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Ultra-flexible ADEPT propels data-driven software solutions to make distributed energy assets visible, intelligently connected and resilient

by Gavin Dietz
posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Agile Internet of Things platform provides energy sector and industrial businesses with a here-and-now opportunity to prepare for the post COVID-19 recovery, by fast-tracking cloud-enabled solar operations centres, HVAC optimisation, predictive maintenance, load management and more

 

PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT: ADEPT

Well before the COVID-19 global pandemic enveloped Australia and the world in a combined health and economic crisis, Wattwatchers Digital Energy had been analysing a growing marketplace hunger for faster, more flexible, lower-cost ways to conceive, develop and deploy data-driven solutions for managing distributed energy.

Let’s face it. Early attempts to create ‘virtual power plants’ or ‘VPPs’ based on hundreds or thousands of solar-powered, battery-equipped homes and businesses have mainly proved to be clunky at best, and complete flops at worst. Because, as should be recognised, doing this is inherently difficult and intelligent, orchestrated energy management is still in its relative infancy.

The truth is that utilities and solar companies are struggling technology-wise just to manage their core businesses, electricity networks and installed solar fleets, much less having the capacity to quickly perfect complex VPPs and demand response aggregations (or ‘virtual demand plants’), especially where there is a heavy reliance on high levels of consumer participation.

Our pragmatic assessment of a series of ‘New Energy’ trial-and-error pilots inspired our development of ADEPT. It’s an agile technology platform for optimising distributed energy and accelerating transformation of the electricity sector, starting at the level of getting key basics right – monitoring, fault detection, and operational and financial performance.

Although this isn’t something we did or could have planned for, it’s now apparent that ADEPT has become even more relevant today, as the novel coronavirus out of China has blown up business-as-usual around the world, creating an imperative to rebuild for a post-virus future where operational efficiency and effectiveness will be more important than ever.

ADEPT is Wattwatchers’ most transformative product release since our founding hardware, the Auditor range of Energy IoT devices, was first released commercially in 2014. It reflects Wattwatchers’ ongoing evolution to become an energy data company, and also our partner-friendly business model. While Wattwatchers traditionally specialises in monitoring and controlling electricity in real-time through the cloud, to help shape ADEPT we called on partners Rayven IOT, Australian-Israeli technology integrators who guide industrial companies to turn data into meaningful business outcomes.

With energy-related software now moving through the Internet of Things (IOT) era, rolling on into the machine learning and artificial intelligence one, this Wattwatchers-led initiative targets the rapidly-growing challenge for the electricity industry and consumers alike to connect and manage distributed energy resources (DER) – including solar PV, battery storage, electric vehicles, load control and demand response, energy efficiency and more.

Combining real-time, highly-granular energy data from Wattwatchers with additional datasets from diverse sources – including environmental and motion sensors, digital people counters, remote controllers, weather stations, and other energy and utility hardwares such as gas, water and telecommunications – ADEPT supports fast, cost-effective prototyping and development of customised intelligent solutions.

With its overarching emphasis on flexibility, ADEPT empowers business owners with the real-time ability to see their intellectual property and business improvement ideas come to life in a cost-effective, engaging and future-proof way.

Practical examples of how ADEPT works include: creating virtual operations centres to intelligently coordinate large fleets of rooftop solar installations; remotely managing strategic energy-dependent assets such as HVAC modules, refrigeration and electric vehicle charging; and, incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) into energy management for complex commercial and industrial property portfolios.

 



Earlier generations of cloud-enabled platforms for managing energy have been based mainly on data from heavily-regulated utility smart meters, outdated industrial sub-metering systems, and most recently emerging hardwares such as solar and battery inverters.

By contrast, Wattwatchers’ contemporary independent monitoring and control solutions provide the capacity to capture, aggregate and analyse far more energy data than these more mainstream, less technologically-agile sources, and then blend it with other datasets to add more value.

Rayven’s data science and ultra-flexible processing capabilities, meanwhile, facilitate turning high-volume, real-time data into useful and valuable tools and insights, while also allowing other datasets and devices to be integrated into the custom solutions designed, refined and built using ADEPT.

Several early ADEPT customer projects already are underway with industrial and solar sector customers in Australia and New Zealand, with clear potential to spread internationally and also to extend into additional client areas, including energy utilities across both retail and distribution functions. The graphic below maps a typical customer journey based on early experiences with ADEPT in its pilot project period.

 



ADEPT is a Grid 2.0-ready technology, given the crucial role that data is playing in the world’s ongoing energy transition, and it’s also ready-made to support Industry 4.0, the latest stage of the centuries-long industrial revolution, which is propelled by data analytics, cloud services and the rise of machine intelligence.

As such, this is Wattwatchers’ first major foray into sophisticated data-driven software solutions for the energy transition.

ADEPT is built on Wattwatchers’ robust and scalable third-generation cloud infrastructure, and our powerful public API. This is boosted by Rayven’s transformative, highly-adaptable IOT ecosystem. Combined, Wattwatchers and Rayven turn real-time electricity data, logic and intelligence into business, network and system outcomes that will help to rewrite how distributed energy is deployed and maximised, and how energy data is integrated into Industry 4.0 solutions.

At the core of ADEPT is the capacity to harness data to flexibly manage fleets of meters, sensors and other devices in order to optimise distributed energy, and to propel energy into the contemporary digital age.

ADEPT briefings, demonstrations and workshops are available on request. Just click on ‘Request a Demo’ (above right).

 

A Rayven perspective on ADEPT

Rayven CEO Jared Oken says: ‘IOT is rewriting the technology rules for many industry sectors, and energy is no exception

‘Drawing on our resources in both Australia and Israel, the Rayven team has developed a code-less platform that enables fast-track prototyping, and subsequently the development and customisation of highly scalable data-driven IOT solutions for an expanding range of industry challenges, focused on achieving Industry 4.0 outcomes.

 



‘In the particular case of distributed energy – the greatest opportunity for the transition to Grid 2.0 – Wattwatchers brings energy expertise and huge volumes of real-time, highly-granular electricity data to the solutions table, with up to 500,000 data measurements a day from a standard Wattwatchers device.’

‘Rayven’s data science and processing capabilities, meanwhile, facilitate turning all of that data into useful and valuable tools and insights, while also allowing other datasets and devices to be integrated into the solution customisation of ADEPT.’

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