Developing the Internet of Things in Low-Carbon Energy: event summary


The 5th May saw the second in our series of five online events: Developing the Internet of Things in Low-Carbon Energy.

The event showcased projects from the Pitch-In programme in the area of low-carbon energy. Attendees had the chance to hear how four key projects have investigated barriers to developing low-carbon energy applications along with methods to overcoming these barriers.

The energy theme sponsored nine mini-projects, with collaborations across Oxford, Sheffield and Newcastle universities with industry partners, and two ecosystem projects, one in Oxford and the second in Sheffield, as well as internships and a number of theme-specific events.

The Pitch-In programme has sought to encourage and facilitate Knowledge Exchange (KE) around IoT innovation and adoption. The universities’ KE activities allow them to engage with the wider world to make a contribution to the economy and society, and, in return, receive inspiration and practical guidance to channel their research efforts.

The key KE lessons coming out of the low-carbon energy projects include:

  • Access to data, and knowledge of how to clean data and how to use data remain key barriers to overcome, an issue which several projects tackled.

  • Access to specialist technical software engineering support (which is not usually available within a university) can be invaluable for academic researchers (who are generally not software development experts). Research Software Engineering is an important career pathway, highly worthy of continued support.

  • Almost all projects found value in multi-disciplinary team-working, which brought together energy and data specialists amongst others.

  • Reducing cost of IoT control was seen as a critical enabling factor.

  • Inspiring current students to become involved in IoT projects related to the energy sector can help transfer skills and foster innovation. As the sector transforms radically from its traditional roots, they represent the future of energy sector management.

Nearly 50 participants joined us on the day. Many thanks to the chair and theme lead, Professor Malcolm McCulloch and speakers, Dr Andy Gilchrist, Professor David Howey, Professor Dan Rogers, Dr Avinash Vijay from the University of Oxford, and Professor Dan Gladwin from the University of Sheffield. And finally, many thanks to Mel Bryce (Scottish and Southern Energy Networks), Sivapriya Mothilal Bhagavathy (University of Oxford) and Professor John Clark (University of Sheffield) for a stimulating concluding panel session. If you missed the presentations, you can watch a recording of the event below.

  • 00:02:15​ Professor Malcolm McCulloch, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford: A keynote presentation about the importance of IoT in low-carbon energy systems.

  • 00:12:10​ Dr Andy Gilchrist, University of Oxford: Theme portfolio overview

  • 00:27:00​ Professor David Howey, University of Oxford: Batteries and big data

  • 00:39:00​ Professor Dan Rogers, University of Oxford: IoT-based microgrids

  • 00:51:20​ Professor Dan Gladwin, University of Sheffield: a data-driven battery degradation

  • 01:04:30​ Dr Avinash Vijay, University of Oxford: an IoT-based local energy systems market

  • 01:14:38​ – Panel discussion Developing IoT in Low-carbon Energy is part of the Pitch-In event series, marking the end of the three-year collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Cambridge, Oxford and Newcastle. Pitch-In is funded by Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund (CCF).