Sustainability and IoT in the embedded systems industry
At the embedded world Exhibition&Conference 2023 a panel of experts at the exhibitor forum discussed some of the latest developments and ideas as to how IoT can support enhanced sustainability in the electricity sector but also how using renewable energy sources can power embedded IoT devices to make them more independent of battery changes and prolong the lifetime of IoT devices.
Two different perspectives on sustainability and IoT
The Internet of Things offers us a broad range of technology solutions to help make our world more sustainable. It particular in the energy sector with home and building energy management systems based on embedded and IoT technologies much success is being achieved.
The increased generation of electricity from intermittent sources poses challenges for the electricity grid and IoT solutions can play a significant role here in support demand response applications and creating flexibility for the grid by linking them to home and building energy management systems, industrial control systems, etc.
While IoT supports sustainability, there is also the question of sustainability for the IoT itself. The majority of IoT devices are battery powered, which requires costly battery charging/changing for prolonged operation. The billions of IoT devices manufactured every year often have bespoke applications and are not sufficiently reused contributing electronic waste.
Dr. Rolf Riemenschneider, European Commission, Laurent Schmitt, Digital4Grids, Dr. Peter Spies, Fraunhofer IIS, and Dr.-Ing. Lena Yoshihara-Lisch, Chief Expert Innovation Manager, Diehl Metering, addressed both sustainability angles of the IoT with their host Prof. Dr. Dipl. Ing. Dirk Pesch, University College Cork, National University of Ireland at the exhibitor forum of embedded world 2023.
Using environmental energy sources through energy harvesting is the key to sustainability of IoT for Dr. Peter Spies. Under this precondition IoT provides the chance to make buildings smart and reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector – one of the major drivers of the climate change –, added Dr. Rolf Riemenschneider.
With the topic of security standards, the panellists highlighted another point that plays an important role with regard to the sustainability of IoT systems. This is because safety standards are indirectly linked to the issue of sustainability through their influence on the life cycle of a product.