IoT Blog

IoT Blog

Open Hardware to Accelerate Energy-Saving IoT Solutions

Managing and optimizing energy consumption is a major concern for utilities, enterprises and consumers worldwide. There are many governmental initiatives in the U.S. and European Union that aim to improve energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings. But how can consumers reduce unnecessary energy consumption if they can’t measure how much energy each appliance is using? Consumers need some help to monitor their usage patterns, as well as tools to optimize their energy consumption.

Designing and deploying a smart energy solution is a lot easier than you might think.

This creates an opportunity for energy companies and utilities to help their customers and the environment by providing value-added services that optimize energy use. It can also lead to new service revenues and improve customer loyalty.

Our demonstration at DistribuTECH in February showed that designing and deploying a smart energy solution is a lot easier than you might think.

Making it easier to build a smart energy solution

For the demonstration, we built a cellular gateway using a mangOH® development board to collect energy consumption data from “smart plugs” (represented by Energate’s load manager) connected to power-consuming appliances, including heating and cooling systems. The data was then transmitted through Sierra’s mobile network to the IoT Acceleration Platform, which connects the consumption information to the energy company’s client application.

The same IoT platform can also be used to upgrade the smart meter’s embedded module over-the-air, in order to optimize the connectivity and security performance.

You can see a Smart Energy Monitoring dashboard sample below. Energy companies can provide basic meter reading, household energy consumption information and even direct billing on this web portal. In addition, they can provide precise consumption data by appliances, and remote control capability to optimize energy consumption. For example, a consumer could remotely turn on the heater a couple of hours before returning from a ski trip, instead of keeping the heat on during the entire holiday.

Focus on your application, not the infrastructure

To build this kind of IoT solution in-house, you would need to purchase big data storage and hire IoT expertise in the big data, telecom and data security domains to develop and maintain the infrastructure for building business services. Moreover, it will take on average one to two years to design, test and validate before you can deploy it.

Sierra Wireless’s open hardware and device-to-cloud solution, with integrated device, connectivity and IoT platform, can reduce that development window from two years to mere months, shortening time to market and mitigating risky up-front IT investment.
All of the tools to build new IoT services quickly and securely are available today.

Talk to a Sierra Wireless IoT expert to find out how we can help your business capitalize on the IoT opportunity.

Find out more about Project mangOH® open hardware and our device-to-cloud solution.