Harness IoT And Smart Appliances To Conserve Energy


Imagine the AC switching off to make room for the washing machine; or the dishwasher shutting down when you put on the mixer-grinder. The Internet of things (IoT) and connected appliances can help appliances communicate with each other and help them coordinate such that they can operate optimally and efficiently. Let’s see how this fabulous system works.

Smart appliances are embedded with sensors and are interconnected. Data collected by sensors is transmitted to the central grid. The collected data includes variables like electricity load at specific times to availability to the individual requirements of the appliances. If green energy like solar and wind are being used, the smart grid takes even the temperature in solar panels or blade resistance of wind turbines into account.

How the Internet of Things works to harness green energy

Basically, all relevant data is recorded and monitored. The collected information is uploaded to the cloud for processing. The processing and distribution happens in a fraction of a second and is continuously carried out even as variables keep changing. This is a huge amount of data processing. Consequently, the process cannot be carried out manually as it is too fast and complex. Automation and IoT applications are required for optimization. The arrangement is particularly needed if the energy requirements are solely dependent on renewable sources of energy including solar, wind, and water. Such sources of clean energy usually have an issue of consistency of supply.

“IoT, smart appliances and data processing in cloud could run a dishwasher on the basis of whether it is sunny or windy outside. The systems could switch off energy-hungry appliances like air conditioners when other devices are at work. This technology can provide the breakthrough that the world had been waiting for to improve power conservation,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global leader in cloud technology. 

Power wastage in India highest in the world

Millions have no power, which means 40% households are powerless and 400 million people are left in the dark. The main reason is that a sizable chunk of power generated is wasted and rarely reaches the intended consumers. According to a report by the World Resources Institute, power loss in India is about 27%—the highest in the world. The power wastage is in the form of usage and transmission. There is another aspect to it as well. Millions of tons of natural gas and coal was used to generate the wasted power, which resulted in pollution and environmental degradation.

IoT can be critical to India’s plans to reduce power wastage and conservation

With India’s fossils fuels depleting, the country has to find ways of energy conservation, particularly in the context of initiatives like Digital India and Smart City. IoT could be key to India’s efforts at power conservation, cutting down carbon emissions and footprint, and environmental degradation and health hazards.

“Energy efficiency is necessary for smart cities and should be integral part of the city. Additionally, dependency on fossil fuels threatens air quality in cities,” said Nandikesh Sivalingam, senior campaigner, Greenpeace.

IoT and smart appliances optimizing green energy utilization

IoT and connected appliances are especially helpful when power supply is not consistent and falls short of requirement, much like the situation that exists in India. It is therefore imperative that every bit of energy produced to put to optimum use. Moreover, optimization is a must if the world has to shift to green sources of energy. Used properly, the IoT together with smart metering, wireless and connected sensors, and cloud-computing could be just what India and the world needs to overcome the power shortage. And the icing on the cake is that such emergent technologies not only help conserve electricity, but also contribute to the safety and well-being of the environment.