The need for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar has been shown to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, using renewable energy can reduce the use of fossil fuels, which are major sources of carbon dioxide emissions. Germany is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, by 55 percent by 2030 with renewables to make up 80 percent of the country’s gross power consumption by 2050.
And innogy – an Essen, Germany-based utility provider – is at the forefront of that transition. The utility offers energy generated from renewable sources to both businesses and households, supporting 22 million customers across Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, and in areas of Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe.
But leveraging renewable energy sources isn’t always a stable, predictable and consistent process. The supply of power fluctuates because sometimes the sun doesn’t shine during the day. Sometimes the wind doesn’t blow. So to help address this fluctuating supply of power, innogy needed an IoT solution to help reduce Germany’s carbon footprint, all while maintaining a balance between energy supply and consumption.
The energy provider uses Cisco 807 (IR807) Industrial Integrated Services Routers at its remote utilities infrastructure as well as secondary substations. These secondary substations transform power to safe levels for residential and business customers. And because of their special role within the grid, the operational staff must follow numerous safety protocols to keep everything running.
But even in less traditional network environments such as secondary substations, data still needs to be collected and transferred securely so analysis can be conducted offsite.
At innogy, massive amounts of data are collected at secondary substations as the power is transformed. For a utility provider, transformer and power data along with data that provides the status of renewable energy sources is critical to collect. With the help of control systems, innogy can capture data at these remote sites, then transfer it to the command center for analysis.
With Cisco, innogy can connect weather sensors to our industrial routers to help synchronize live weather updates to its control center. This is just another example of how extending a network beyond traditional spaces can help enterprises get new insights from the data they collect.
Better technology for a better future
Germany’s utility leader shows no signs of stopping when it comes to innovating with Cisco IoT. The provider is already in early stages of testing and deploying the new Cisco IR1101 Integrated Services Router Rugged to continue to build its robust network.