The global energy landscape is continuing to evolve as it moves further ahead in its adoption of digital technologies. The IoT in particular has emerged as a crucial rallying point for energy companies who are looking to boost their efforts in cost reduction, improve productivity and safety. This support for IoT technology can largely be attributed to the benefits that stand to be derived from the remote monitoring of equipment and production sites. From a technical standpoint, by combining different components in energy systems with sophisticated sensors, companies are able to collect important data remotely and act on the information rapidly, ushering in previously untapped efficiencies. This capability can provide organisations with essential insights to the overall health of their operations, highlighting areas that need improvement – ultimately saving companies valuable manpower and countless hours.

Primary examples of this in action include the continuous monitoring of operations and production sites, such as oil rigs, solar panels and wind turbines, to ensure these systems work at the maximum possible efficiency, as well as the ability to gain real-time insights to ensure equipment is reacting appropriately to environmental conditions.

As much as there is to say about the potential IoT holds for the energy sector, concerns around connectivity threaten to hamstring these advances, leaving a significant portion of the energy market unable to capitalise on the transformational capabilities of this technology.

This assertion has not escaped the energy respondents in our research either; connectivity issues came in as the top concern when deploying IoT solutions for over half. Moreover, around a quarter believe that connectivity issues have the potential to derail the success of their IoT deployments before they’ve even got off the ground.

What challenges is your organisation facing in deploying your IoT-based solutions? (%)

Connectivity issues
Integrating IoT technology with existing platforms
Existing infrastructure complexity
A lack of in-house skills
A lack of vision into the potential for IoT
Security implications
IoT not being prioritised by the board
Costs higher than expected
Business culture/ decision making process cannot/will not evolve
Cannot scale past prototypes/trials
Employee resistance
Concerns over regulations
Data-driven culture prevents wider uses being considered

These apprehensions are rightly justified as, arguably, one of the most crucial requirements for the success of IoT deployments is the availability of reliable and uninterrupted signalling.

24%

of energy respondents believe that connectivity issues threaten to derail their IoT deployments before they have even begun

 

Connectivity must be sufficient enough to collect and transmit data between multiple devices, as without consistent data insights companies are unable to suitably monitor their assets.

Effective connectivity is not just necessary for the efficient monitoring of equipment, but also to protect the most important asset of all – people. Cellular networks may be sufficient for daily operations on some sites, but in more remote locations or where safety or environmental hazards might be an issue, high-speed connectivity becomes more mission critical. To this end, major faults that occur when there’s an absence of effective connectivity can actually cause significant dangers and put lives at risk.

The critical value of connectivity for IoT adoptees is reinforced even further by the fact that 36 per cent of energy respondents believe this attribute to be the most valuable capability from there outsource partners, when looking to deploy IoT solutions.

What are the most valuable capabilities your organisation looks for from outsourced partners to help deploy IoT? (%)

Connectivity
Ability to bring together multi-partner relationships
Resilience
Policy/process development
Knowledge
Scalability
System integrators
Reliability
Reputation of the company
We are not looking to use outsourced partners for help

While IoT is great for remote monitoring as well as identifying and pre-empting faults, to make deployments a success, effective connectivity is a must. This is where satellite connectivity comes into its own, beyond providing connectivity for remote locations, satellite technology provides a highly reliable and resilient service on a global scale.

Beyond being merely convenient or making life easier, satellite technology in particular can actually save lives by keeping people connected.

— Chuck Moseley, Senior Director, Energy
Press enter or esc to cancel