Implementing applications of IoT in smart grid technology is essential

Features and Applications of IoT in Smart Grid Technology

Humans have been on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years. For most of that time, we have made use of both natural and renewable energy sources like the wind and sun, but we couldn’t fully harness either due to a lack of understanding of how these sources worked. After proceeding through three industrial revolutions fueled by natural depletable resources, we are finally returning to our energy roots—albeit with a much greater understanding of how these amazing renewable sources can benefit us.

Today, most production facilities are in or entering the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. And the energy grid that supplies power to these factories, as well as commercial and residential structures, are also incorporating technologies commonly applied for Industry 4.0. This includes IoT (Internet of things), which is based on cloud software, wireless communications, and high-quality PCBAs and electronic hardware. As a result of IoT's many applications, the most advanced smart grid technology is achievable with optimized software and hardware implementations.

How the Energy Grid is Getting Smarter

The energy grid has come a long way from the marvel that provided light. Today, a reliable energy system—supply, transmission, and distribution—is critical for virtually every aspect of society. Consequently, the energy grid is required to not only meet energy demands, but to also be smart enough to monitor itself and make changes when necessary to ensure continued power system operation.

Additional demands on the grid have forced utilities to adopt new technologies such as IoT and use more advanced circuit boards and software. The advantages listed below are potentially realizable with smart grid technology adoption and installation.

Advantages of Applying IoT in Smart Grid Technology

  • ➔ Improved utilization of renewable energy technology
  • ➔ More resiliency (less and shorter brownouts and outages)
  • ➔ More efficient operations
  • ➔ Lower customer electricity rates
  • ➔ Better planning and contingency response

This capability is based on bilateral communication capability supported by sensors, energy converters, rectifiers, switches, and other power electronic devices. And system success is based, to a large extent, on the quality of board development.

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Optimizing the Applications of IoT in Smart Grid Systems

In order for the energy grid to make intelligent decisions, it must possess the hardware and software necessary for gathering data and executing various actions. These actions include analyzing data and delivering appropriate controls or signals. For maximal system control and response, both software and hardware implementations need to be optimized. For software, building the best network of apps and prioritizing security are crucial. However, both of these tools that allow for applications of IoT in smart grid technology depend on how well the quality of your PCBA development process meets the 4.0 standard. Following the guidelines below will help you achieve this objective.

Guidelines for Optimizing Application of IoT in Smart Grid Systems

  • Follow IoT board regulations and standards
    Fast, reliable wireless communication is common for IoT architectures. The same is true for smart grid systems, which employ this technology. Therefore, it is necessary to  ensure that regulations such as those outlined in FCC Title 47 are strictly adhered to.
  • Design for good EMC
    A major consideration in any high-voltage and/or current environment is minimizing EMI and achieving good EMC between system elements, including PCBAs, and limiting the effects on signal integrity.
  • Prioritize security and thermal dissipation
    Power system electronics are driven by power supplies and other converters. For these boards, removing elevated heat and excess energy is critical to system security.
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  • Performs multiple automated inspections during PCB assembly to ensure PCB quality for prototyping.
  • Smooth transition from prototyping to production.

Following the guidelines above will aid you in developing circuit boards and electronics products that meet the standards for IoT implementation in smart grid systems. Often, these boards are complex, including multi-signal operation. Therefore, you should rely on a CM that has experience and specializes in building energy PCBAs, such as Tempo Automation.

Tempo employs a white-box turnkey PCBA manufacturing process that promotes collaboration and transparency between engineers and CMs. This allows us to quickly deliver high-quality boards for both standard and non-standard designs that meet energy industry criteria for prototyping and on-demand production. We also provide downloadable DRC files in Altium Designer, Cadence Allegro, Mentor Pads, other CAD formats, and Excel.

If you are ready to have your design manufactured, try our quote tool to upload your CAD and BOM files. If you want more information on CAD files or how to incorporate your design into a CAD format, contact us.

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