One of the biggest macro-economic trends out there is the move towards moving from the use of non-renewable sources of energy (namely fossil fuels) to cleaner sources of energy (ranging from wind to solar to hydro-electric and even nuclear).  Besides the obvious reasons (namely that the use of carbon-based fuels can have an impact on our planet), there is a strong economic reason for the change (namely, at some point, we will run out of fossil fuels).

M2M solutions help all areas of green energy, including:

  • Solar Power   M2M solutions are used in both large commercial deployments as well as smaller residential ones to track the amount of energy being generated, as well as to keep track of maintenance schedules and the amount stored in on-site batteries.  In the case of residential units where power is sold back to a municipal power company, many solutions look after determining how much energy is being returned to the grid, and even going as far as collecting the money from the utility on behalf of the homeowner!
  • Wind   M2M solutions are used in a few situations in this space.  First, instrumentation is used prior to the installation of turbines to determine their viability in this location, based on historical wind patterns.  Once installed, one unique way that M2M helps wind turbine deployments is in the use of harmonics.  By detecting a change in tone/pitch of key equipment, companies are able to easily predict possible failures before they happen.  Finally, one unique way that M2M solutions are used is in the control of birds in the vicinity of wind farms.  By detecting the migration path of birds, companies are able to use time “bird avoidance” systems such as water guns to deter birds from flying near wind farms
  • Geothermal / Nuclear / Biomass   M2M solutions are used to provide key information via the “CAP” methodology.  What is the CAP methodology?

CAPTURE - Capturing key pieces of data in the field

ANALYZE - Allowing the data to be organized and analyzed quickly

PRESENT - Presenting the data to allow for informed decisions to be made

M2M plays a unique part in the every day life of green energy, including involvement such as:

  1. M2M solutions are used in the preliminary analysis and deployment of these solutions.  In order to set up any green energy project, a lot of initial work has to be done.  This ranges from site surveys to environmental assessments to on-site visits for key staff.  M2M solutions allow for the retrieval of key information to first determine the viability of such a solution (items such as measuring wind speeds / water flows / amount of sunlight, to tracking migration paths of birds for wind turbines and even determining if there will be sufficient infrastructure to bring in key items for the projects).
  2. Once deployed, M2M solutions are key to “Capturing” key pieces of data.  Through the use of key sensors and on-site networks, technicians are able to capture key pieces of data.  These data components may be as obvious as the amount of electricity being gathered/generated by a particular location, but often range to the more complex.....items such as: time elapsed since the last maintenance, change in harmonics that might signify an issue with a piece of equipment or changes in atmospheric conditions over time that may hurt the overall project itself.
  3. Capturing of data is important.....but only if proper “Analysis” of the data is done to ensure that the data is correct and useful.  Many key pieces of software (such as corporate-grade ERP and SCADA systems) are able to take the information provided by the remote connections and analyze this data.  This analysis might include checking for changes (change in output, change in pH levels and changes in radiation levels are just three of many things it can detect), checking for way to optimize usage or checking for possible failures.
  4. Finally, these solutions can produce tons of data!  In fact, so much data that it is important that companies deploy solutions in a ways that “Presents” the data in a way that allows for quick, yet informed decisions to be made.  There are a few ways that this can be done:
    • Using alert-based systems (such as email, SMS or pagers) to alert key staff of immediate issues.
    • Use of easy to view formats (such as graphs) to allow key staff to easily see trends in key items
    • Integration of key pieces of data into systems used by staff (ranging from providing availability status of pieces of equipment to customer service staff, alerting key remote technicians about problems before they arrive to better prepare them and alerting inventory staff of possible issues to allow them time to bring in key pieces of equipment)
    • Finally, it is often imperative that a company’s customers are able to use these pieces of data.  This means that information often has to be displayed on web pages that allow for consumers to see key pieces of data, such as the amount of energy that they have used in a given period.

Benefits to using M2M for Green Energy Monitoring

  •     Reduced downtime
  •     Improved customer service
  •     Better decision making for your key staff
  •     Improved safety for remote workers
  •     Better usage data = improved maintenance + increased revenue
  •     Lower repair and transportation costs

Let Novotech help you through all of the components that you need to successfully deploy such a solution, ranging from:

  • Components required for communication from remote sites (i.e. on-site sensors/modems, antennas, cabling, cellular activation, local networks and more)
  • Remote management of key pieces of equipment in the field (keeping devices up to data, on-site break/fix services, etc)
  • Application enablement services (these allow you to bring the information back from the field and converted into a format that allows for easy integration into key systems, whether they are large ERP systems or your own customized system)
  • Presentation of your data  (Working with your key people to help to optimize how data is presented, to make sure that it is useful to them)