As cities and businesses become smarter, they also become more environmentally-conscious. The emphasis on using alternative, renewable energy sources has therefore increased.
With the demand for smarter energy rising to new heights, utilities and renewable energy companies must improve their operational efficiency and analytics. This requires that they quickly learn and adapt to changing resource levels and usage trends, as well as manage energy distribution and other factors in order to support growing smart city needs.
Technology advancements are crucial to supporting the demand for specific types of energy, the ability to manage crisis, and the need to predict maintenance schedules and prevent system failures.
An All-in-One Kit for Smarter Energy Management
Axiomtek, a leading designer and manufacturer of industrial computers, has teamed up with Intel® to provide an RFP Ready Kit (RRK) called the Solar Energy Gateway Solution (Figure 1). This customizable, all-in-one kit for the energy industry allows solar energy providers to securely utilize sensors and meters to enhance smart energy operations. The kit offers an effective way to collect important usage data from customers and internal operations, allows for centralized management of critical data, and generates actionable analytics.
Figure 1. The Solar Energy Gateway Solution RFP Ready Kit (RRK) from Axiomtek allows alternative energy providers to capture usage data and manage power subsystems from an all-in-one platform (Source: Axiomtek)
The Solar Energy Gateway RRK’s benefits include enhanced machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, improved operational performance, reduced costs and deployment times for smart energy solutions, and faster response in event of emergency. It also offers greater convenience and flexibility with an effective remote operational management capability so that on-site situations can be monitored from anywhere in real time.
Information supported by the Solar Energy Gateway Solution RRK can include:
- Sunlight level prediction
- Daily energy generated (by location)
- Cost savings
- Uptime calculations
- Operational status
- Historical comparisons of critical data
- Weather information
- And more
The advantages of these data insights can extend to better decision-making, resulting in improved operational and business efficiencies. For example, the solution can be installed by solar energy companies to help facilitate power distribution, as well as access to operational data and substation management from a cloud-based dashboard.
Inside the Solar Energy Gateway RFP Ready Kit
The smart energy gateway kit is comprised of Axiomtek’s ICO-series fanless gateway platforms, a Windows® operating system (OS), cloud connectivity via Microsoft® Azure, and a remote management software created by Axiomtek called AXView.
The ICO-series industrial gateway platform recommended for this kit is the Axiomtek ICO300, which features Intel® Atom™ E3815/E3827 CPUs, a robust mechanical design, rich I/Os, and wireless connectivity in a highly customizable package that provides an easy-to-integrate solution. It works with most sensors, smart meters and is proven to be compatible with Microsoft Azure for cloud service. The kit offers great communication options and interfaces that include 3G, 4G, GPRS, Wi-Fi, Ethernet for LAN, RS-232 ports, RS-422 ports and RS-485 ports. It has been tested to work well with Modbus protocol, among other key ones.
Figure 2. The Axiomtek ICO300 brings Intel® Atom™ processing performance, a customizable rugged mechanical design, and rich I/O and connectivity to the Solar Energy Gateway RFP Ready Kit (Source: Axiomtek).
The ICO gateway series can be installed as a power node or gateway, enabling the platforms to collect real-time data from smart energy sensors and meters. In conjunction with Axiomtek’s proprietary AXView software, ICO products are able to communicate using protocols such as Fieldbus, Modbus, and Profibus over WLAN and WWAN networks.
As a result, real-time smart energy meter and sensor data can be streamed in real-time between the control layer and upper-level networking and software layers. From there, data can make its way to the cloud securely and efficiently, enabling more effective operations, maintenance, and resource management.
These versatile ICO gateway products can also serve as edge computers with flexible designs and large data storages.
Intelligent Communication and Edge Computing Power Up Smarter, Cleaner Energy
Figure 3. The Solar Energy Gateway RFP Ready Kit includes all of the components necessary for a next-generation smart energy deployment (Source:Axiomtek).
The Axiomtek-Intel Solar Energy Gateway RRK offers mission-critical solar energy operators a complete solution for fast and smooth deployment of next-generation smart energy systems.
To assist in the deployment process, Axiomtek’s support team includes designers, application developers, and hardware and software engineers, as well as project managers, product managers, and additional local resources. These teams are highly experienced and accustomed to customized design and implementation requests across a broad range of industries, applications, and client demographics.