IoT: Microsoft develops ‘engine of intelligence’ for solar tech

US technology giant Microsoft has partnered with home electronics provider Luminous to develop a suite of mobile and web applications for solar inverter technology.

The mobile and web applications, powered by the Microsoft Azure Hyperscale cloud, are reported to actively monitor power savings, battery health, and also run predictive maintenance enabling greater energy savings, says a company release.

The Indian home electronics provider’s next generation connected solar inverter is powered by an Internet of Things platform “iQu” from start-up company iBot Control Systems.

[quote] The technology startup focuses on enabling manufacturers, businesses and people – connect, control and engage in commerce with machines.

According to Microsoft, the iQu IoT platform is designed for “high volume and highly distributed IOT deployments, enterprise grade security and in-built cellular connectivity and the connected Solar Inverter will provide real-time access to usage monitoring hence enabling Luminous’ customers to maximize ROI on their investments.”

Luminous’ release of smart and connected products are aimed at small and midsize business, individual customers, and small solar power facilities.

Vipul Sabharwal, managing director at Luminous commented: “iBot was chosen by Luminous for its ease of integration and ability to drive a faster go-to-market while rapidly innovating customer and channel facing applications (web/mobile) including analytics.”

Microsoft underwater data centre

In March this year, Microsoft went public on a new big data research project – not to draw information from the seas on coral reefs or fisheries but to use water as a depository for cloud-based consumer data.

Named Project Natick, the research initiative is seeking new solutions to global demand for cloud storage as well as environmentally sustainable ways to run energy-hungry data centres.

In August 2015, the researchers lowered a prototype vessel – nicknamed Leona Philpot – onto the seafloor approximately one kilometre off the Pacific coast of the US.

Using cameras and other sensors, they recorded data like temperature, humidity, the amount of power being used for the system, even the speed of the current.

Norm Whitaker, who heads special projects for Microsoft Research NExT, said: “The bottom line is that in one day this thing was deployed, hooked up and running. Then everyone is back here, controlling it remotely. A wild ocean adventure turned out to be a regular day at the office.”