The IoT and the environment: Saving money and the planet with smarter stuff
The Internet of Things is seemingly everywhere these days, so it’s no surprise that IoT technology has been a huge boon for the clean/green/sustainability sector — and, consequently, the environment.
IoT technology helps utility companies and other energy providers expand their services by linking up with countless decentralized devices and energy sources like solar panels and microgrids to reduce strain on conventional power sources. It benefits numerous industries by improving connectivity, reducing energy waste and allowing for the collection of energy data that can then be analyzed to enhance delivery and efficiency. In a more direct way for consumers, IoT means greater control of home energy use via smartphones or tablets. The result: greater sustainability and lower energy costs.
Here are 13 ways the IoT in cleantech benefits companies and individuals.
Location: Austin, Texas
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Curb helps its customers make their homes more energy efficient and affordable through circuit-level electricity monitoring, real-time reporting, smart alerts and remote energy controls. Plugging directly into breaker panels, it gives real-time data about energy use and production.
Location: Sunnyvale, California
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Through its sensor and analytics platform, Enlighted helps commercial buildings improve workplace comfort, reduce energy costs and enhance occupant comfort by offering smart lighting, demand-driven heating and cooling and data on employee movement that’s culled by the company’s advanced Sensor Network and used to optimize workspaces in a variety of ways.
Industry impact: Enlighted was bought by Siemens in mid-2018.
Location: Palo Alto, California
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Nest’s contribution to the cleantech sector are its programmable, Wi-Fi enabled, Energy Star certified thermostats that learn what temperature users prefer and builds a schedule around that setting. The company claims that since 2011, Nest Thermostat has saved billions of kilowatt hours of energy in millions of homes worldwide as well as delivering significant cost savings on heating and cooling.
Industry impact: A formerly independent subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, Nest was recently reintegrated with the search giant in an attempt to boost growth of its hardware, software and service products.
Location: San Francisco, California
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Wexus makes IoT software that helps the world’s food supply chain by letting users remotely connect to utility data to track a variety of things, from irrigation pumps and buildings to processing equipment and solar set-ups. If pumps need maintenance or repair, users are alerted. Energy and water data can be streamed via pump-installed hardware, irrigation schedules can be more tightly controlled and energy usage more carefully monitored for cost savings.
Industry impact: Wexus recently scored a $100,000 investment from Village Capital’s Food and Agriculture: US 2018 program operated in partnership with Campbell Soup Company.
Location: Palo Alto, California
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Industrial IoT is an integral part of Maana’s knowledge extraction process through which different data silos and information sources are mined and then analyzed to reveal intra-asset or intra-process relationships. Oil and gas companies are increasingly investing in sustainable analytics technology.
Industry impact: Maana recently opened a London office, its fifth location since 2013.
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Sensus provides IoT-enabled technology for utilities, cities and college campuses that improves measurement, control and analytics. That means new applications for smarter cities, safer gas usage with less pipeline loss, extended grid coverage, more efficient lighting and an optimized water cycle.
Industry impact: Sensus reported created more than 300 jobs in Durham, N.C.
Location: London, England
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: CityMapper uses IoT connectivity for its car sharing service, which reduces traffic and is less harmful to the environment.
Industry impact: BlueSky International recently used CityMapper to capture imagery of major U.K. cities.
Location: Liberty Lake, Washington
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: The IoT helps Itron measure, manage and analyze energy and water use via smart utility meters that collect, store and send data to smartphones and tablets, among other devices and destinations.
Industry impact: Itron recently inked a contract with Waco, Texas to install smart water communication modules and leak sensors.
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Blue Pillar provides IoT power and energy management services that give companies more insight into their energy needs in order to enhance efficiency and better prepare for a potential grid outage. Industries include healthcare, educational institutions and local and federal governments, military and research labs.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Embue’s IoT technology creates smart apartment buildings that give residents and owners more control over equipment, environment and in-home experience. The company’s Embue Remote smartphone app, for example, lets residents control thermostats, sensors and leak detectors via smartphone. Analyzed IoT-collected data is used for predictive monitoring and real-time energy savings.
Industry impact: Embue was recently named to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s DeployMass Commercially Ready Technology List.
Location: Petaluma, California
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: HydroPoint uses IoT technology to provide smart water management for irrigation applications using sensor data analytics. Among its products: WeatherTRAK is a cloud-based irrigation controller that operates in real-time; HydroPoint 360° Smart Water Management installs beneath kitchen sinks. HydroPoint serves industries ranging from commercial real estate and hospitality to medical and retail, among others.
Industry impact: The company’s recently released WeatherTRAK Mobile gives field technicians the ability to manage operations remotely.
Location: Milpitas, California
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Greenvity’s IoT-enabled focus is on smart LED lighting, controlled street lighting, home and building automation, IoT sensors, smart meters and automotive, all of which are more easily integrated via the company’s Powerline Communications Technology (PLC). Greenvity’s goal is to make “smart devices smarter” and the future greener.
Location: San Jose, California
How it’s using IoT in cleantech: Artveoli’s IoT Air Panel device, disguised as art, removes carbon dioxide and converts it into oxygen using photosynthetic algae cells. The result: fresher air, better health and more efficient building ventilation.
Industry impact: Artveoli is the brainchild of scientist-inventors Alina Adams and Anastasia Neddersen.
Images via Shutterstock and social media