23. Internet of Things


The Internet of Things (IoT) is an infrastructure of interconnected objects (mainly sensors and equipment), that contains embedded technologies to sense, communicate, process information, react and interact with each other or the external environment to create value from this interaction. IoT solutions encompass sensors, Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) systems, communications, data storage and analysis, including AI. Increasingly, various industries are using IoT to operate more efficiently, deliver enhanced customer service, improve decision-making and increase the value of the business. With IoT, data is transferable over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interactions.


IoT applications deal with numerous use cases: Human health (to monitor or maintain health and wellness), Home (home voice assistants, automated vacuum cleaners, security systems, etc.), Retail environments (Devices to facilitate self-checkout, extend in-store offers, help optimize inventory, etc.), Offices (energy management, security for buildings, etc.), Standardized production environments (to gain operating efficiencies or optimize equipment use and inventory), Custom production environments (to perform predictive maintenance and health and safety efforts), Vehicles (condition-based maintenance, usage-based design, autonomous vehicles, etc.), Cities (adaptive traffic control, smart meters, environmental monitoring, etc.). IoT solutions are already available and widely used. Their applications could sharply increase in the future with the development of edge computing and 5G.

Challenges and opportunities for DSOs

  • IoT could bring benefits with voltage quality analyses in different nodes and voltage loss per phase and Last Gasp.
  • IoT facilitates real-time monitoring (power quality, asset characteristics, etc.).
  • IoT enables powerful asset management solutions (power transformers, overhead lines, partial discharges, etc.).
  • IoT could be used in the future for the implementation of decentralized flexibilities (including V1G/V2G).

EDSO Considerations

  • IoT is an already available and widely used technology. Its applications could sharply increase in the future with the development of smart secondary substations and smart Low Voltage (LV) networks.
  • IoT will bring the most benefits at low and medium voltage levels.
  • The greatest benefits from IoT will come from:
    • Substation monitoring, followed by monitoring of transformers and power quality measurements.
    • Congestion management and implementation of flexibilities.
    • The successful implementation of IoT needs to bridge the cultural differences between IT and OT operations.
    • As IoT devices make new and different cyberattacks possible, cybersecurity is a major issue.

Last update: 28 September 2023