The supervisory control and data acquisition systems gained popularity in the power sector in the 1990s and it can be termed as early version of IoT. Smart meters are next version of IoT and third early one in power sector is SCADA.
SCADA and smart meters have to be complemented with information and communication technology like geographic information systems and enterprise resource planning systems for an IoT solution to move up to a higher level of maturity and the convergence of information technology and operational technology therefore provides significant opportunities for optimization.
Since power sector is more adaptable in accepting the changes it always welcome the IoT as a technology like SCADA & AMI and now the DTMS i.e. Distribution Transformer Monitoring System. Asset Management and Maintenance, Asset Performance Management, Electrical efficiency and Electrical Losses are key issues that must be addressed in the power sector.
The emerging internet of things technology is helping this sector to adapt with the transformation of old system to new remote based IOT based transformer monitoring system. The major challenges in this sector is the remote asset monitoring and management like distributed transformer monitoring which is a challenge for the power sector. Initially the sector uses SCADA based distribution transformer monitoring system which is now replaced by IoT and now the IoT based distribution transformer monitoring system is coming in picture. And this IoT based distribution transformer monitoring system is one of the examples solves many challenges to manage and monitor the transformer mainly the distribution transformer however this IoT technology is remotely monitoring the other than distribution transformer too.
Through Investment in IoT for asset monitoring and management we can significantly reduce unscheduled downtime by getting alert of the problems before they occur, taking preventive actions and thereby improving reliability and reducing costs and increasing the revenue.
The uses of IoT is not limited to distribution assets, through use of IoT enabled sensors the assets related to generation, transmission and distribution equipment can be monitored. This preventative approach can significantly improve the equipment performance and efficiency and providing the information in advance to take action before. This IoT-based approach is transitions from traditional reactive strategies to proactive strategies. Through this the assets are continuously monitored with sensors, the collected data is sent to the cloud where a variety of machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms are used to predict the health and impending failure of the assets, and determine the optimal time to perform maintenance.
In addition to transformer and other assets Introduction of IoT in grid changed the traditional grid to smart grid, reliable, efficient and robust. Introduction of IoT can enable the integration of more distributed resources into the grid, and can also improve grid management in other ways as well. Due to distributed power generation the IoT powered smart grid technology is helping this distributed energy transformation in aggregation and then further distribution. A smart grid uses IoT technology to detect changes in electricity supply and demand, react to these changes autonomously or provide operators with the information they need to more precisely manage demand.
IoT is also bringing the revolution in smart metering. Early stages it was only internet-connected devices to send electricity consumption data to the utility. While now, many add-on services have been added like net metering, energy management portal, prepaid purchase of electricity, data analytics based services for utilities and many more. After the introduction of this advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), there is saving to customer, saving in field visits, quick response time, and improvement to reliability of grid.
Through mix of IoT plus ML the variety of machine-learning applications is being used for energy-saving and customer satisfaction. Now the large commercial buildings by use of an integrated building management system manages the cooling, heating, and lighting and reducing the cost and energy consumption considerably. Smart thermostats and smart meters together with other IoT solutions have the potential to stimulate a variety of smart buildings and smart city applications.
Finally we can say that IOT is now becoming power of power and futuristic application of IoT is a holistic optimization of the entire power network with the goal of decentralization with better management, monitoring and control, reducing the cost and increasing the user satisfaction.