3 trends we’re watching in digital technology applications for renewable energy

at renewz, we are investing significant effort in coupling digital technology with well-designed and easy to use eco sustainable products. Along the way, we learn and discover new things that are happening around us. This is the first installment of a recurring series about digital technology trends in the renewable energy space.

 


1. Mesh networks are finally! something to watch

In years past, there was always talk of how mesh networks would disrupt the connected ecosystem. However, any technologist (us included) that has watched them has grown quite skeptical of them. In reality, they have been difficult to implement and highly unreliable. However, leading companies such as Facebook are seemingly picking up the pace and investing some serious technical talent into making them work.

Why we’re interested?
When you’re in parking lots, internet connectivity is not top of mind as a concern for the parking lot designer. However, as our products become smarter with more technology embedded within, it becomes crucial to be able to remotely monitor and manage them. Rather than having to require each single unit be embedded with 4G or LTE, we can simply create ad-hoc networks that relay information between them. This is a lower cost solution to our customers, and still achieves the benefit of an advanced and remotely monitored solar carport system.

Read More: Facebook is building mesh networks to bring rural areas online

2. Advances in health care will drive advances in remote monitoring for other industries

There is a tremendous amount of capital flowing to digital health initiatives. As technology matures in the digital health space, inventors will naturally look to apply their IP to other spaces. From our office in South Florida, we are very tuned into the healthcare space and the invention happening within it. Some of the largest disrupters are in our back yard and we plan to work closely with many of them to find ways to bring their learnings to our space.

 
Why we’re interested?
Remote monitoring of smart devices is a challenge, especially for our customers in rural areas such as farms. There are major concerns about battery life, durability, security, and maintenance cost. What good is having a great low to no-maintenance parking structure that requires maintenance for the digital technology within the structure. By closely following the trends in healthcare, we see there will be durability and redundancies built into the monitoring systems. In healthcare, you can’t lost patient data and you don’t want to incur costly site visits to maintain systems. By piggybacking off the advances in health technology, we’ll be able to offer a robust feature set through our products as well.

Read More: The digital revolution comes to US healthcare

3. The data firehose will continue to get bigger and flow faster

The speed and quantity of data being captured is growing at an amazing pace. There may be a version of Moore’s law for data in place somewhere, but we haven’t seen it widely published anywhere as of yet. As we examine our data management techniques, we are constantly evaluating how to MAKE USE of the data available, rather than just simply capturing it. The more actionable data becomes, the better the outcome will be. Yet, we are still in the infancy of the data age — with sheer amounts of data being captured with a slow trend to find better use of it.

 
Why we’re interested?
The key to data and analytics is not what data you get, or even how much of it. The key is what decisions are you able to make with the data? For our solar structures, we are in the business of making them the most efficient, best designed, and longest lasting. By injecting data controlled devices into our systems in the future, we’ll be able to adapt in real-time to real world changes, such as climate conditions. Another reason why our durable and adaptable structures will continue to maintain a competitive advantage over basic steel structures.