The Utility Grid Influenced by IoT

The Utility Grid Influenced by IoT

The utility industry is a very condensed segment and it is continuously expanding in a rapid pace. Because of this, utility companies are constantly looking for ways to optimize their operations, strengthen their core competencies, and ultimately capture future market share.

For utilities, items such as smart meters, solar panels, smart thermostats, and much more have become part of our everyday lives. The meters, panels, and thermostats that regulate our utility use are known as connected devices. The connected devices market has skyrocketed in recent years and within an infinite amount of industries. These devices are linked to the Power Grid, allowing us to power our home with renewable energy when the sun is shining, the water is running, or the wind is blowing. The Power Grid is an interconnected network in which electrical power travels from the power plant to consumers. Any excess electricity produced, say from a solar panel, is fed back into the Grid. When renewable resources are unavailable, the excess electricity from the Grid supplies the need. This eliminates the expense of electricity storage devices like batteries. Energy storage is transitioning from a large infrastructure market of pumped hydro and underground compressed air projects to a technology-driven market, with rising scale and falling prices.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has had a major influence on changes with the utility companies’ infrastructure. Cloud-based applications have become a hot topic in the industry. According to Oracle, 97% of U.S. utility companies already use cloud-based applications or plans to in the future. The cloudallows utility companies to provide much more than smart meters, solar panels, or smart thermostats. Utility companies are able to collect a large amount of data through the grid, which consists of the connected devices like smart meters, smart thermostats, etc. More than 58% of these companies stated this would reduce spending on software infrastructure and labor.

With the increase in connected devices comes an increase in demand for specific electronic components. Power systems deliver energy to loads that perform a function. These loads range from household appliances to industrial machinery.

Conductors carry power from the generators to the load. In a grid, conductors carry large amounts of power at high voltages from the generating centers to the load centers, which then feeds smaller amounts of power at lower voltages to nearby homes. Furthermore, reactors consume reactive power and are used to regulate voltage on long transmission lines. Capacitors and reactors are switched by circuit breakers, which results in moderately large steps in reactive power.

At Advanced MP Technology, we keep a close look at current market demands. By doing so, we are able to adopt our services to comply with technology development and ultimately serve our customers.