To achieve and improve energy optimization and savings, monitoring and metering are used daily by the Sensorea team. IoT Meters have been deployed for 2 years in several buildings in order to detect leaks, drifts in energy consumption, overheating,… More generally, the IoT is becoming more and more frequent around us, and it is interesting to question the environmental impact of these sensors.
In a joint effort of UCL-Mons and Sensorea, the impact of IoT sensors used in the energy management process was analysed in an LCA approach study. In their master’s thesis, Pierre and Julien analysed the impact of 3 sensors on GHGs and other environmental indicators, taking into account the production, operation and recycling process.
GHG emissions are mainly induced by the production and distribution phases. In order to reduce environmental impacts, special attention is needed on where the sensors are manufactured and how they are delivered to site (by car, train or plane). Another conclusion is that the impact on GHG (ranging from 2 to 10 kg of GHG GWP – doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.128966) can be largely offset by its operational benefits on energy consumption, e.g. by adjusting the flow rates of air handling units according to the indoor CO2 concentration. It allows us to confirm that the IoT installed on site is beneficial for the environment, with a positive global carbon reduction impact.