IoT and critical power today and tomorrow
In my previous post, I explained how critical power availability and reliability are at the very core of Industry 4.0. Worth a read, would love your thoughts. Now, let’s continue that discussion…
The key technological components of the fourth industrial revolution, as Industry 4.0 is also called, among others include the convergence of IT and OT, cyber-physical systems, the cloud, big data analytics, additive manufacturing, AR/VR, robotics, artificial intelligence and the Industrial Internet of Things.
Several of these technologies shape the evolutions in our Critical Power EcoXpert Partner Program,with a highly transformational place for the Internet of Things (IoT) and several of the related technologies I just mentioned. Yet, how is IoT helping owners of critical power buildings and, as a consequence how is it shaping the EcoXpert Critical Power ecosystem of experts and expertise?
Keeping into account that successfully leveraging IoT isn’t just about technologies but also about processes, the human element and the right partnerships (that even took IoT to the Amazon), below are a few of the major implications of IoT in critical power as I shared them in an interview.
Ubiquitous smart metering: IoT at the service of the critical power building owner and EcoXpert
Currently, the main usage of IoT for critical power buildings is related with the fast propagation of sensors in energy metering.
Thanks to ubiquitous smart metering our EcoXpert partners enable building owners to monitor and analyze energy cost across several areas in the building and track energy usage on the levels of quantity and quality.
As energy becomes digital and sensor-intensive, customers have and will also have a higher degree of control in managing their energy usage because of decentralization with energy from local wind, microgrid and photovoltaic systems in the connected network perspective of energy production.
In the current situation of IoT and pervasive smart metering two main applications stick out:
- Energy accounting ranks high on the agenda of many Critical Power EcoXpert partners. The possibility to manage energy cost and save on it by ubiquitous smart metering in several zones of a building in this case is joined by the possibility to have different bills for the various tenants of large power buildings.
- Power availability, power reliability and power quality, which I mentioned earlier, is a second IoT use case we often see. As in critical power buildings scenarios need to exist in case of disturbances or interruptions, solutions for power availability encompass several factors, depending on the type of building and level of criticality. If there is a back-up generator it needs to be monitored, both from an efficiency and reliability perspective. And when push comes the shovel and a transition to the generator is needed, this must happen in a fluid and effortless way whereby a transition needs to be recorded for reporting obligations.
What the near future will bring – IoT critical power EcoXpert partners
If I look a bit further down the road on the role and impact of IoT in critical power, there are several evolutions of which two are highly impactful for our advanced power management partners and their critical power building customers.
- The more connected everything gets and the more sensors and IoT devices are added, the more data needs to be gathered, analyzed and turned into actionable intelligence. For building owners, this IoT data deluge might be overwhelming so they increasingly ask for easy software platforms and single interfaces to make this task simple, fast and efficient. That’s what we focus on at Schneider Electric as for both EcoXperts and end customers state-of-the-art technologies and advanced data analytics which will soon be augmented by artificial intelligence convenience and efficiency is essential for us from all possible angles.
- A second evolution is certainly the mentioned ongoing integration whereby the various silos of infrastructure as they existed in the past will vanish. If you have a building with solar power on the roof that’s both a matter of electrical and mechanical systems since the created energy can be used for cooling, for instance. The several systems that exist today to manage these aspects are siloed and will need to communicate.
The convergence of systems and disciplines – IoT driving the need for multi-badge EcoXpert skills
All these evolutions, whereby IoT is the common element and language so to speak, will continue to drive the evolutions in the Critical Power EcoXpert certification but also drive our partners to combine several certifications and disciplines.
The convergence of disciplines, the disappearance of silos and the increasing role of the connectivity of systems as BMS EcoXpert colleague Martin Feder sees it in building management as described in his post on the role of the BMS as a digital hub, will require EcoXperts to enhance their existing system integration and critical power skills and understand infrastructural elements that might be rather new.
IoT is changing the face of critical power buildings in many ways and now is a better time than ever to be ahead of future evolutions and certainly catch up with current ones.
Doing this in an ecosystem of expertise, collaboration, innovation and end-to-end know-how is what the EcoXpert partner program is all about.
I encourage you to read why IoT and EcoXpert might be your next best bet.
How are you leveraging IoT with your critical power, smart metering and other building projects? Share your insight below, I’m quite interested.