What is the Internet of Energy, and is it really different to the Internet of Things? We take a look at what really makes up this specialist subset of the IoT.
Internet of Energy (IoE) technologies are energy devices and appliances installed in homes, such as solar panels, energy storage systems or batteries, energy monitoring solutions, electric vehicles, and related charging infrastructure. In addition to these newer energy technologies, objects like heating and cooling systems or hot water boilers, which are commonly found in homes today, are also considered to be IoE devices, once they have been modernised with the necessary sensors and communication modules to enable interaction with the outside energy market.
Internet of Energy technologies are a specialist subset of the Internet of Things (IoT) composed of energy devices and appliances installed in homes. IoE technologies differentiate from typical consumer IoT devices by normally being supplied and installed by specialists, and usually remain within a house once the owners have moved on. Often IoE devices and appliances will have several users/owners during their life. Additionally, IoE appliance life cycles will usually be long, requiring support and upgrades throughout their lifespan.
From a single technology perspective, the IoE has everything it needs to flourish, from self-generation technologies for residential participation in energy systems, to sensors and communication modules to “smarten” high energy consumption appliances already deployed within homes, to an integrated communication infrastructure, to IT technologies including data analytics and cloud platforms. Internet of Energy technologies are also increasingly more competitive as related costs continue to fall.
After years of sluggishness, we are seeing the adoption of a wide variety of IoE technologies picking up speed and growing significantly faster than was the case two or three years ago. Nonetheless, deployment of IoE devices and appliances is unstructured. The adoption of these technologies can be considered opportunistic, with consumers thinking: “My country is incentivising the switch to plug-in electric vehicles, I’m due to replace my car, so I’ll switch to a PEV, and this means I need to get the necessary charging infrastructure installed at my home.” Little or no consideration is given as to how that vehicle and its associated infrastructure will integrate with other devices and appliances in the home. This is especially the case with existing homes, in which large appliances (air conditioning, heating, boilers, etc.) will be gradually replaced or retrofitted one at a time. This point-to-point adoption of IoE technologies makes it difficult for the big picture of how all these devices fit together and should work toward a common goal. It should also be noted that today not even new-built homes are being designed with a common energy management system in mind.
This blog has been extracted from the whitepaper “The Internet of Energy – Enabling Residential Demand Management” produced independently by the IDC (International Data Corporation). You can download a full version of the whitepaper here.
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After years of sluggishness, we are seeing the adoption of a wide variety of IoE technologies picking up speed and growing significantly faster than was the case two or three years ago.