Energy management Q&A: “NB-IoT and AI are game-changers,” says Honeywell
New Jersey-based Honeywell is a stalwart in smart energy systems, with focus particularly on industrial and enterprise solutions. It is proviidng managed smart grid services as a way for utilities to manage technical smart grid networks more easily, and enable improved electricity service and reliability.
Its energy solutions have a stronghold on the demand-side, too, notably in large venues. Its solutions have expanded to provide complementary services, alongside straight energy management. Earlier this month (June), it launched an airport analytics solution to enhance the safety and efficiency of airside operations at airports.
It has partnered with AT&T to deliver IoT technology to aircraft and freight carriers globally, combining AT&T’s global IoT connectivity arrangements with its own IoT solutions to help companies improve reliability and operational efficiency. It is also providing energy-based analytics solutions to improve quality and comfort levels of workspaces.
Here, as part of a wider investigation into the state of change in the power market, we catch up with Ann Perreault, global director of connected utilities for Honeywell’s process solutions division.
What are the biggest challenges for smart grids (distributed energy, load balancing etc)?
“One of the major challenges for utilities is working toward grid modernization and in the process having to transform their business. Top areas of focus are often around how to intelligently manage distributed grid resources, balance distributed assets, integrate customer-owned generation and how to deploy software to manage the digital grid capabilities.”
How can technology solve these challenges?
“Technology is key to solving the grid challenges today. The emerging capabilities are enabling grid automation, self-healing and improved safety. Investments in technology are necessary to turn the massive amounts of data from connected assets, distributed resources and customer-owned generation into actionable insights.”
What are the newest / most exciting technologies in play?
“One of the game changers is the emergence of NB-IoT. The move toward wireless communications allows utilities to identify issues on the grid in real time. In addition, it enables them to deploy edge intelligence for self-healing and overall grid automation.
“Data analytics represents another big leap for utilities. Machine learning and AI enable utilities to leverage the power of data to implement predictive and proactive capabilities that for the first time allow them to mitigate grid issues in advance, reduce maintenance costs and improve revenue. “
How is IoT playing in smart grids?
“IoT is enabling smarter grid operations, improved customer engagement and better insights into utility networks. The intelligence derived from the growth of IoT has just begun, and so much more will be uncovered. The industry has only started to explore the use cases made possible through the massive amounts of data coming from connected technologies. The power of compute and data science is still in its infancy for utilities.
How are you working in the smart grid sector?
“Honeywell is a smart grid technology company with a focus on metering, controls and automation. We work with electric, water and gas utilities globally helping them improve reliability, optimize operations, distribution integrity and customer engagement. Honeywell’s portfolio of solutions and services is based on our extensive domain expertise and is designed to enable utilities to have better insights into their ecosystems, with proven scale and interoperability.”
What are you doing with smart meters?
“We are a global smart metering technology company. We continue to invest in the advancement of smart metering with a focus on integrity, edge intelligence and public wireless communications (NBIoT, LTE as examples) in addition to private network offerings when desired. At Smart Energy, we provide solutions that measure, monitor and automate from edge to cloud, enabling utility operations to run more efficiently, reliably and cost effectively. We provide them with valuable, actionable data to better serve their customers.”
Can you give examples, with detail of the impacts?
“Cost savings, improved reliability, quality, safety, revenue benefits plus improved customer satisfaction scores are all measurable outcomes. Results will vary by utility and region but cost effectiveness of the investments and operations are key.”
Check out the new editorial report from Enterprise IoT Insights, called ‘Keeping the lights on – with green power’, which looks at development of IoT technologies in the energy and power market . The full report, free to download, is available here.