IoT and sustainability
Every day we are more aware of the impact we generate in the environment and it is necessary that each and every one of us get down to work to achieve a more sustainable world. Even the European Commission, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is working on the promotion of rules and policies that ensure sustainable development and growth.
In addition to the small actions that we can carry out daily to add sustainability, is technology aligned with this commitment? In this post we will detail some points in which technology can contribute in terms of sustainability.
Key sectors in sustainable development
Water: The unequal distribution of water in the world makes us aware of the importance of each drop. Water has been the source of conflicts and it is possible that it will become again due to its scarcity and need. A first step to save is to know the amount of water spent. In this sense, there are IoT devices able to read water consumption and levels and, using communications networks, sending them to control centres. Spain is especially sensitized to water saving and it is common to meet with communities of irrigators who use remote control systems to measure consumption, to schedule irrigation according to needs and to be proactive when facing breakdowns. Some points where technology can help here are:
- Consumption monitoring
- Minimization of water losing period due to breakdowns
- Social awareness based on consumer knowledge
- Adequacy of irrigation of parks and gardens depending on the weather conditions
- Leak prevention
Energy: The electrical installations are included in the critical infrastructures, so their degree of monitoring and control is more than remarkable. In these remote environments, such as those in which large renewable energy facilities are located, the communication networks are essential for data collection and their transfer to the monitoring and control centres. The data collected from solar panels, strings, inverters… can help prevent breakdowns and avoid a reduction in production. It is possible to make production estimates according to meteorological data. In these prevention tasks, production and control estimates, both the collection of data using sensors and the used algorithms with data intelligence are crucial.
Industry: In industry, saving energy consumption is vital not only for sustainability, but also for economic profitability. In this sense, technology allows, for example, consumption monitoring. No less important is the sensorization of machinery with which it is possible to collect installation data. From this data, data intelligence techniques can provide information of great interest in maintenance tasks using descriptive algorithms that give us information about what has happened or what is happening; diagnostic algorithms that tell us why something has happened or is happening; predictive algorithms that can tell us what can happen, given the current conditions, and even prescriptive algorithms that can recommend us actions to be taken. The deep knowledge of the installation and the anticipation of incidents and breakdowns is directly related to the reduction of energy costs.
In this post we have given brush strokes on some points where technology can be an ally in terms of sustainability and energy savings. Water consumption does not escape either from being monitored and controlled by IoT devices.
Izertis has experience and interest in sustainability issues: proof of this are the different projects in sectors such as energy, industrial and even irrigation, as it is a member of the National Technical Committee CTN 318 – Irrigation of UNE.
If you also have an interest on how technology can help you in sustainability, talk to us.