The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a major technological phenomenon. In fact, there will be 24 billion internet-connected devices online by 2020. Individuals, businesses, and governments alike are learning about what it means to live in a technologically integrated society created by the IoT. From better decision-making, greater convenience and enhanced communications, the IoT will impact every facet of our day-to-day lives.
This is especially true when it comes to intelligent energy storage. That’s because the “intelligent” aspect of an intelligent energy storage system stems from its connectivity to the IoT. This includes its ability to serve as a smart home hub and its two-way communication about energy usage data between stakeholders. Intelligent energy storage simply wouldn’t be possible without IoT technology.
Intelligent energy storage and the IoT
Vit Soupal, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile)’s Head of Big Data Initiatives for the European Union recently published an article about the technological developments that led to the IoT. In it, he lays out the things that made the IoT possible. In this regard, here’s a breakdown of how each element that enables IoT also factors into intelligent energy storage:
- Miniaturization – In 1965, Intel’s founder Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits doubled each year and predicted that this trend would continue. This is known as “Moore’s Law.” It’s important because many of the sensors and other technologies thate enable the intelligent aspect of WISE’s home energy storage system would be too big and too clunky to be feasible without miniaturization.
- Hardware availability and battery – The costs associated with lithium-ion batteries and other hardware can be prohibitive to product development and design for the manufacturer. This can in turn make the products inaccessibly expensive for the consumer. Fortunately, lithium-ion battery prices are falling dramatically and will most likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This means that intelligent energy storage technology will continue to become more affordable for manufacturers and consumers as time goes on.
- Connectivity – New networks are enabling connectivity that lays the groundwork for smart cities to have an integrated infrastructure to send and receive data throughout. These include lower-power, wide-area (LPWA) wireless technology as well as 5G and mesh. Each type of network has its advantages and drawbacks, but they all serve as a foundation for the exchange of Big Data that’s necessary for intelligent energy storage to work.
- Cloudification – Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers to manage and store data. This is important to intelligent energy storage because the cloud is where energy usage data is stored for analysis by stakeholders. These can include homeowners who use it to control their energy usage and utilities that use it to manage load balancing and forecasting.
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) – An API works like an electrical socket that enables different devices to be connected and to communicate with one another. They allow intelligent energy storage systems to integrate a building’s electrical system. They also link IoT-enabled devices together so that the intelligent energy storage system can serve as a smart home hub.
- Smart devices – IoT-enabled devices or “smart devices” such as smart phones and tablets have hardware and software that allow them to integrate with your intelligent energy storage system. As a result, they can serve as the mobile interface by which you manage your energy storage system and operate any IoT-enabled device in your home.
- Big Data – The IoT consists of devices that are constantly communicating huge amounts of data with one another, or “Big Data.” Individuals, businesses, and municipalities can now collect and analyze data on a large scale to help them make smarter decisions related to energy usage.
We expect that intelligent home energy storage will continue to flourish as the IoT develops. As a result, you’ll soon be able to automate every aspect of your home’s energy usage from your smart phone or tablet.