Expanding cellular IoT applications in the SA energy sector

Issue 7 2023 IoT & Automation, Power Management

Despite the continuous scourge of load shedding, South Africa remains one of the continent's three largest energy producers and suppliers. With every industry sector requiring electricity to remain operational and competitive, thoughts must turn to how best to balance the continued reliance on the incumbent for supply and embrace alternative measures. This is where cellular Internet of Things (IoT) technology can become a game changer.

Cellular IoT is a way of connecting physical devices to the internet through cellular networks. This is not a new technology, but it has the potential to revolutionise the energy sector in the country. Having devices communicate with each other using the ubiquitous cellular network infrastructure can create an environment where energy resources are managed far more effectively. The core of this is to equip energy systems with sensors and connectivity solutions to monitor, analyse, and control energy distribution in real time.

A smarter way

One only needs to look at the potential of smart grids as one example. Smart grids leverage cellular IoT technology to dynamically monitor energy consumption across different nodes of the grid. This real-time monitoring enables an energy provider to ensure supply is optimised based on demand. This can significantly reduce energy wastage.

For cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town looking to overcome a reliance on traditional supply, these insights can be crucial to better manage alternative sources of energy. At a time when every watt of electricity seems to count, the impact of injecting efficiency into the grid can be monumental.

The real magic happens when we start analysing the data harvested by cellular IoT solutions. Everything from identifying consumption patterns, predicting demand, and making informed decisions on how energy should be distributed can aid in grid management. This data can also enable service providers to become more proactive. The data can be used to predict and highlight potential issues within the grid before they escalate into problems that could disrupt service to homes and businesses for days on end.

Going real-time

Beyond smart grids, cellular IoT can help facilitate real-time monitoring and control of renewable energy resources. The country has significant solar and wind energy potential. Implementing cellular IoT solutions can enhance the efficiency of harnessing, distributing, and monitoring renewable energy, whether you are a farmer in a remote off-grid area or a business operating in the heart of the city. For instance, solar farms equipped with cellular IoT technology can monitor the performance of solar panels, detect anomalies, and optimise operations based on weather forecasts.

Even consumers can benefit from using cellular IoT solutions when it comes to energy management. Imagine a scenario where a homeowner can monitor and control their energy consumption through mobile applications using a high-speed cellular network. Not only can the consumer manage their energy consumption better to save money, but this also helps foster a culture of energy conservation – a step closer to creating a more sustainable energy ecosystem.

Cellular range

At the heart of this transformation lies the innovation of cellular coverage solutions like those offered by Nextivity. These solutions are designed to bridge the connectivity gap, ensuring seamless communication between devices across the energy value chain. For example, Nextivity IntelliBoost technology facilitates reliable cellular connectivity, enabling a data-driven approach to energy management.

The journey towards revolutionising the energy sector in South Africa with cellular IoT applications is one that holds significant promise, but for this to work, all stakeholders must work together and share in a vision of putting in place a sustainable, efficient, and reliable electricity environment for a sustainable future.

Yes, the scale of the energy crisis in South Africa and the rest of the world is not insignificant. Yet, thanks to advanced technology solutions like cellular IoT, there is a need to be positive and optimistic. With the right blend of technology, policy support, and stakeholder engagement, energy management can change for the better and usher in a new era of sustainability and efficiency.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Empowering cities with intelligent security solutions
Secutel Technologies Surveillance IoT & Automation
By leveraging advanced AI analytics, real-time data collection, and seamless integration capabilities, cities can address pressing security challenges and create a safer environment for residents.

The imperative of real-time environmental monitoring
IoT & Automation Mining (Industry)
Real-time monitoring of various parameters, such as air quality, noise levels, dust particulate matter and air velocity, can provide insights into working conditions and equipment performance.

A constant armed struggle
Technews Publishing XtraVision Editor's Choice Integrated Solutions Mining (Industry) IoT & Automation
SMART Security Solutions asked a few people involved in servicing mines to join us for a virtual round table and give us their insights into mine security today. A podcast of the discussion will be released shortly-stay tuned.

The promise of mobile credentials
Technews Publishing Suprema neaMetrics HID Global Editor's Choice Access Control & Identity Management IoT & Automation
SMART Security Solutions examines the advantages and disadvantages of mobile credentials in a market dominated by cards and fobs, in which biometrics is viewed as a secure alternative.

Eliminate privacy concerns and enhance security
Suprema Access Control & Identity Management IoT & Automation
Suprema’s Template on Mobile enables secure access to corporate facilities and assets using facial recognition biometric devices, while protecting users’ privacy.

SA fleets face internal and external pressures
IoT & Automation Transport (Industry) Logistics (Industry)
Thousands of trucks clog South African border points and ports, causing shipping companies to levy congestion surcharges; fleet managers must enforce safety rules, develop comprehensive training programmes focusing on early warning systems and AI-powered technology

A simple system for complex protection
Surveillance AI & Data Analytics IoT & Automation
Reconeyez is a company that provides autonomous wireless visual verification systems with built-in artificial intelligence. Running on batteries, each device includes communication capabilities, creating a mesh network between the various devices, linking them to the control room.

Zero Trust in 2024
Mantis Security Integrated Solutions IoT & Automation
The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications and uses in 2024 will profoundly impact security operations and AI-driven analytics, which can enhance threat detection, anomaly identification and predictive maintenance.

Regal fusses over Fluss
Regal Distributors SA IoT & Automation Smart Home Automation
When the team from Fluss brought their Bluetooth-enabled device to Regal’s research team, they were hooked. Effortless in its simplicity, the Fluss device means no more losing remotes, endless waiting at the gate for visitors, scanning fingerprints, etc.

Revolutionising networking technology for the future
Infrastructure IoT & Automation
[Sponsored] In the fast-evolving landscape of networking technology, RUCKUS Networks stands out as a trailblazer, offering innovative solutions that redefine connectivity experiences across various industries.