Connecting machines to machines is increasing and is being impelled by a growing number of stakeholders and governments. A smart city is a connected ecosystem where multiple sectors (ranging from healthcare, transportation, utility, etc.) cooperate and exchange information within sector and inter-sectors to achieve a resource efficient and sustainable lifestyle. Smart cities serve two main purposes: They improve the operational efficiency of various sectors in a city; they facilitate improved lifestyle to citizens and foster greater economic growth.
The key to smart city is to realize integration of different types of networks with varied protocols, and achieve interoperability between complex M2M systems. Designing and implementing a sustainable smart infrastructure demands a highly flexible M2M framework.
Since electrical grid is the backbone of the city, it has become paramount to transform the overall electrical system smarter.
Charting the Path towards Smart Grids
Rising global energy demand, global warming, and GDP are driving government initiatives to increase energy efficiency, and leapfrog smart grid implementation. Smart grid deployments play an essential role in enhancing grid security, optimizing energy distribution process, and improving energy efficiency for the cities of future.
At present, lack of transparency in the grid results in fault identification process cumbersome and line losses are difficult to measure. When there is a fault in a network, the circuit breaker trips, disconnecting power supply of the entire network. And the network can be restored only after the fault has been restored.
Though FPIs(Fault Passage Indicators)help in identifying the faulty circuits, it is still intense to patrol and identify the fault indicators considering the location of network in remote sites. In such circumstances, the need for M2M driven communicable FPIs emerges.
Distribution Network with Communicable FPIs
Communicable FPIs are realized through integration of hardware component (RTU) and software (M2M Platform)that provides remote fault indication with bi-directional communication. Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) installed on the poles communicates the fault alerts along with accurate location to a central location or concerned maintenance personnel over GSM / GPRS.A network which is “UP” for maximum time increases revenue for the distribution companies and also increases customer satisfaction.
We have realized only the tip of the M2M iceberg, for there is so much that we can truly do. In the year ahead, there is expected to be greater convergence between renewable energy sources, (including solar panels and wind turbines) and smart grid distribution. Advanced smart metering will help customers to manage consumption, and also will enable utilities to transform their service model from managing energy flows to include value-added services like time-based pricing. M2M powered household appliances allows consumers to take advantage of time-based rates, by dropping energy consumption during peak hours. Consumers can talk to their electrical appliances, by remotely switch it on/off during non-peak hours, and can save on energy bills..
It is not smart enough to collect massive amount of data from various subsystems, but to make the best use out of them by analysis and extreme information processing through “Big Data”. Smart grid coupled with Big Data can detect energy theft, trace the source of energy loss, prevent outages, improve grid reliability, forecast demand, and improves speed of grid restoration.