Today’s energy companies face a myriad of challenges—ranging from a strict regulatory environment and unstable fuel market pricing to the cybersecurity risks of increased digitization and the rapid pace of technological change. There is a pressing need to make renewable energy less expensive and more reliable while ensuring the monitoring of delivery and operations. Companies need effective, affordable solutions to utilize solar power and other sources of alternative energy to power machinery, building utilities, and home appliances.
Renewable energy, such as residential and commercial solar power, plays an increasing role in the demands on distribution grids and the overall complexity of predicting fluctuating power needs. Power storage, consumer power generation, and automated home energy management systems are also impacting distribution and grid management. Utility companies need more visibility and control, but they do not always have access to data on related systems and assets. Optimization of grids requires increased data-based insight, along with improved manageability across legacy and modern systems. Robust embedded controllers or IoT gateway controllers such as those designed and manufactured by Axiomtek, integrated with software solutions based on the Intel® IoT Platform, help utilities and energy companies gather, filter, and analyze data from the edge to the cloud. This provides essential insight into usage patterns and identifies areas where grid performance can be optimized.
Axiomtek’s embedded computers and IoT gateway devices are designed specifically for harsh operating environments such as smart grid operations. These systems, platforms, and IoT gateway products are built with an open architecture for easy integration with legacy systems. Products are comprehensive, versatile, robust, and highly reliable. With options for advanced, scalable Intel® CPUs, the system selected can optimize smart grid manageability, offer communications capabilities, and ease the process of data transfer and storage for analytics.
Solar panels — made of a series of small semiconductors — convert direct sunlight particles into electrons and then into electricity. This electricity can be stored or delivered directly for usage and applications, such as electricity for manufacturing facilities, HVAC, lighting fixtures, and charging stations for electric vehicles. . Through the RS-485 interface, the ICO300 gateway is connected to PV inverters via Modbus protocol, while the AXView on the brain of a solar station is collecting data, such as voltage, current, sunlight intensity, temperature and humidity, which then is sent to the Microsoft Azure cloud at the far end via 3G or Wi-Fi for display or analytics.
Demand for renewable energy is on the rise. New computer technologies, such as energy storage batteries and smart controllers, have become increasingly more advanced and accessible. Axiomtek designs and manufactures industrial computers and gateway products using highly reliable, scalable, high-performance Intel technologies to support the complex needs of this growing market.