Bringing AI to the Edge: New Horizons in Efficiency and Sustainability.

ai sustainability

Written By: Yannis Tsogias, Product Manager.
The green transition is a paradigm shift to sustainability for combating climate change. At the same time, AI holds the potential to drive said green transition by enabling efficient energy management and optimizing renewable energy sources. An example that affects our everyday lives is the installation of a solar PV system. This is usually the first step for a household towards its green transition and is complemented by AI.

Meanwhile, AI itself experiences a paradigm shift as well. First of all, AI involves massive cloud traffic of data. In particular, cloud to edge transmissions are demanding avenues of data. These avenues suffer from delays, require more bandwidth, and incur additional costs due to the back-and-forth travel of data.

How comes Edge AI into play? Simply put in the example of the energy sector, the deployment of AI technologies happens directly on devices such as smart meters, sensors, power grids, renewable energy systems and others that are part of the energy supply chain.

The sustainability benefits of AI

And what are exactly the benefits? Edge AI enables real-time processing and analysis of energy data at the source, eliminating the need for data transmission to remote servers. If data processing and decision-making can happen directly at the edge where it is actually needed, without unnecessary trips to the cloud, it saves time, reduces costs, and makes the whole system more efficient. In addition, lightweight AI models, optimized for edge devices, have achieved groundbreaking strides in processing efficiency with limited computational resources and minimal energy consumption.

Let’s look now at a rooftop solar PV which might be seen as a significant investment and a critical asset for a household, a business or a municipality. The AI that complements such hardware can offer optimization capabilities that expand its lifespan as well as reduce maintenance costs in the long term. Edge AI also allows you to timely detect faults or degradation, perform predictive maintenance and even respond promptly to an unexpected power outage by utilizing push notifications. In the short term, specific edge AI can extend the capabilities of your system, allowing it to make real-time decisions and enabling you to enter energy markets based on your real-time data and your behavior patterns as a consumer or producer of energy.

In conclusion, the potential of edge AI is massive. It is the key to the accelerated adoption of renewable energy sources as well as the transition to a more decentralized energy infrastructure. The role it plays in shaping a greener and more intelligent energy future cannot be emphasized enough. But this is only some food for thought and the beginning of the edge AI journey…Stay tuned!