Smart cities run on data collected by devices powered by the Internet of Things. Data is autonomously fed back to a centralized control centre, which allows real-time decisions to be made and acted upon.
Cities are known for welcoming change, and two aspects of city life which are greatly benefiting from integrating this technology are energy and transport. By identifying and investigating the key challenges our urban spaces are facing, we can assess the smart tech solutions which are helping to digitalise our energy and transport network systems, and create smart cities.
Energy challenges are high in the public consciousness. Since COP21 – where the international community agreed to restrict global temperature increase to below 2 degrees – cities have been forced to consider new ways of providing energy to citizens.
One of the main challenges in cities is the unsustainable demand for energy –75 per cent of global energy is consumed by cites. From heating homes to fuelling travel, energy and access to it are an integral part of modern living and must be supported by appropriate infrastructure.
However, the condition of archaic infrastructure is no longer efficient, cannot accommodate higher energy demands and is not compatible with new technology.
Modern cities cannot function without reliable access to energy. In response, we must both update old infrastructure with smart tech and harness the use of renewable energy. This situation has created an opportunity to integrate new technology and establish smart cities.
Two key technologies which will transform our future energy systems are IoT-enabled smart grids and advancements in battery storage. Together, they will help to improve energy distribution and storage in smart cities.
The installation of smart grids, enabled by the IoT, will change the way energy is distributed and consumed. Powered by demand-response systems, which allow for a real-time monitoring of customer requests, smart grids can autonomously react to energy supply and demand.
Smart grids can also adjust the distribution of energy, controlling demand more efficiently and sharing it more effectively. Smart meters, which are currently being installed in urban buildings across the globe, will support this change by autonomously reporting customer demands to suppliers, who in turn can react and optimise how much energy is required.
This is part of a longer article in the latest issue of PEI Magazine. To read the full article click here. If you don’t already subscribe, it’s free, quick and easy.
Smart technology and smart cities will be discussed in-depth at Electrify Europe in Vienna this month. To find out more and register to attend, click here.