IoT Adoption in Energy Industry
The energy sector sees a host of benefits as the digital trend continues to innovate and transform the future of sustainable business.
In past few years, there has been unprecedented proliferation of digital technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality, big data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and rapid prototyping technologies.
The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) is revolutionizing various sectors across the globe. Its concepts and automation technologies offer endless opportunities to support transition to sustainable energy.
The IoT forms the basics of Industry 4.0 and builds on the internet’s capabilities to connect smart devices, which collectively generate data and execute functions in the cloud. Ideally, an IoT solution should have all sensors connected digitally on the internet, each with the required level of intelligence. To be fully IoT compliant, future IT solutions must be reliable, safe, secure, efficient, fast and affordable.
Industry 4.0 concepts find immense potential in integrated energy management controls. The energy sector is undergoing major transition with integration of renewable energies into power grids necessitating new approaches to grid management. The potential of information and communication technologies could be harnessed in efficiently managing the generation, delivery and consumption of electricity from different sources to meet the varying demands of end-users and the grids could provide the flexibility to integrate electricity networks on a large scale.
Potential IoT applications in the oil and gas sector include rotating equipment such as compressors, turbines and pumps, which are currently managed by machine condition monitoring (MCM) systems. To diagnose a problem, the data is manually reviewed and analysed. However, with IoT-based solution, smart sensors conveys complete data in a digital form and then different sensors and systems interact with one another in real time to find the cause of any abnormal operation. IoT applications that form the integral part of each sensor, combined with AI capability, enable the sensors to diagnose and report the cause and potentially take remedial actions as required.
With IoT advancements, energy industry will be equipped with smarter solutions and the ability to handle very complex situations and problems. For IoT technology to become the norm in next five to 10 years’ time, improvements in internet infrastructure, development of international standards and vendors’ compliance would be the crucial factors towards progress and full IoT adoption.