The application of Internet of things technology in the field of intelligent energy

1. Introduction of the Internet of Things 

1.1 Definition of the Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things (or IoT) refers to a huge network formed with the Internet, it can, through a variety of information sensing equipment, collect real-time information which needs monitoring, continuous and interactive objects or processes and other needs. It aims to achieve the connection between objects and objects, objects and people, all items and network, and it is easy to identify, manage and control. The Internet of Things is the Internet in which things are connected with each other, it is an important part of the new generation of information technology and also an important development stage in the "information" era. The Internet of Things contains two meanings: 

 The core and foundation of the Internet of Things is still the Internet, and is a network extends and expands based on the Internet; 

 Its user side has extended between all objects, the exchange of information and communication can be carried out, that is, things together. 

Through intelligent perception, recognition technology, pervasive computing and other perception technologies, the Internet of Things is widely used in the integration of the network, and therefore is called as the third wave of the world's information industry after the computer and the internet. The Internet of Things is the expanded application of the Internet, so it's more a business and application of Internet than a network. Thus, the application innovation is the core of the Internet of Things development, and the innovation 2.0 centered on user experience is the soul of the Internet of Things development. 

In order to better define the Internet of Things and describe the characteristics of the Internet of Things, the basic feature comparisons of Internet of Things and Internet are shown in the following Table: 

Comparative analysis Table of features of Internet of Things and Internet


As can be seen from the above Table, there are significant differences between the Internet of Things and Internet, but there is also a close relationship between them. The Internet of Things is an advanced network form based on the Internet, and the common point between the Internet of Things and Internet is that: the technical basis is the same, that is, they are both built on the basis of grouped data technology. The differences between the Internet of Things and the Internet are: grouped data network, which is used to carry the Internet of Things and Internet, has different requirements for the network, whether in network organization form or network function and performance. The requirements of the Internet for the network performance are: "Best effort" transfer capability and priority based resource management, it has no requirements for security, reliability, controllability, manageability, etc. The Internet of Things has much higher requirements for the network, and it has high requirements for real-time, security and credibility, resource security and so on. So from this point of view, the two are different. 

1.2 Critical technologies of the Internet of Things 

Technology is the foundation of application, and the Internet of Things needs to be supported by numerous advanced technologies to achieve perception, identification, communication and other functions between objects. At present, the critical technologies of the Internet of Things include: 

 Sensor node technology: sensors can detect and sense external signals, physical conditions or chemical components and pass the detected information to other devices. It mainly includes sensor technology, RFID radio-frequency technology and micro embedded system; 

 Networking and interconnection technology: it is the link to realize the functions of the Internet of Things, including: construct a new distributed wireless sensor networking structure, distributed perception based dynamic grouping technology, the Internet of Things unit redundancy technology, which can achieve high reliability, seamless access or disconnection and network self-balancing technology; 

 Global positioning system: it can achieve precise positioning of objects by combining satellite and communication technology, the existing systems include GPS of the United States, China's Beidou system, the European Union's Galileo system, and Russia's Greg Nath system; 

 Applied technology: it refers to application technologies which serve for specific industry or achieve specific function, including: sensing information processing technology, system software, sensor application abstraction and standardization and application software and platform technology; 

 New material technology: the new material technologies of the Internet of Things mainly include the nanotechnology which can further miniaturize the sensor nodes, the anti-oxidation technology which can improve the reliability of the sensor and the integrated circuit technology which can reduce the power consumption of the sensor. 

2. Technical architecture of the Internet of Things 

Although there is no unified statement about the definition of Internet of Things at present, there is a basically unified understanding of the technology architecture of Internet of Things, and it is divided into three big layers, including sensing layer, network layer and application layer. As shown in the Figure below: 


2.1 Application layer 

Application layer completes the collection, coordination, sharing, interworking, analysis, decision-making and other functions of the item information, which is equivalent to the control layer and decision-making layer of the Internet of Things. The fundamental element of the Internet of Things serves people. The application layer completes the final interaction between objects and people, the first two layers collect the object information in a wide range and summarize them in the application layer for unified analysis and decision-making, they are used to supporting cross-industry, cross-application and cross-system information coordination, sharing and interworking, so it can improve the comprehensive utilization of information and serve people to the greatest extent. Its specific application services return to various previously mentioned industry applications, such as intelligent traffic, intelligent medical treatment, intelligent home, intelligent logistics, intelligent electric power, etc. 

2.2 Network layer 

The network layer can finish a wide range of information communication mainly by means of the existing wide area network communication systems (such as PSTN network, 2G/3G mobile network, Internet, etc.), it can send the information perceived by the sensing layer to all places in the world quickly, reliably and safely, so that objects can communicate in a long distance and a large scope and the communication within the earth can be achieved. Of course, the existing public networks are designed for human application, after the large-scale development of the Internet of Things, new communication technologies which meet the data communication requirements of the Internet of Things also appear gradually, such as LoRa technology, NB-IoT technology and so on. 

2.3 Sensing layer 

The sensing layer is a prerequisite for the objects to speak, which is mainly used for collecting physical events and data in the physical world, including various physical quantities, identifications, location information, audio, video data and so on. The data collection of the Internet of Things involves sensors, RFID, multimedia information collection, two-dimensional code, real-time positioning and other technologies. The sensing layer is divided into 2 parts: data collection and execution, as well as short distance wireless communication. Data collection and implementation mainly use intelligent sensor technology, identity recognition and other information acquisition technologies, which can collect the basic information of the objects and receive the control information sent by the upper network and complete the corresponding execution action. It can not only express all kinds of information to the network, but also, receive the control command of the network and complete the corresponding action. Short distance wireless communication can complete the function of information concentration and intercommunication of multiple objects in a small range. 

3. Application of Internet of Things in the Smart Energy Field 

3.1 Application of Internet of Things technology in intelligent grid 

Intelligent grid can insert the energy with intelligent judgement and adaptive capacity into the network uniformly and manage it in a distributed way. This is just the representative application of the Internet of Things concept in practice. Through the Internet of Things technology, the power grid and the user's information can be monitored and collected in a real-time manner, and the power supply, transmission and electrical equipment which have been embedded in intelligent modules can be connected as a whole, so the physical entity network access of each device can be achieved, it can realize the energy substitution and the optimal allocation and utilization of power through intelligence, information and network management. 

Intelligent instrument is a kind of electric meter that uses computer technology, communication technology and so on, the intelligent chip is the core element of it, and it has the functions of automatic metering and billing or data transmission, overload power outage, power use management and so on. Intelligent instruments on this stage include single-phase electronic watch and three-phase electronic watch. It can be divided into many kinds according to functions. The intelligent instrument can manage and control the power consumption equipment at any place and provide various value-added services. Relying on the Internet of Things technology, in an intelligent grid era, users can check the power consumption of each device and even the operation condition of the entire power grid system in a real-time manner, set their own use power and time of electrical equipment, and select the optimal energy use scheme, to improve the efficiency of energy utilization. 

3.2 Application of Internet of Things technology in large data center computer room monitoring 

With the development of Internet applications, all kinds of large or ultra-large data centers are appeared and a variety of monitoring and management systems are established in order to ensure safe, stable and reliable operations of the data center through monitoring, control and management of the physical and operational conditions, power distribution status, equipment operating conditions, personnel activities and fire conditions including possible critical conditions of the data center. 

Various subsystems are organically combined to form a unified whole through applying the technology of Internet of Things to effectively reduce the personnel cost, improve operational efficiency and enhance decision-making capacity, greatly improving the operation and management level of the entire data center. 

The subsystems that need to be connected include: power monitoring system (for power distribution monitoring, diesel generator monitoring, UPS monitoring, etc.), air conditioning equipment monitoring, temperature and humidity monitoring, image and video monitoring, leakage detection, access control, fire system monitoring and fire control power supply monitoring. 

3.3 Application of Internet of Things technology in energy consumption management of colleges and universities 

Colleges and universities cover a relatively large area, and there is a wide range of buildings with various functions. At the same time, setting teaching, scientific research and life in one, colleges and universities are both districts with high population density and important energy consumers, so the establishment of comprehensive energy consumption management system of colleges and universities by Internet of Things is especially important. 

In the energy consumption management system of colleges and universities, it involves the sub-systems of power management, water supply management, heating management and other subsystems, and it is required to carry out the classified storage of energy consumption information according to teaching building, dormitory, dining room, library, laboratory, office and other functional buildings, set up energy consumption index, carry out energy consumption assessment and so on, to provide better and more scientific decision support for managers and lay the foundation for scientific and efficient management. 

There is no need to build a dedicated communication network, the interconnection of equipment and subsystem can be achieved by use of the existing campus network, Internet, field bus, short distance wireless communication technology, and this is the essence of the concept of Internet of Things. 

3.4 Application of Internet of Things technology in energy consumption management of hospitals 

In the planning and construction of the hospital energy consumption management system, the Internet of Things, by taking real-time online energy data, energy quality detection and energy automatic control as the system support, can achieve integrated energy management and control and carry out energy statistics, analysis, diagnosis, prediction and scheduling. Through these effective technologies and management tools, they can effectively improve the energy management of the hospital, reduce the energy expenditure, and tap the energy-saving potential to achieve "energy saving and efficiency improvement". 

4. Application prospect of Internet of Things technology in a smart energy field 

The main use of the Internet of Things in the field of smart energy are automatic monitoring, automatic meter reading, achieving the automatic reading of electricity, water, gas, heat, cold and other user usage data, as well as the subsequent cost calculation according to usage number, energy distribution optimization, energy saving and consumption reduction measures and so on. 

Another application of Internet of Things in the field of smart energy is the energy distribution and the remote monitoring and maintenance management of energy use facilities, in view of the continuity and real-time feature of energy distribution and use, the related safety indicators will be very harsh. 

Internet of Things technology can build a data channel connecting the users, equipment and equipment suppliers, thus providing a strong data support for continuous improvement of equipment, upgrade iteration and active intelligent maintenance.