Improving Energy Efficiency Through Intelligent Energy Management
Energy demand and costs are rising year by year. At the same time, we are producing more renewable energy than ever before. Our current energy infrastructure is unable to keep pace with the rising demand. Our electricity grid is old and dated and it is not able to balance supply and demand causing needless waste, blackouts, additional expenses and CO2 emissions.
At the same time, we are also seeing the development of new technologies like plug in all electric and hybrid cars. These not only promise to reduce Co2 emissions but also reduce our oil import bill. But don’t forget, this will increase demands on our transmission lines and power plants.
The obvious answer to all these problems is the smart grid. Intelligent energy management solutions like the smart grid can provide immediate solutions. If they are properly implemented, they will not only help us cut our spending and CO2 emissions but also help us cut our energy use.
At the same time, we will have a solid foundation on which we can develop the energy infrastructure for tomorrow. Let’s not forget that these smart grids will have special requirements. Catalog power supplies won’t suffice; the only option left is custom power supplies.
Technologies like the smart grid will not only shape energy demand but also predict the load. Eventually, it will help us shape that load. Other indirect benefits of the process include increased accountability, improved measurement, verifiable results, and more detailed data analysis.
Note that there are many barriers to intelligent energy management. We need a two way communication channel between the consumers and utility companies that would enable consumers to benefit from the data they get from the utility company to manage their accounts. Embedded engineers will have an important role to play in all this.