Energy Assessments

The Internet of Things provided by IoT Energy has grown in number not only due to the convenience and reliability for consumers, but also as an answer to the threat of dwindling energy resources across the globe. At the rate that each country is consuming energy, it is predicted that most energy sources will be depleted within fifty years. Energy assessments must be done at every level in order to minimize damage to the environment and, subsequently, to human life. With the help of IoT Energy it is easy to monitor the energy usage of any building or home.

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Energy Relevance of Internet of Things

The  proliferation  of the Internet  of  Things  offers  opportunities  but may also present challenges.  A neglected aspect of the IoT– as with any relatively new system– is the potential for increase in power consumption. IoT mitigates this concern by playing a key role in energy assessments since it can collect real time data and only release energy when needed. IoT devices are usually expected to be reachable by other devices at all times. This implies that the device itself, or at least its communication module, is consuming electrical energy even when the device is not in use for its primary function.  When  not  in  use,  most  devices  will  enter  a  standby  state,  which  consumes  significantly less energy. Billions of such devices however raise concerns regarding excessive standby  energy  consumption,  even  if  the  individual  device  has  only  moderate  power  needs.  Global electricity consumption of network enabled devices has already reached 615 TWh in 2013, overtaking the electricity consumption of Germany. This demand is forecast to grow to 1140 TWh by 2025, corresponding to 6% of current total final global electricity consumption. These  estimates  are  based  mainly  on  the  expected  proliferation  of  “traditional”  network-enabled  devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, tablets, set top boxes, game consoles and smart TVs.  Novel IoT devices such as sensors, household appliances, personal health gadgets and RFID tags, are not yet fully included in these projections.  Therefore  it  is  necessary  to  address  the  topic  of  IoT  at  an  early  stage  to  develop  guidelines  and  policies  to  prevent  excessive  energy  consumption  of  these  novel  network-enabled devices.

Energy Usage of Internet of Things

We  have  estimated  that the  applications  highlighted  in  green  are of  high  relevance  regarding  additional standby energy consumption, because the future number of devices in use is expected to  be high. We have either  assessed the  expected  proliferation  to  be  comparatively  low  (e.g.  sleep monitoring,  fall  detection,  vending  machines),  or  the  application  is  already  well  established  and  only  migrates  to  a  novel  communication infrastructure in conjunction with IoT.  Based  on  this  assessment  we  have  focused the  remainder  of  the  project  on  the  following  applications:

  • Smart Lighting
  • Home Automation
  • Smart Appliances
  • Smart Street Lighting
  • Smart Roads

We would like to emphasize that besides causing additional standby power, all five applications may  also help to save energy. Especially for Smart Street Lighting and Smart Roads it is likely that the  achievable  savings  outweigh  the  additional  power  consumption  of  the  devices  caused  by  their  communication capabilities. For the Smart Home applications Smart Lighting, Home Automation and  Smart  Appliances,  the  saving  potential  is  less  clear,  since  these  applications  are  driven by the paramount need for comfort, convenience and security.

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