Era of Smart Meters

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Smart meters are used to provide real-time monitoring of the electricity usage to the customer as well as electricity providers. Deployment of smart meters is an inseparable part of power distribution automation components to extend the benefits for the customers. Thus, it is a big trend present in power distribution automation components.

Benefits offered by smart meters are not only restricted to customers and utility providers, rather, the government also benefitted as the real-time information of electricity usage makes the customers conscious about their energy utilization and thus reduces the power wastage and optimum utilization of power generating capacity.

Coupling Energy Storage and Renewables

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Intelligent energy storage integrates Internet of Things (IoT) technology with energy storage technology to increase its effectiveness and efficiency. One of the benefits it offers is increasing the feasibility and utility of integrating renewable energy with energy storage. This leads to numerous energy saving benefits that can be especially attractive to businesses as they pursue renewable energy goals. For example, Google parent Alphabet plans to reach its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2017; Apple says that 96 percent of the electricity it uses already comes from renewable energy; and Facebook is positioning itself to hit the 50 percent mark by 2018. In addition, the prices of renewables such as solar and wind have fallen about 80 percent in the last 10 years according to reports. Energy storage is becoming a major player in the global energy market and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. As component prices decline, the benefits of energy storage will become both more attainable and attractive. Integration with the IoT will create additional advantages through intelligent energy storage to facilitate integration of energy storage and renewables as well.

Smart Solar Panels

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Smart solar panels, controls and monitoring momentum has increased sharply. PV panels with integrated electronics addressed a wide range of applications from optimization, to monitor, to rapid shut down compliance. Smart solar junction boxes for OEM panels and modular plug-and-play solutions could be seen throughout the event. Industry standards need to be addressed to ensure interoperability and mechanical intermateability among the variety of application opportunities. Smart solar products will be a vital link in the convergence of smart buildings and home automation systems. These systems will now link self-generation and energy storage with demand consumption enabling the owner occupier to have greater independence.