IoT based Sustainability use-cases

ICT for Sustainability


The Internet of Things (IoT) is emerging as one of the most preferred technologies for developing sustainability applications. This is because of multiple reasons. The first and foremost reason is its ability to sense and monitor real-time environmental data such as temperature, pressure, humidity and other such parameters. The second reason is that IoT enables to interconnect of diverse systems from the sectors like infrastructure, manufacturing processes, transportation, energy and supply chain. Through this interconnection, information can be gathered to optimize the operation of complex systems so that environmental load can be minimized. Third is IoT can be easily integrated with other information processing technologies such as blockchain, cloud and fog computing to provide secure access to information from anywhere at any time.

This episode reviews some of the IoT-centric use-cases that aim to improve performance complex systems in terms of their environmental load.

1. Intelligent Transportation System

The Intelligent Transport System (ITS) refers to the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of transport services. Some of the technologies that form the backbone of ITS are Wireless Sensors and actuators, Cloud Computing, and GPS controlled vehicles. The Connected Vehicle (CV) is another related concept that enables the evolution of the next generation of ITS and the Internet of Vehicles(IoV). The connected vehicle refers to using wireless technologies for communicating with other vehicles and the infrastructure offering transport services.

2. Smart Grid

In the energy sector, the increased thrust upon the adoption of renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind) has changed the relationship between energy generators and consumers. The conventional energy systems are mostly fuel or coal-based, centralized, and information flows from the generator to the consumer. The modern energy sector is increasingly using renewable energy sources. Many energy distributors are dispersed along a wide geographical area, and the information flows in both directions. The network of energy generators, distributors and consumers called smart grid is formed through information and communication technologies, sensors, and actuators to effectively operate the energy grid.

3. Industry 4.0

The combination of ICT, IoT and intelligent systems have revolutionized manufacturing and production systems in recent times. This industrial revolution is named Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 has transformed the nature of manufacturing units from the automated one to an autonomous one.

4. Smart home and buildings

Residents can connect the home appliances such as air conditioners, microwave ovens, electric bulbs, the television sets through IoT to minimize power consumptions. In the case of smart buildings, elevators, the parking lots can be operationalized with an aim to minimize power consumption.

5. Geospatial Data Analysis

Low-cost technologies such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Radio Frequency Identifiers (RFID) and GPS enabled devices produce many geospatial data. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) manage and analyze such geospatial data to support urban planning, agriculture and environment monitoring.