Energy harvesting sensors as a battery-free IIoT solution
Do you need maintenance-free sensors? Or are you finding gaps in your data reporting? Your current equipment monitoring solutions may only be scratching the surface. Gaps in your data gathering and infrequent reporting are caused by your sensor’s energy source. This is because sensors that run on batteries are finite and come with foreseeable limitations. You can read more about this here. Furthermore, plug-in sensors need both infrastructure in place and an electrical engineer for installation. That could cost you a lot of extra time waiting and money.
As a solution, DCO Systems implement each sensor with self-powering, energy harvesting capabilities. This gives you a maintenance-free, always on monitoring solution that you can rely on. Designed with OEM’s and maintenance engineers in mind, our sensors ‘work for you’, rather than ‘creating work for you’.
Read on to see how energy harvesting sensors work, how they can extend your data reach even further, which machines you can install them on and how to grab your own.
How these sensors can thrive in your environment
Our sensors are developed to take advantage of the temperature differentials in their environment. Specifically, they can utilise a heat source to generate power. For factories utilising steam, this makes our sensors an optimal choice because significant energy can be captured from the temperature differentials in such systems.
Another free and simple source of energy is solar. Our sensors have small solar panels incorporated on the sensing units that absorb the light in the environment and convert it to energy. To clarify, light harvesting works with both natural and artificial light sources. Likewise, the energy harvested from these light sources is stored and used as a future power source for the sensor.
Existing power connections can also be used as a power source without requiring a direct connection. For example, existing 3-phase wiring for units such as motors, provides energy as well. Harvesting equipment that clips-on to the existing wires can be used to satisfy the very low power level requirements of the sensor.
Vibration and motion within manufacturing plants are also great sources of energy and are captured in our power harvesting sensors. When machines are continuously in motion, our energy harvesters utilise that movement to create power for sensing operations.
How you can include inaccessible equipment
Do you have equipment or locations that are excluded from monitoring because they difficult to get to? For example, tunnels (not for the claustrophobic), roof tops (which no ladder can easily reach) and installed equipment that is far-far-away can all pose logistical challenges. Consequently, these are the exact places that could greatly benefit from monitoring but where you don’t want to worry about changing batteries.
With DCO's energy harvesting sensors, you can extend your data reach by including these assets in your monitoring efforts. They need only the tiniest bit of energy to harvest which can be found even in remote places with little infrastructure. As a result, you receive continuous, uninterrupted real-time data on your systems with rapid alerts and updates.
Configured to your equipment and machines
Energy harvesting sensors give you more freedom to monitor more performance metrics in combination on your machines and equipment. They are not rigid with fixed capabilities, instead they have a simple plug and play option that allows you to determine which metric you want monitored for each machine. It's a pretty simple concept, but can mean big changes in the breadth and depth of data you receive. The possibility to both simply and enhance your monitoring efforts are within your reach. You can see an overview on what machines DCO's sensors are currently monitoring here.
Ready to grab your own energy harvesting sensors?
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