with allowing for an economical use of natural resources. With possibilities for predictive management, stable and safe transmission of energy is now possible.
Internet of Things Applications in Smart Utilities
Using global Internet of Things solutions can improve the efficiency of water management systems. This decreases costs because of automated water consumption control, more widespread use of water-flow meters, and timely identification of leaks.
Meter Measurement Automation
With advanced meter-to-cash options the utility industry can display water expenditure parameters to users via connected smart meters. This decreases the risk of human error thanks to regular monitoring and helps preserve water resources.
Detection of Water Leakage
With the help of connected sensors, it is possible to avoid water loss because of prompt detection of leakages. If you notice the problem early on, it is easier to solve and less costly.
Water Parameters Control
Water management is possible on devices that control quality parameters of water, such as pressure, flow, etc. For analytics purposes, the information received by the sensors is transferred to other connected IoT devices in the network.
Remote Valve Regulation
There is no longer any need to turn to utilities specialists for help with water control operations. Customers can stop or restrict the water flow themselves. This can even be done remotely, using phones with Internet and mobile network connectivity.
Natural gas management can profit from IoT solutions as well. Meters increase meter reading preciseness, keep a record of gas consumption, enhance the quality of work and increase the safety of the gas distribution system.
Gas Flow Measurement
The process of gas meter reading can be automated as well. It is possible to review consumption details and visualize them without the necessity of interacting manually. With this information, people can monitor the information on usage and save money.
With IoT, instant display of the system state is possible. For instance, users can track temperature and pressure changes, the state of cathodic protection devices and pipeline stress. You can set up notifications to ensure you have an accurate picture of the situation at any time. With continuous integrity monitoring, keeping up with safety regulations is easier.
Gas Leakage Control
The variations in methane levels are controlled by smart sensors, and gas meters are configured to decrease gas losses. If a high level of methane is detected, remote disconnect valves are used to stop gas feeding. This prevents undesired leakages ensuring more customer protection.
To handle prices effectively and promptly detect errors, as well as to provide stable remote management, utilities companies implement smart grids. Being an electrical supply network used for communication, this technology detects system changes and ensures quick reactions. With electricity grid, companies can offer energy production services based on the actual demand, which can refine their strategies on prices and cut costs.
Meter Reading Automation
Smart metering method is a scalable solution that offers management of electricity through a mobile app. On that account, customers can regulate their usage and lower their utilities bills as they have constant access to real-time data. With automated electricity meters, possible errors caused as a result of incorrect manual readings can be avoided.
Electric Power Diversion Detection
Any changes in the flow of electric current and voltage level can be automatically detected, which helps identify any fraud, leakage or power loss almost instantly. IoT devices can help in differentiating between authorized metered loads and malicious criminal attempts.
IoT devices allow prompt detection of overloading because of constant control over the entire voltage system. They detect the possible overload and carry out necessary actions to avoid it. These devices help companies save time and money, and prevent energy losses and other threats.
The popularity of IoT in utilities has grown exponentially in the last decade. Innovative methods can help ensure a careful approach to resource allocation and natural preservation of wealth. These solutions are in great demand due to the pressing issue of resource depletion in all regions of our planet.
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To keep the balance between the ecological human footprint and biocapacity of ecosystems on Earth, we should treat nature more respectfully and try to use natural supplies moderately. For effective regulation of consumption, the utility industry needs accurate metering technologies, reliable communication systems and high-quality control over energy usage.
This technology facilitates the achievement of goals such as waste reduction, water and natural gas preservation, and effective usage and transportation of safe energy. IoT devices help industries and individuals view real-time data, manage utilities remotely, and prevent leakages. But it is not their only function: IoT technologies also help control the utilities more efficiently, increase safety and curb the negative impact of humans on the natural environment.