Enabling the Ocean Internet of Things with Renewable Marine Energy
Keywords:Internet of Things, Wave Energy, Tidal Energy, Data, Hardware, Cloud Computing, Edge Computing, Sensors, Actuators
Marine renewable energy can play an integral role in reducing the cost and complexity of collecting data from the oceans, and enhancing its exploitation. The processing and transmission of data at sea may be modelled as an `internet of things' (IoT) application. The `thing' is any offshore device which can collect and process data in-situ, while the `internet' represents the medium for transmitting data. IoT is differentiated from other internet based communication paradigms by the constraints on the system. These constraints are typically limited energy budgets and computing power, intermittent and low-bandwidth connectivity, and limited physical access. While land based IoT applications are already well served by a wide selection of hardware and software components, the needs of offshore IoT applications are not well served. Utilizing marine energy can advance the adoption of IoT at sea by providing in-situ energy generation, whilst also benefitting from the same technology. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland funded `BlueBox' project aims to overcome barriers to entry for applying IoT technologies to offshore sensing by developing Ocean IoT (OIoT) hardware and software solutions. Features of the BlueBox system include modular offshore focussed hardware, no-code configuration and control of peripherals (such as sensors and actuators), duplex transmission of data using multiple media, serverless cloud server architecture and an edge computing framework. This paper presents an overview of BlueBox, tank tests for system validation of a prototype wave-energy powered ocean-observing platform, and a discussion of future applications of the technology.
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