IoT essentially is the networking of smart devices, buildings and other items with electronics, which enable the collection and exchange of data. IoT has been shown to provide energy efficiency when utilized correctly. Examples of energy efficient IoT are abundant: Things may be simple sensors (e.g. temperature sensor in a room), more complex sensors (e.g. electrical power measuring device), actuators (e.g. HVAC room controller, motor), or complex devices (e.g. industrial circuit-breaker, PLC providing home, building or industrial automation). The IoT application may range from a simple monitoring application such as gauging the temperature in a building, to a complex application such as providing complete energy automation of a campus.
It was recently announced that NASA is engaging with IoT for energy efficiency. NASA’s LEED Platinum building, called Sustainability Base, is acting as a beta tester for an IoT energy monitoring system. Manufactured by Verdigris Technologies, the system uses clamp-on current sensors to detect individual devices turning on and off, and a sophisticated signal processing algorithm that identifies the device and analyzes its electrical “signature” to detect potential faults, according to engineering.com.
Once installed, the system is taught which device is linked to each signal. It is then able to track which units are turning on or off at any given time. This information is transmitted to the Sustainability Base building automation system for energy analysis. The facility manager will then have a more detailed picture of what is using energy, and when.
But there’s more to IoT playing a role in energy efficiency than just clamping on a few sensors. According to cio.com, to have an effective IoT strategy in place, there are five important pieces of advice to follow.
Businesses must appoint an IoT leader, whether it’s the chief IT officer or an individual from a different department, as long as it’s someone who can guide a cohesive IoT strategy. Additionally, there must be a distinct IoT team or organization within the business as a whole.
IoT roles must also be clearly defined. “No IoT initiative will succeed without the right people in the right IoT roles,” cio.com reports. “IoT encompasses a broad swath of the business, and if the wrong skills are being applied to particular components, the IoT endeavor could fail.” Chemical maker Texmark assigns the individuals most closely involved with a particular process to the various IoT processes and solutions. For example, the company’s plant safety director is the lead on safety and security in the IoT space.
Companies must also build a culture of secure IoT and leverage IoT experience from the outside. With IoT still new for many industries and companies, seeking outside expertise in the beginning stages of a company’s IoT initiative.
It should be noted that the prevailing consensus is that IoT is not a passing fad. In fact, Paul Marushka, president and CEO of Sphera Solutions, told attendees at the recent Environmental Leader Conference and Energy Manger Summit that IoT has the potential to change the world, just as the internet did, maybe even more so.