Expanding cellular IOT applications in SA's energy sector
Despite the continuous scourge of load-shedding, South Africa remains one of the three largest energy producers and suppliers on the continent. 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 embracing 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 being able to make informed decisions on how energy should be distributed can be used to aid in grid management. But 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.
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.
At the heart of this transformation lies the innovation of cellular coverage solutions like those offered by Nextivity. Our 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.
Since its formation in 1984 by CEO, Graham Duxbury, Duxbury Networking has embraced ongoing technological changes within the ICT sector in order to provide its customers with access to the latest trends and solutions. Satisfying the evolving and diverse needs of its customer base is achieved through an emphasis on sourcing cost-effective, high-quality products from carefully selected local and international vendors. Aligned with this is the provision of uncompromising technical support, which is possible due to an extensive investment in the training and upskilling of its team. The company is driven to take an active role in reshaping and redefining the South African digital landscape in its mission to help its customers build a network that will support current and future technologies.