IoT Health Index & Overview
IoT devices can provide utility companies with essential data for the reliable operation of today's and future grid. It is necessary to have a proper IoT health monitoring system to gain an overview of IoT health for maximum value.
The Utility Problem
As the grid continues to evolve through the energy transition, utility companies will rely on data more and more, namely their operations and planning teams. Access to data and the accuracy of the data are paramount to running the grid reliably and optimally. With the evolution of the grid, more and more Internet of Things (IoT) sensors exist in distribution service areas. With potentially millions of IoT sensors managed by a single utility, issues with their state (health) and data communication are guaranteed. They could be caused by various influences, such as manufacturing quality, environmental conditions, and the age of the component.
IoT devices like smart meters, line sensors, smart reclosers/breakers or smart inverters are distinct asset groups within the utility. These asset groups should have a systematic approach to their state monitoring and health overview. If this aspect is neglected, it might influence multiple areas of the IoT operation, ranging from increased operational expenditures or data communication issues.
In the area of state monitoring and health overview, it is essential to follow indicators of the correct operation of IoT devices. IoT health data like temperature, battery voltage, communication signal strength, moisture or other parameters are vital sources of information to determine if an IoT device is operating correctly. IoT devices which are not in a good state – poor IoT device health – can lead to multiple issues such as incomplete data or inaccurate data reading.
Incomplete or inaccurate data readings due to IoT health could have numerous detrimental impacts. Due to missing or incorrect data, the operations team could make decisions that could cause the grid to run inefficiently or, even more concerning, could overload the circuit causing component failure and outages. In addition, the future of the grid is incredibly complex and requires comprehensive planning. This planning dramatically depends on accurate, historical data, often gathered from IoT devices. With the inability to access this data or if the information is inaccurate, the planning of the grid will be jeopardized, which could lead to enormous economic costs and potentially dangerous construction and operation.
Overall, IoT devices can provide utility companies with essential data for the reliable operation of today’s and future grid. For maximum value from the installed IoT device fleet, it is necessary to have a proper IoT health monitoring system to gain an overview of IoT health. With this system in place, the utility can operate the IoT devices more efficiently.
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