Power & Utilities

Exist at Future Energy Show 2022

Exist Software Labs and Informatica IDMC pocket session

Exist Software Labs and Informatica IDMC pocket session 650 486 Exist Software Labs

Exist Software Labs Inc. and Informatica held a joint Pocket Session on Intelligent Data Management Cloud at the Shangri-La Fort Hotel in BGC!

‘Data is the new oil. Like oil, data is valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. It has to be managed/processed (integrated, mapped, transformed) to create a valuable entity which provides insights that drives profitable activities.’ – Informatica

Exist Software Labs inc collaborated with Informatica for an exclusive face-to-face event last July 28, 2022, at the Shangri-La Fort Hotel in BGC. The guests were able to meet with data management expert and Informatica’s Head of Cloud Product Specialist, Daniel Hein, who shared how companies can bridge the gap between technology and business through automation, integration, and data governance, unlocking true business value from data.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, one of the Philippine Energy Specialists, was also a resource speaker at the conference. In one of his speeches, he encouraged the use of renewable energy throughout the country to lower electricity prices, saying, “Dapat lumipat na tayo sa Solar, lumipat na tayo sa ganitong teknolohiya, para bumaba ang pagbabayad natin ng kuryente, dahil pag solar, sarili natin pino-produce yung’ kuryente, hindi na tayo bibili.”.

Sen. Win Gatchalian at Future Energy Show 2022

Sen. Win Gatchalian at Future Energy Show Philippines 2022

The Philippines’ energy future is in the digital transformation of its electricity system. It is here, at the Future Energy Show, where we shared our expertise in digitalizing Philippine Power Systems. We understand the challenges power system development can bring, and we at Exist are ready to provide solutions that take into account every aspect of the process. Our top-tier expertise in power system development has helped us gain an excellent reputation among clients.

As the power industry strives for the future of energy through technological advancement, Dell technologies can assist in delivering the products you require in reimagining your system. Dell will empower you to manage increasingly complex grids by performing analytics at the point of data collection through the use of edge technology.

With our technology and innovation, together with our partner, Dell technologies, a complete system is our promise to you – it’s what gives you peace of mind as you ensure that your devices and systems are constantly being optimized.

Don’t wait to innovate, take your power to the next level Today!

Let us help you build Power System Solutions that drive efficiency, growth, and innovation and help your company produce smarter and faster decisions.

Exist at Future Energy Show 2022

Exist Software Labs Inc. Participates in the Future Energy Show 2022, the largest energy show in the Philippines!

Exist Software Labs Inc. Participates in the Future Energy Show 2022, the largest energy show in the Philippines! 650 486 Exist Software Labs

Exist Software Labs Inc. Participates in the Future Energy Show 2022, the largest energy show in the Philippines!

Last week, September 7-8, 2022, the largest energy conference, Future Energy Show, was held at SMX, Manila. Over 4,700+ future energy leaders, experts, professionals, partners, & other attendees, more than 80 world-class solution providers & exhibitors, and more than 90+ speakers brought new insights about the industry.

The two-day event covers a wide range of industry topics, with panel discussions focusing on the most recent innovations in renewable energy. Smart grid and T&D, rural electrification, large-scale solar, alternative renewables, and storage are all possibilities.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, one of the Philippine Energy Specialists, was also a resource speaker at the conference. In one of his speeches, he encouraged the use of renewable energy throughout the country to lower electricity prices, saying, “Dapat lumipat na tayo sa Solar, lumipat na tayo sa ganitong teknolohiya, para bumaba ang pagbabayad natin ng kuryente, dahil pag solar, sarili natin pino-produce yung’ kuryente, hindi na tayo bibili.”.

Sen. Win Gatchalian at Future Energy Show 2022

Sen. Win Gatchalian at Future Energy Show Philippines 2022

The Philippines’ energy future is in the digital transformation of its electricity system. It is here, at the Future Energy Show, where we shared our expertise in digitalizing Philippine Power Systems. We understand the challenges power system development can bring, and we at Exist are ready to provide solutions that take into account every aspect of the process. Our top-tier expertise in power system development has helped us gain an excellent reputation among clients.

As the power industry strives for the future of energy through technological advancement, Dell technologies can assist in delivering the products you require in reimagining your system. Dell will empower you to manage increasingly complex grids by performing analytics at the point of data collection through the use of edge technology.

With our technology and innovation, together with our partner, Dell technologies, a complete system is our promise to you – it’s what gives you peace of mind as you ensure that your devices and systems are constantly being optimized.

Don’t wait to innovate, take your power to the next level Today!

Let us help you build Power System Solutions that drive efficiency, growth, and innovation and help your company produce smarter and faster decisions.

New BIR Ruling

The New BIR Ruling; What’s in it for WESM participants?

The New BIR Ruling; What’s in it for WESM participants? 800 507 Exist Software Labs

Wholesale Electricity Spot Market(WESM), managed and governed by Independent Market Operator (IEMOP) is an electricity market established by the Department of Energy (DOE) under the Republic Act (RA) No. 9136, otherwise known as the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001”, or EPIRA Law.

WESM aims to create a competitive, efficient, transparent, and dependable electricity market, which is a place where offers, demand, price bids, quantities, and other energy transactions take place.

According to the EPIRA Law, The cost of administering and operating the wholesale spot market shall be recovered by the market operator through a charge imposed to all market members: Provided, that such charge shall be filed with and approved by the ERC.”

The law requires the Market Operator (MO), in this case, IEMOP, to recoup its costs for administering and managing the market, based on the fact that the MO has no other source of funding to function other than the charges imposed on its members. In accordance with EPIRA Law and WESM Rules, the EIMOP, as the MO, may charge its members market costs such as Registration Fees, Metering Fees, Billing and Settlement Fees, Administration Fees, Costs reasonably incurred by the Board and Committees, and other working groups, and Other Service Fees.

Upgrade your system in accordance with the NEW BIR RULING Today!

According to BIR RULING OT-323-2021, Page 11 No.5, “The Customer/Buyer shall be the withholding tax agent for energy sold and paid through the WESM, while both the Customer/Buyer and Generator/Seller Shall be the withholding tax agents for the Market Fees collected by IEMOP.” 

With that said, all the WESM participants – Generation companies, Distributors, Renewable Energy (RE) Developers, customers, system operators, network service providers, ancillary services providers, and metering services are now subject to BIR tax withheld from any transactions made within the WESM.

So, why shouldn’t you worry about the new BIR Ruling?

It’s the power of technology! These processes can all be automated. Knowing its importance to your day-to-day activities, let us worry about how we can support you.  

We will assist you in upgrading your system to comply with the New BIR ruling. Adjust your system and automate complex computations and other procedures needed in compliance with the regulation!

Exist Software Labs has extensive experience as an IEMOP and PEMC technology partner for 3 years, and we guarantee we have your back in revolutionizing your system with our Power System Solutions!

Empower your system today!

Learn how to fully automate your processes to create a more competitive, transparent, and efficient system with our Power System Solutions!
Take your power system to the next level!

Internet of Things

How the Internet of Things is Reinventing the Energy Industry

How the Internet of Things is Reinventing the Energy Industry 650 486 Exist Software Labs

Internet of Things (IoT) has given so much convenience to human activities and transactions over the years that it has become one of the most important technologies on a global scale. It helped not just individuals on its day-to-day activities; but also various business verticals on its company-wide operations.

The energy industry in the Philippines is no exception. The Internet of Things (IoT) provides a wide range of applications that can be utilized in the energy sector; this includes energy production, transmission, distribution, consumption, and many more.

See figure 1.1 (This is the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) over the years.)Power System Solutions

In previous years, most of us, consumers, never really considered mother earth when consuming energy; This is one of the improvements that IoT may bring forth! Organizations can drastically cut waste thanks to increased control over energy consumption. It brings significant cost savings and allows for a reduction in CO2 emissions, which benefits the environment.

Another challenge that the Energy Sector has is the lack of integrated energy planning and demand forecasting. This significantly widens the gap between energy supply and demand; However, with the help of IoT’s advanced analytical systems, organizations can now develop precise and real-time forecasts. Here are some Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities that will reinvent the Philippine energy industry.

See figure 1.2 (Here is the entire IoT ecosystem of the Energy Sector. From generators, transmission, distributors to the consumers.)

Power System Solutions1. Intelligent Grid

IoT enables grid systems to gain control over power flow or significantly curb energy use and helps in tracking real-time energy consumption that gives users almost complete control over their energy consumption. Its automated approach also helps consumers become more cost-efficient while decreasing energy waste.

While Energy companies, on the other hand, may achieve real-time monitoring, rapid data restoration, and highly accurate usage forecasts, making energy system management and maintenance much easier.

Empower your system with IoT today!

2. Monitoring of Processes and Resource Optimization

Automation is one of the benefits that IoT can provide; having an IoT system means less human intervention, and less human intervention means fewer errors. The use of sensor devices in a power plant allows for the automated execution of processes and the delivery of better, error-free production. The availability of data on all areas of the supply chain enables the operating system to make accurate judgments on a wide range of factors.

IoT solutions generate real-time data, allowing management to act quickly and take appropriate action if there are errors or inconsistencies, allowing businesses to produce higher-quality services.

3. Analytical Advances

With increased energy consumption demand, energy businesses must rely on advanced analytics more than ever to meet customers’ expectations for more options, better transparency, and lower energy prices and waste. In order to compete, utilities and power generators must utilize the same analytics to precisely anticipate future power usage.
The sensor-enabled technology assists the Philippines’ energy sector in gathering more precise data that can be used in proper forecasting of energy supply and demand. As a way, it lowers unnecessary energy usage.

4. Reduction of maintenance and operating costs

Predictive maintenance is another significant advantage of IoT data. Proactive testing and repair significantly reduce the amount of time the machines are inactive, hence minimizing catastrophic equipment failures and lowering maintenance expenses. It enables managers to take complete control of energy data from the beginning and considerably optimize the operation. The use of an IoT-powered solution in the energy sector employs sensor-based approaches to automate the industry’s operation.

Intelligent sensors and devices, for example, can communicate information from distant equipment to detect an impending fault, minimizing damages and stoppages and giving the system much more flexibility.

5. Increase the Production of Renewable Energy

A smart, dependable, and efficient power supply contributes to the smooth operation of smart cities. The application of IoT in renewable energy generation will assist them in producing enough energy to meet their needs.

Sensors attached to generation, transmission, and distribution equipment are used in IoT applications in renewable energy production. These technologies let businesses remotely monitor and control the operation of their equipment in real-time; This reduces operational expenses and energy waste, but more importantly, it helps us minimize our reliance on fossil fuels.

Exist Software Labs will continue to assist businesses in the energy sector

You may now achieve the above-mentioned processes and technologies with Exist Software labs! For over 20 years, we helped several energy enterprises by implementing multiple Energy Automation solutions.

Achieve advanced analytics without breaking the bank, optimize your operations, and achieve advanced management systems by utilizing various enterprise-grade technologies designed exclusively for the energy industry.

Empower your system today!

Learn how to fully automate your processes to create a more competitive, transparent, and efficient system with our Power System Solutions.
Take your power system to the next level!

Energy Tech Trends

2022 Energy Tech Trends to watch

2022 Energy Tech Trends to watch 800 507 Exist Software Labs

The COVID-19 pandemic, numerous heavy typhoons, and other unfortunate events affect all business sectors in the country. One of the major industries affected is Energy and Utilities, and it highlighted the necessity for The Energy Industry to adopt a sustainable perspective and improve the technology system.

With the rising demand for energy in 2022, the Department of Energy will continue its advocacy to produce renewable energy to cut market prices and achieve sustainability. On the other hand, the private sector will continue to develop technology systems to achieve efficiency, high effectiveness and keep up with the continuously evolving energy sector.

While numerous technology solutions can assist these firms in achieving their digital objectives, only a few are expected to have a significant influence in 2022. These are the 2022 Energy Tech Trends to watch!

1. Powering Digital Economy Through IoT (Internet of Things)

IoT, or the Internet of Things, has played a vital role in advancing digitization in several industries, including IT, energy, agriculture, healthcare, and many more.

It is one of the most advanced technologies, and one of its advantages is that it improves the efficiency of several businesses, including energy. And as for the energy sector, one of the most important functions of IoT is energy conservation. 

The Internet of Things enables electricity firms to read data in real-time. It enables them to quickly gather, calculate, and analyze data to improve decision-making. It also helps the energy industry transform into an integrated system, resulting in a smart solution that is equipped with advanced technology to increase industry value and maintain asset efficiency for the benefit of the economy.

2. Fifth-Generation Technology will establish the connection

Many companies will continue to improve their systems in 2022. The sector will continue to advance the electric grid to make it more reliable and less expensive, thanks to the national government’s directive to push for renewable energy and industry’s developing market demands.  

These companies rely on Millions of connected devices and digital systems, such as smart meters, sensors, management systems, to communicate data from many locations. And with their objective to digitize their system, they need to have fast and dependable technology, thus creating a need to access 5G technology. 

5G technology is the next generation of cellular technology after 4G. It has faster speed, lower latency, and the capacity to connect more devices at the same time.

Fifth-generation wireless technology will provide new features and more efficient smart grids. New 5G mobile networks will assist the integration of unconnected devices into new smart grids; it will also help the development of new electricity load forecasting software for accurate energy monitoring and forecasting. Organizations will now be able to receive and process the massive volume of data at quicker speeds with no chance of downtime.

3. Companies in the energy industry will continue to migrate to the cloud

The cloud holds the potential for endless growth, system efficiencies, and digital integration in any business industry.

With the Power industry’s continued growth, it needs a system that can handle its complex process and massive data efficiently, effectively, and precisely; this is where the cloud can help.

The cloud has the potential to change every aspect of the energy value chain. Connectivity, scalability, analytics, and automation can all help you save money and increase profits in countless ways.

Thanks to Exist’s strong foundation in the power industry, with its business solutions to industry market leaders and cloud services to other business verticals, we can now quickly apply tailored advancements to your company.

4. Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize the game.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming relevant in the energy industry and has great potential for future energy system structures.

Digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make energy sector systems more intelligent, efficient, dependable, and sustainable, which benefits the entire energy sector chain, from generation to transmission to distribution to the consumer.

In terms of alignment with the government’s ambitions, AI would also benefit Renewable Energy. With the growing use of renewable energy sources, it is becoming increasingly difficult to regulate the megawatts that are fed into the grid; with this, power networks will be unstable and prone to blackouts.

With this technology, renewable energy sources may now provide real-time, accurate data that allows AI to predict capacity levels.

5. Energy Sector will embrace the power of Machine Learning

With Machine Learning (ML), it’s as if you have a sophisticated human mind monitoring your system, complete with advanced self-learning algorithms, taking your data to a whole new level by making human-like decisions based on current AI data.

ML employs approaches that can be applied to predictive maintenance. Power lines, machines, and stations, in essence, are outfitted with sensors that capture operating time series data.

With enough data, your system can now forecast if a failure will occur in your system, allowing you to more efficiently monitor maintenance, reduce downtime, and avert system failure as soon as possible; thus, lowering your system expenditures.

6. Taking Advantage of Big Data

It’s one thing to get your data, but it’s quite another to use it to your advantage. 

Big Data Analytics has the potential to be a key driver in achieving optimal company performance in the energy sector.

Big data can help the energy business in many ways, including improved supply chain management, enhanced customer satisfaction, optimizing business efficiency, analyzing future risks and possibilities, and much more.

As a result, more and more energy companies are becoming more competitive. A superior business strategy that incorporates a large amount of data and efficient processes is assisting them in developing company value and increasing customer satisfaction.

So, how can you achieve the advanced system and follow Energy Tech Trends?

Whether you like it or not, the energy sector will continue to advance its technological innovation.

In this regard, it is important to look for an innovative partner who can add value to your organization, and this is where Exist Software Labs can assist you! With our extensive experience in the energy industry, we could bring you the innovation you deserve.

Empower your system today!

Learn how to fully automate your processes to create a more competitive, transparent, and efficient system.
Take your power system to the next level!

2021 03 16 bigdata blog 768x487 1

The 7 Wonders of Big Data and Analytics in the Power and Energy Sector

The 7 Wonders of Big Data and Analytics in the Power and Energy Sector 768 487 Exist Software Labs

Big data and analytics help the power and energy companies address and overcome new industry challenges through insights-based informed decision-making.

Nothing is forever. Like oil and gas, our natural energy sources are on the brink of scarcity, but global energy consumption is growing each fleeting day. The only way to earn extra time is to optimize its use correctly or gradually shift to renewable energy. To do that, big data and analytics help in automating and digitizing production, demand, and supply.

What is big data and analytics, you ask? IBM defines big data as any data that cannot be captured, managed, and/or processed by traditional management components and techniques. While analytics uses advanced mathematical techniques on diverse big data sets from different sources and in various sizes. In other words, data becomes big data when traditional methods, or a single computer, cannot be used to deal with data. It becomes analytics when these big data sets are processed.

The power and energy sector produces and collects large data sets continuously over some time. This data comes from their technology infrastructure, including sensors, cloud computing, wireless, and network communication. Smart meters alone in about a million households can collect 200 terabytes per minute.

Competitive edge of Big Data and Analytics

Businesses across the power and energy industry face many challenges to manage this data and draw insights from it. But when they start to invest in big data and analytics, data-driven companies will cultivate benefits in the long run. So, let’s look at the seven biggest advantages of implementing a big data strategy for power and energy companies.

1. Energy Efficiency

Energy preservation has always been a global issue. While there are advancements in using renewable and reusable energy, necessity still lies in saving it. But in today’s scene, companies should look more into using energy efficiently, requiring less energy for the same function, which is possible with technology.

By 2035, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), in which the Philippines actively participate, targets a reduction of aggregate energy intensity by 45%, based on 2005.

Big data analytics can play a significant part in the power sector’s role in this situation by deriving data coming from smart meters, asset operations, business policies, and weather data. It can be integrated and analyzed over time, which helps design electrical devices with energy-efficiency parameters, thus reducing power requirements. Energy efficiency plays a vital role in reducing carbon emissions. To achieve this, power corporations can forecast usage and predict savings by leveraging big data solutions in this manner.

2. Risk Management

Implementing a big data strategy in any business model can work wonders in assessing and managing hefty risks. It eliminates the practice of deriving business decisions from gut-feel and empowers executives with hard evidence instead. The truth can be said for the power and utility industry. Making informed investment decisions is the pinnacle of effectively utilizing the power of big data analytics.

Energy companies can derive valuable insights from power generation and consumer consumption. Predicting anticipated prices, creating dynamic pricing based on peak usage and demand, and adjusting the business operation model to cope with challenges can be done with data-driven decision-making. Enterprises that can embrace big data solutions’ advantages will have a strong market position and attain sustainable business growth.

3. Power Planning

Coming up with optimized power generation planning is another significant benefit of a big data analytics strategy. The strenuous task of matching power supply with the demand for energy on the grid, or economic load dispatch, can be performed quickly and efficiently by applying advanced big data analytics techniques. In effect, it improves energy production efficiency and lowers production costs.

4. Data Collaboration

Understanding what problems to address is first and foremost before implementing an analytics strategy. Big data analytics can predict production demand in the power sector, enhance efficiency, and optimize the operation process. Whatever it may be, enterprises can work with a wide range of data. Bringing all this data together can take a lot of time, but using big data analytics tools to collaborate all data can streamline the process and present visualized reports. 

5. Supply Chain Visibility

The retail industry utilizes big data effectively, especially in managing its inventory and forecast demand to improve supply chain management. The power sector is no different from retailers with its utilities. Technologies today, such as smart meters and smart grids, integrate with big data systems. This strategy enables enterprises to balance demand and supply, facilitate dispatch decisions, increase efficiency, organize inventory, and enhance reliability.

6. Customer Engagement

It is of vital importance for energy companies to be a data-driven and customer-centric business. Technology advancements, government regulations, and shifting customer behavior fast-track an optimized plan for consumer engagement. With big data analytics implementation, energy companies can shift to engage with customers in highly personalized environments, which can increase customer satisfaction, promote new products and lower the service cost.

7. Predictive Maintenance

Logical algorithms can consolidate and assess a large volume of data for power companies, enabling them to develop more effective business strategies. Energy providers can respond quickly in near real-time by predicting the market using specified vital indicators. Implementing big data will improve equipment monitoring and maintenance that will minimize production hours and system disruptions.

Transformation through Big Data and Analytics

With innovations such as predictive analysis, the power and energy industry is experiencing a large-scale transformation. With the assistance of predictive analysis, grids and meters are becoming more intelligent.

It is more evident today than before that this sector has a vital role to play in delivering essential products and services necessary to the world’s economy. Regardless of the industry’s shifts, power providers should continue to satisfy essential standards to provide energy services that are efficient, accessible, and sustainable.

Businesses continue to grow each day, but there are so many out there who do not have this technology and are not experiencing its benefits. There are real-time predictive analytics, grid operations analytics, and consumer analytics that power and energy providers can invest in.

Investment is mission-critical in this scenario to reap the real benefits of big data and analytics. Each day offers new opportunities, and the best solutions to today’s problems are yet to be done. The new normal calls for new innovations, and it is prime time for the power and energy sector to embrace this idea fully.

Exist is your data solutions partner of choice!

Explore the next level of your digital transformation journey with big data and analytics. Let’s look at opportunities to better maximize your ROI by turning your data into actionable intelligence. Connect with us today, and we’ll proudly collaborate with you!

IoT and Data Integration

Unlocking the Power of IoT and Data Integration to Boost Transformation in the Energy Industry Webinar Highlights

Unlocking the Power of IoT and Data Integration to Boost Transformation in the Energy Industry Webinar Highlights 768 487 Exist Software Labs

Speaker: Mr. Chris Silerio | VP for Operations

Exist is a software development company that has been in the industry for almost 20 years. Five years ago, we started collaborating and developing systems with companies in the power sector, specifically, generators, distributors, electric cooperatives, and others. We are also one of the technology partners of PEMC and IEMOP. For almost five years, we’ve developed IEMOP’s Central Registration and Settlement System (CRSS) as well as their Trading Operations Central Management Systems. We’ve also recently developed PEMC’s Philippine Renewable Energy Market System (PREMS) through the contract of UNDP and DOE.

We are not an IoT solutions company, but whatever we’re discussing here is based on our vast experience in developing various enterprise system projects in different verticals. That was also made possible by the thorough RnDs and TOCs conducted by our technical team. We are also currently collaborating and partnering with hardware and other software companies that offer IoT devices and solutions.

Agenda:

    1. What is an IoT platform
    2. Discuss the necessary components or services IoT
    3. What are the various ways of implementing an IoT platform
    4. How it could coexist and integrate into a data integration (Data Warehouse/Big Data) platform
    5. How to jump-start your IoT integration journey

What is IoT?

It is the internet connectivity of small devices such as sensors, actuators, smart appliances so they could share and gather information to and from each other.

Some of you might be asking, what’s the big fuss? We already have the internet, and most of you in the power sector already implemented SCADA and PLC before. So how is it any different?

IoT addresses a lot of shortcomings of SCADA and PLC. That is a new level of connectivity between devices. The main difference is when any components within the environment are interconnected, it can act on its own without any human intervention. With all the information it has, it provides rich insight into its entire surrounding environment and instantaneously reacts efficiently by making automatic changes and actions. It can also improve performance and even predict failures, just like Tesla cars or autonomous machines that are in manufacturing plants.

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To fully appreciate all the benefits of the internet of things in the energy sector, all of its major components, such as generators, grids, distributors, and consumers, should go smart soon as smart grids cannot function without ‘smart’ consumers.

What is an IoT Platform?

An IoT platform is an integrated service that connects devices and generates its ecosystem online. In the simplest terms, an IoT platform is a group of systems and services where you could operate your entire IoT landscape.

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IoT Platform Types, Services, and Offerings

End-to-end IoT Platform

Some companies offer end-to-end solutions. They sell everything – hardware, actual sensors, services, software, and connectivity, plus the device management tools. It is a one-stop-shop, but this tends to be a lot more expensive. You could end up buying features or components that might not apply to your current needs, and yet, you are paying for the entire cost. One of the downsides is that it could become a case of classic single vendor lock-in that most companies steer away from.

Connectivity Management Platform

It is an inherent part of the IoT technology stack. It is the one responsible for connecting and converting data to and from devices and IoT core platforms, regardless if it is on-premise or on-cloud. The primary use case for this type of platform is when you partner with a mobile network to handle communications for security purposes. It means that the data would have to travel through a cellular network rather than flow directly to the internet. But of course, it also introduces new challenges and complexities. So you need to establish your business requirements first.

IoT Edge Platform

We see here the edge devices and the communication gateway. In this type of platform, they provide actual devices and software or tools to manage and configure the devices remotely. With this type, you don’t necessarily need to connect to the cloud as these edge devices are, in a way, functioning already as mini computing and storage machines.

IoT Cloud Platform

It is the most common computing strategy. In this setup, all information from IoT devices could be uploaded to the cloud and a centralized repository. It then runs insights with the aid of full-blown machine learning and artificial intelligence tools. Such simplifies the management of device configurations, managing, and monitoring. Whatever you deploy into the cloud, you could also have on-premise. Your cloud could also push data to the on-premise platform or vice versa.

Edge Computing

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An essential part when deciding what type of platform you will choose is whether you would go with edge computing, cloud computing, or hybrid.

Edge computing is bringing the processing at the edge of the local network, not the office LAN, but the network within the autonomous component, for example, a smart car and smart parking garage. These edge devices could send and receive from various IoT devices and communicate directly with other edge devices. 

A case in point is the autonomous Tesla cars that can park itself in an IoT enabled parking garage. The cars going in and out of the garage did not wait for details from the cloud. Instead, they talk to each other directly. Such solved a crucial problem associated with the centralization of data in the cloud. In this model, all processing is distributed, and decision making is down locally by bringing cloud computing capabilities and localizing the data to these devices. It can reduce latency, process data faster, and provide instantaneous insights, as compared to sending everything first to the cloud for analysis.

How Can It Do That?

All the IoT cloud components have been, in a way, miniaturized, streamlined, and deployed in those small edge devices.

Common Components of Edge Devices

Complex Event Processing (CEP) could take data from different IoT devices and act accordingly based on the established patterns. But more often than not, actual CEP models are done on an edge core network. Then, it’s just pushed to the edge devices.

Edge computing devices now support Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence (ML & AI) locally, but there is always the option of sending the data to the enterprise data warehouse for furth ML & AI processing.

It has the ability to deploy containerized applications as well, either the software package from your solution provider or your own developed applications.

These devices are capable of storage and data management too. These devices now have storage large enough to store all data from different devices, especially in the event of network failure. It is capable of holding data temporarily until the connection gets restored.

When do we consider EDGE over CLOUD?

When your requirements are mission-critical, like, when a machine needs to stop outright to prevent an accident or defective product, sending your data first to the cloud for analysis is not an optimal solution.

Another scenario is when these components are remote, and there is limited or no connectivity to your centralized data center.

Edge computing is still developing, so it has a lot of downsides. Given that the data is localized, security measures might not be as tight as the one securing the cloud security-based systems. It is still a potential privacy and security concern in the edge devices given that the data is stored and already consolidated. That information could also contain sensitive data. Curious people can easily access the device, have the data leaked, or used maliciously.

High availability and failover. Usually, these devices are geographically dispersed. If one edge device goes down, even if you have installed clustered edge devices in one autonomous component, it is still hard to monitor and replace if you have a lot in your IoT plinth.

Scalability. As the number of IoT devices grows, it will be hard to maintain and monitor. Even if you did conduct positive planning, it could only handle so much.

So, choosing between edge and cloud computing depends on your business requirements as well as your business objectives.

Data Integration Platform

The data integration platform is another significant type of platform. Whenever you see an IoT platform presentation, there is always a storage component. It is a combination of several frameworks and tools that will handle the following 

    • Streaming of extracted data from various sources 
    • Routing of data either to your data warehouse or directly to the data consumers’ application
    • Ingestion of data to your data warehouse and OLTP, 
    • Doing a fast filling of data from the database. 

All of these are components of a full-blown enterprise data warehouse or Big Data. What we would like to note is that when you are planning to start your IoT platform, you should first have a data warehouse or Big Data strategy in place.

The goal is to align your IoT storage roadmap with your data warehouse or Big Data roadmap, and not the other way around. Remember that a data warehouse or Big Data setup is also a costly investment and should be treated as a separate project. Having an aligned IoT and data integration strategy could save you a lot of money by maximizing the use of your entire infrastructure.

There are a lot of components that IoT and data warehouse share – streaming, ingestion, and routing. All of these can have its cluster but can be utilized by both your IoT and data platform. With this setup, you can save cost in your infrastructure and reduce the skillset that you need from your IT team.

IoT and Big Data share the same challenges – volume/size of the data coming in, velocity/speed, variety, and veracity/accuracy. When deciding on your IoT storage platform, you have to make sure that it could address all of these challenges.

Here are the few options that you could opt to adopt for your IoT and data warehouse platform.

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So, when you have to decide as to which computing strategy or data platform to employ, you need to consider a lot of factors. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon.

Speaker: Mr. Steven Siahetiong | Exist Technical Architect

IoT Components

  1.     Things pertain to sensors, actuators, or any device capable of sending data to the cloud.
  2.     For these devices to send data, it will need to use networking and messaging protocols for the data to be transferred to its destination. Most use wireless access for network connectivity. During the past few years, there have been substantial developments in wireless connectivity protocols. Some of the examples are Bluetooth, Low Power WAN, ZigBee, 6LoWpan, and Thread.
    • Bluetooth is a global 2.4 GHz personal area network for short-range communication. 
    • LPWAN is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network designed to allow long-range communications at a low bit rate. There are several competing standards and vendors in the LPWAN space. The most prominent of which include Laura and SigFox.
    • ZigBee is a 2.4 GHz mesh local area network lan protocol. It was originally designed for building automation and control, so things like wireless thermostats and lighting systems often use ZigBee.
    • 6LoWpan uses a lightweight IP based communication to travel over lower data rate networks. It is an open IoT network protocol like ZigBee and is primarily used for home and building automation.
    • Thread is an open standard built on IPV6 and 6LoWpan protocols. You could think of it as Google’s version of ZigBee.

For the messaging layer, the most popular are HTTP, MQTT, and CoAP.

    • The CoAp protocol is a client server-based protocol that allows pockets to be shared between client nodes, which are commanded by the CoAP server.
    • The MQTT protocol is communication-based, which is based on the publish/subscribe methodology in which clients receive information through a broker only to the subscribed topic.
  1.     The IoT solution needs to have a platform. An IoT platform combines several IoT functions in one. It can collect and receive your data, convert data between protocols, and store and analyze data. They are available as cloud-based and standalone platforms and are available for many companies, both large and small.

The cloud will have an important role to play in IoT as it will enable companies to create networks, store data, and automate processes without having to build the infrastructure themselves. Such will let IoT services to be developed much quicker and at a lower cost than using traditional in-house systems and services.

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As seen on the graph, HTTP involves the largest bandwidth and latency than any other protocols, while CoAP has the least bandwidth and latency.

MQTT offers the highest level of quality of services, with the least interoperability among the four. On the other hand, HTTP was designed for the greatest interoperability on the web and did not include reliability as a core feature.

There are many IoT platforms in the market, and the functionality of these platforms varies enormously. Although all IoT platforms will have dashboards to display data, some platforms are essentially dashboards and are only capable of displaying data from devices. You will often find the terms dashboard and platform used interchangeably.

An IoT dashboard can be considered as a basic IoT platform. A dashboard can usually display data and control devices. However, an IoT platform can usually collect data from various sources, store data, control devices, display data, run tests, deploy device updates, and manage device inventory.

Concepts

Events, insights, and actions are functional concepts that exist across the devices, platforms, and applications of an IoT solution. To further explain, consider an application that monitors the cooling system, temperature for food storage, and calls emergency maintenance services if the temperature becomes dangerously low or high.

The following processes occur in this example:

    • The devices send temperature samples from the primary cooling system to the IoT gateway via the device to cloud events every 30 seconds.
    • These events can generate insights. The IoT platform can evaluate events for any immediate contextual insights, such as temperatures at malfunctioning levels.
    • The generated insights can trigger actions. If the temperature is at a malfunctioning level, the platform can send a command to the backup system to start while the maintenance is en route to the location.

Events represent the device-to-cloud communication in an IoT solution, and maybe notifications, acknowledgments, or telemetry data.

Insights are interpretations of events. It may derive from events directly as contextual insights or transform or stored event data by application event processing for real-time or aggregated insights.

Actions are activities undertaken either programmatically or manually as a device, service, or analog actions.

IoT Customer Scenarios

How can you design an IoT solution to satisfy customer requirements?

    • Manufacturing safety systems must respond to operational data with ultra-low latency and control.
    • Mission-critical systems such as remote mining equipment, connected vessels, or offshore drilling need to analyze and react to data even with limited connectivity to the cloud.
    • The volume of data produced by jet engines or connected cars can be so large that data must be filtered or pre-processed before sending it to the cloud.
    • Regulatory compliance may require some data to be locally anonymized or aggregated before being sent to the cloud.

IoT Edge

IoT devices can connect to the IoT platform directly or through IoT Edge gateways that implement intelligent capabilities. With an IoT edge, you can analyze censored data in near real-time and issue commands when you detect anomalies to stop a machine or trigger alerts. Your streaming logic runs independently off the network connectivity, and you can choose what to send to the cloud for processing or storage. You can also filter or aggregate the data that needs to be sent to the cloud.

The benefits of using edge gateway, particularly in an IoT application, is that moving data processing functions from the cloud to the edge helps ensure accuracy and reliability. Transmitting data to and from the cloud takes time. Even milliseconds are too long for many mission-critical decisions and processes that occur in industrial operations. In the time it takes to send data to and get a response to the cloud, the data could simply become obsolete, resulting in missed opportunities for action, damaged components/products, or risks to the safety of the equipment/personnel.

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Edge devices can also send data or commands directly to other devices for immediate action. Edge computing via edge gateway also makes it possible to keep sensitive data on-site to ensure its security. Some devices or systems generate so much data that the bandwidth and resources needed for the cloud to handle this data are too costly. The edge gateway can determine which data can be sent to the cloud and transmit it in the most efficient and usable form.

Industrial Edge LORA 1 Gateway

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    • Extremely flexible and powerful
    • Allows to run Lola 1 application and network server locally to setup on-premise private network
    • Aimed to help the transition from legacy to connected automation with its ability of interfacing existing devices.

Types of Edge Gateways

IoT Edge devices can act as communication enablers, local device control systems, and data processors for the IoT cloud platform. IoT Edge devices can run cloud workflows on-premises and can communicate with devices even in offline scenarios.

Cloud gateways can do protocol and identity translation to and from the IoT cloud platform and can execute additional logic on behalf of devices.

In a transparent gateway pattern, the gateway simply passes communications between the devices and the IoT cloud platform.

A protocol translation gateway is also known as an opaque gateway, in contrast with the transparent gateway pattern. In this pattern, devices that do not support MQTT, AMQP, or HTTP can use a gateway device to send data to IoT cloud platforms on their behalf. All information looks like it is coming from one device, the gateway. 

Exist, as a technological solution provider, designed a generic IoT and data integration reference architecture for our customers, especially for the power industry.

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The Data Integration layer handles the ingestion of the various data sources. It supports all types of connectors.

IoT Gateway acts as a gateway to connect your devices and accepts data streams using MQTT, CoAP, and HTTP messaging protocols. Data can be ingested as a batch or a real-time stream. With batch processing, data is collected in batches and then fed into an analytics system. A batch is a group of data points collected within a given period. Unlike stream processing, it does not immediately feed data into an analytics system, so results are not available in real-time.

With stream processing, data is fed into an analytics system piece by piece as soon as it is generated. Instead of processing a batch of data overtime, stream processing feeds each data point or a micro-batch directly into an analytics platform. This allows teams to produce key insights in near real-time.

Streaming platforms allow data transformation persistence and allow interactive queries on the streaming application. Kafka is the most popular choice among streaming platforms. 

ETL is the extract, transform, and load process for the data. While the ELT is the extract, load, and transform process. In ETL, data moves from the data source to staging and into the data warehouse. ELT lets the data destination to the transformation, eliminating the need for data staging.

Optionally, you can add a dataflow tool such as NiFi to provide a web UI, which design or control your data pipeline in a graphical representation. NiFi can deal with a great variety of data sources and formats.

For Stream Analytics, the popular choice is Apache Spark Streaming. It is a scalable and fault-tolerant stream processing system that allows data engineers and data scientists to process real-time data from various sources.

Data can be processed using complex algorithms, expressed with high-level functions. Finally, processed data can be pushed out to file systems, databases, and live dashboards. You can apply Spark’s machine learning and graph processing algorithms to data streams.

For the ETL jobs, you can apply data quality steps before loading it to a data warehouse. While for ELT, data is simply dumped into the data lake, and transformations happen on an as-needed basis, and only the data that needs to be analyzed at that time are transformed.

Hot path

    • analyzes data in near-real-time, as it arrives
    • events must be processed with very low latency
    • typically implemented using a stream processing engine
    • the output may trigger an alert or be written in a structured format that can be queried using analytical tools

Warm path

    • holds data that must be available immediately from the device for reporting and visualization

Cold path

    • performs batch processing at longer intervals (hourly or daily)
    • typically operates over large volumes of data, but the results don’t need to be as timely as the hot path.
    • captured and then fed into a batch process

Machine Learning allows predictive algorithms to be executed over historical telemetry data, enabling scenarios such as predictive maintenance. It requires training by telling a machine learning model what it’s trying to predict, similar to how a human child learns.

Speaker: Mr. Jejomar Dimayuga | Exist Technical Architect

Industrial IoT Stack

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Sensors

    • Actual things that are located in your physical environment
    • Smart meters or actuators

Edge Devices

    • Can act as the concentrator/aggregator for all of your devices
    • Allow different protocols depending on the support of your devices

Gateway

    • Connectivity to your edge devices

Cloud (or on-premise infrastructure)

    • Where your applications run
    • Offers high availability and high scalability solutions

Insights

    • Where analytics are produced that can be based on historical events, failures, rules, or condition that can communicate back to your device
    • Where algorithms are performed after ingesting and storing the data

Consumption

    • How your data is consumed
    • How can it be displayed via the web, iOS, or Android devices

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Security and encryption across the components are must-have. It is a vital requirement for all systems, especially in the IoT solution for energy. Security components such as SSL or HTTPS, LDAP Integration, Single Sign-On, Access Token are already in place.

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We accommodate Access Token so we can ensure that your devices are secured in connection to your edge devices and IoT gateway.

We also offer a Single Sign-On authentication to your existing authentication features via the Oauth2.0 protocol.

We can also integrate your authentication via LDAP. We can connect your authentication and your road-based access control to an active directory in your organization if you have one.

To secure your communication layer, we can incorporate SSL or HTTPS with certificates from the latest update of the TLS version.

Another important aspect of any system nowadays is scalability and high availability. In this solution, we can incorporate Docker containerization via the Kubernetes platform. In this way, we can deploy your application or your IoT gateway into multiple replicas to ensure that it is highly available. We can:

    • Reach the maximum daily quota of your required messages
    • Reach the quota of connected devices 
    • Increase the ingestion throughput
    • Increase the processing throughput
    • Set up a DR environment in place to ensure that your operations will be continuous

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All of these are in place already so that we can ensure that you will be able to perform your analytics and your business needs. On top of that, we can also integrate into your existing systems, may it be your billing system, billing, or offer system, CRSS, or else.

Speaker: Mr. Chris Silerio | VP for Operations

Things to Consider on Choosing an IoT Platform

    • The capability of your team
    • Geographic coverage
    • Timeline and budget
    • Your IoT and EDW roadmap
    • Your business billing model
    • Scalability of the platform
    • Method of connectivity
    • Integration flexibility
    • Device management
    • Cloud VS. on-premise

Developing your platform in-house is fine as long as you are not pressed by time. Otherwise, it might be better to start with a simple platform and develop on top of it.

Q&A

Q1: With the vast array of open standards for all the layers of IoT, is there a considered safe or conservative stop that anyone can use as a basis or a starter that is easy to pivot towards specific solutions as requirements get clearer? 

A: As shown on the Industrial IoT Stack diagram, we could have the base layer of the devices, followed by the edge devices if you want to go with edge computing. After that, we can set up an IoT gateway on cloud infrastructure.

It also depends on the network or protocol that the sensors, actuators, or your device are supporting. What matters most is that your platform can connect with these various open standards and not limit your entire solution. If there is a new protocol that comes in, your platform should be flexible enough to support these open standards.

 

Q2: What are actuators?

A: Actuators are mostly used in factories. These are devices that are connected to types of machinery. It typically sends telemetry data, like temperature, weight, the roughness of a substance.

 

Q3: What is the experience of Exist in developing IoT systems for energy efficiency applications?

A: We have a couple of projects on the integration of IoT devices, and it is still growing. Our forte is software development integration. But our experiences with these projects gave us enough exposure to the entire ecosystem.

 

Q4: Have you done any IoT applications for use in the Philippine market?

A: We are developing some right now for companies who are just starting their IoT projects. These companies are doing it in phases. We are currently in the first phase. (Company names cannot be disclosed yet.)

 

Q5: Given the poor internet connection in the Philippines, would IoT applications that HTTP use be a challenge?

A: High likely, cloud computing would be a challenge because it will always depend on internet connectivity. In scenarios that it is in remote areas, it would be better to go with edge computing provisioning. That is one of the advantages of an edge over cloud computing. 

Aside from internet connectivity, some providers also offer alternative communication layers, such as cellular networks.

 

Q6: Do you provide a complete solution, like sourcing sensors or edge devices, depending on the requirements?

A: No. There are only a few companies here in the Philippines that offer end-to-end solutions. We are not a hardware company. We are agnostic of software and hardware. We do more on the development of all these layers/components from the IoT devices up to the data integration. But we are partnered with companies that we may utilize to provide an almost end-to-end solution.

 

Q7: For an organization that has mostly in SCADA plus TLC equipment, what would a migration plan look like when moving to a more modern platform that allows a more open choice of technology stack?

A: IoT is not intended to replace SCADA and TLC. It is a different level/layer. Information from SCADA and TLC may be integrated into your IoT platform. We do not have to migrate as we can support SCADA and TLC.

 

Q8: With regards to data storage, would you still recommend Hadoop, or are there better alternatives?

A: We recommend that you go with the storage that can handle multiple parallel processing and the other factors that would support volume processing of data, and speed from streaming data, flowing data from different data sources to your storage devices. There are a lot of databases that support multiple parallel processing, like Greenplum, Oracle, Teradata, and Hadoop.

 

Q9: If I were to engage for an IoT application, what would be the start?

A: It might be better if you could consult first with a third-party company that already has the experience or an offering of IoT solutions in the market. It is quite hard to say outright what the specific software that we are going to use in your IoT platform. We need to undergo some discussions within your organization before we could provide a straightforward platform that you could use. We could always start simple. But regardless of how simple it is, we still need to know what are the factors that we should consider for your organization.

 

Q10: Can you offer an outsource service to support an IoT application?

A: We could somehow handle it, given that we have partners. You may also directly talk to hardware vendors, especially about edge computing devices. We can also give you a list of vendors that you could contact for each IoT component

Data Integration

Data Integration in Power

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“…and when you connect data together, you get power.” 

– Tim Berners-Lee, computer scientist & inventor of the World Wide Web

Way back in 2018, the world is already at a 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day mark. With the rapid growth in digital transformation and uses of modern-day technologies such as the Internet of Things, the upsurge of this number is simply beyond imagination.

Nowadays, businesses attempt to utilize the collected data and turn it into valuable information to improve their business processes. The process of collecting data has become easier for businesses these days. But the massive outpour of data also posed the risk of data wastage or not knowing how to use it.

In our previous blog, we have mentioned that IoT in power is still on the rise and will keep doing so in the coming years. But most power companies still face their biggest dilemma in dealing with a large amount of data yielded by IoT – data is siloed across different business units.

A data silo is a situation wherein only a selected group can access a particular data set which is isolated from the rest of the organization. The aftermath of having siloed data is problematic for businesses because its non-cohesive nature makes it hard for the teams to view it comprehensively, causing them to miss some useful connections of the collected data. Such also cause the absence of a single source of truth due to data duplication and inconsistent entries under the same account names.

What causes data silos?

According to the Harvard Business Review’s Breaking Down Data Silos, the following causes data silos:

  • Structural – programmers wrote the system application for a particular use or team, and data-sharing is not a requirement in the company
  • Political – there is a sense of proprietorship within the organization that hinders mutual access to the data.
  • Growth – new upgrades are being added to the system, but it is hard to reconcile and integrate the sets of data.
  • Vendor Lock-in – software vendors limit the data access for the users. 

Letting this issue persist in your organization will only make converting data into valuable insights more complex, with much likeliness of being ineffective. That is why combining data from different sources and giving the users a unified view is critical in data analytics. This process is called data integration

In times of the increasing trend in incorporating IoT in different functions of the power sector, dealing with mountains of data have become even complex. As mentioned earlier, the growth, more so, rapid growth, of the system makes it prone to becoming siloed. It is noteworthy to understand the importance of understanding IoT platforms and the various ways of implementing it and how it could coexist and integrate it with data integration platforms. That way, you will be geared up for the boundless changes that modern-day demands and technologies will present.

Join our FREE Webinar!

Join us from Exist, a premier technology, and innovations company, as we hold another learning session entitled Unlocking the Power of IoT and Data Integration to Boost Transformation in the Energy Industry.

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DoE DREAMS Project Takes Flight!

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The push for clean and renewable energy just took a big step forward with the launch of the Philippine Renewable Energy Market Systems (PREMS) at the Shangri-la at the Fort last December 17, 2019.

Attended by the top officers of the Department of Energy (DoE) led by Secretary Alfonso Cusi along with Undersecretary William Fuentebella, chairperson of the Development for Renewable Energy Applications Market Mainstreaming and Sustainability (DREAMS) Project, the event formally pushes forward support, development, utilization and commercialization of renewable energy in the Philippines.

As the backbone of all these, PREMS will be the online platform to manage registrations, contracts, and trading of RE energy certificates. PREMS will also play a significant role in monitoring electric power industry participants including generation companies, distribution utilities, electric cooperatives, and suppliers of electricity in their compliance with the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). This standardization mandates energy institutions to source a fraction of their energy requirements from RE. PREMS will also oversee the industry participants’ adherence to policy mechanisms under the Renewable Energy Law.

According to Secretary Cusi, the presence of PREMS in the process will create stronger partnerships among industry players and consumers with varying interests, especially in this age of innovation and digitization.

Apart from the DoE, the development of the renewable energy market system is a partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) DREAMS Project.

DREAMS is co-implemented with the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) with software and hardware solutions provided by Exist Software Labs, whose team is led by CEO Mike Lim and COO Chriss Silerio who were also present to provide active support for the system’s go-live activity.

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