As cities grow in size and population, the energy demands of our digitally connected lives are growing with it. Now, with smart cities, we have an opportunity to make urban life more efficient while also reducing our environmental impact on the planet.
Let's explore what a smart city is, what they offer residents, the challenges of powering them—and how REEF would like to help.
A smart city is an urban area that integrates technology throughout many of its essential operations—like traffic management, waste management, and parking management.
Using a series of complex sensors and electronic devices, smart cities can send, receive, and analyze data in real time. This data helps local governments manage city services and resources more efficiently, and in a manner that minimizes waste. Smart cities also collect data about daily living, helping the local government to better respond and adapt to residents’ specific needs.
Here are just a few examples of the ways smart cities can make life better for residents:
Behind the scenes, sensors on transit systems can also automatically adjust the spacing between buses, streetcars, and subway trains, so commuters can travel with fewer delays.
At the heart of any smart city are the connections between smart devices. Just like the smart devices in your home, smart cities use a complex system of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing technologies.
All of these elements, however, rely on one fundamental thing: power—and lots of it.
Most cities rely on one main power grid serving a large area. As demand continues to grow, these grids can become overwhelmed. They’re also susceptible to extreme weather (as seen during Texas’ big freeze), and cyber attacks (as seen in the Ukraine), the impact of which can be felt by millions of people.
Decentralizing the grid can help. This means smart cities would instead draw energy from hundreds—even thousands—of smaller sources of power spread out throughout the city. These sources of power are sometimes known as “microgrids.” We believe decentralization is essential to building successful smart cities—and we'd like to help accelerate the trend.
We’re building an adaptable battery storage network to help support the many product and service offerings that occupy our neighborhood hubs. This means our customers and clients don’t have to worry about having an “off” day.
Occupying the equivalent of just 1-3 parking spaces, each of our portable batteries can support the electric vehicle, e-scooter, and e-bike charging stations we provide in our hubs.
But beyond supporting smart mobility methods, our battery storage system can keep businesses running in cost-effectively when demand on the grid is high. They can store the additional power generated by solar panels installed on surface lots, helping property owners to use energy more responsibly.
Would you like to learn more about our smart energy solutions? Get in touch with a member of our energy team.