Research examines Promises and Perils of IoT for Smart Grid

‘Weird’ is how a cybersecurity engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy describes a harmless microwave placed on a shelf in a laboratory.

The microwave is anything but ordinary. It arrived with the capability to be controlled through a smart speaker connected to the Internet. “Meanwhile, an energy measurement sensor is connected to the microwave, and at certain times of the day the sensor displays energy spiked up really high.” The team monitors network communication to see the microwave constantly trying to connect to the Internet.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is recently established, focuses on solving current and future challenges in the cybersecurity of connected devices. In fact, the microwave is one of many household devices that the research team are studying that can connect to the internet and electric power grid.

Energy and Security Issues of connected devices area of study of researchers

For this reason, scientists and researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory examine energy and security issues. Further, this is to be aware that Internet of things (IoT) combined with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G is heralding a new era, to control over infrastructure from smart home appliances to entire electric power grid.

“In fact, the abundance of connected smart devices allows to gain lot more insight quickly. This is because it allows measurements at a much higher resolution than what was possible before, said a senior research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Besides, it enables to identify trends and issues at an early stage and act quickly at the local level to elevate efficiency or alleviate risks. For example, IoT sensors connected through 5G telecommunications have the potential to unlock the promise of smart grid, explained the researcher.