Aeris Blog

Reducing Waste and Stabilizing the Electrical Grid with IoT

December 12, 2018

Across the globe, the number of IoT electrical utility devices in use is growing, projected to reach more than 1.53 billion by 2020 according to report from Ericsson. As electrical grids become more inundated with IoT technology, smart product designers and electrical grid operators are honing energy management devices to reduce electrical waste and stabilize the energy grid while helping consumers minimize monthly electrical costs. For any deployment of smart meters, smart appliances, or energy management devices to make a significant impact on reducing waste and balancing the grid, these device connections need to be scalable and capable of reliably processing, sending, and organizing large amounts of data.

The Devices That Do the Managing

Smart home utility management tools, such as Sense home energy monitor, are a way that users can minimize their electrical consumption and help reduce the electrical load during peak hours of usage. Smart home utility management tools hook up to a home’s electrical panel, where usage data is gathered, to track and monitor electricity usage in any household. Homeowners can review usage data on their smartphones to help make decisions regarding how to minimize excessive usage in the future. IoT home appliances, like smart thermostats, can provide consumers with the same kind of information specific to heating and cooling. These types of energy management devices allow consumers to manually adjust their energy consumption based on highly accurate smart data, thus reducing usage and saving costs.

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For office buildings and larger spaces, smart HVAC systems, for example, can include a web of sensors placed throughout a building that, over time, track the energy usage as it differs in real time through the various spaces of the building. Smart HVAC systems, or any other similar usage monitoring smart appliance, can help property managers gain insight into the schedule, frequency, and concentration of energy use to predict when and exactly what sections of a building need to be serviced. Rather than keeping all areas of a building set at a constant temperature throughout the day, data gathered through sensors can inform specifically when and where air conditioning, ventilation, and heating should be directed based on usage. By automating when, where, and under what conditions HVAC systems are running, electrical costs and wastes can be reduced, while also minimizing the load demands throughout the day.

Devices like grid interactive water heaters (GIWHs) can be used to store energy generated by water heaters and used at a later time. Working as a reverse battery, the grid interactive water heater can help stabilize the grid by using energy generated internally in the water heater device rather than pulling additional electricity from the electrical source. A cellular network connection is used to detect when the grid may be experiencing a peak in demand and signal to the GIWHs to kick in their internally stored power.

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Strong Energy Management Deployments Rely on Reliable Cellular Networks

Energy management devices are the most effective at making a waste reduction impact when deployed on a large scale. For example, by installing GIWHs inside each of the hundreds of units within large apartment complexes, the fleet of GIWHs can work as a powerhouse, reducing energy waste and balancing out demand loads, requiring less instances where electrical utility operators have to access expensive peaking units to supply ample power, and thus minimizing costs for the consumers.

Large deployments of GIWHs and other energy management solutions, along with large-scale appliance systems that employ sensors throughout sizable buildings, will need to run off of more than a Wi-Fi connection. A strong, dedicated network will be needed to handle the sheer scale of such energy-saving operations. In addition, any of these IoT solutions has to be able to process, send, and organize large amounts of data, thus making a dedicated cellular network ideal.

Powering Energy Waste Reduction & Grid Stability with Aeris

There are myriad ways that IoT devices are shifting power consumption, stabilizing the grid and minimizing electrical waste and costs. Whether you’re designing an energy management IoT device, or are a power grid operator working to minimize consumption and waste, supplying your system of smart devices with a strong, dedicated network will be an essential part of scaling and supporting any deployment. Aeris is here to provide a secure, reliable cellular network to connect device developers and grid operator with their energy management goals. To learn more about getting started with securing your network partner, Contact Aeris today.