4 Immediate benefits of using energy harvesting sensors
Are all equipment sensors the same? No, compared with plug-in or battery-operated sensors, energy harvesting sensors punch above their weight. As manufacturing industries implement the Industrial Internet of Things, self-powered sensors are becoming a rising star. DCO Systems explain 4 immediate benefits of using sensors that power themselves and why you should make the switch.
Many vendors claim extravagant battery lifetimes, but batteries are finite. This means that to get long life, battery powered sensors must do less. How can analysis be complete when reporting intervals are many hours apart, designed to suit the battery and not your needs? For this reason, our sensor units harvest and store energy.
Energy harvesting creates the conditions for more frequent data reporting and always-on, real-time connection of your equipment and assets. More than that, our sensors adapt, measuring their harvesting and dynamically adjusting power use to suit operational and reporting constraints you set.
Data is captured at the source, and delivered on the schedule you need to analysis dashboards, pro-active alert tools and data warehouses. Moreover, cloud based software allows engineers to access updates, diagnostics, and predictions wherever they are and whenever they want. With always-on, energy harvesting sensors, you move into a high-definition world. As a result, your picture gets bigger even as the detail in the picture becomes sharper.
Simplification & ease of use
Let us imagine a plant that needs 100 sensors to monitor and gather data for the production process. It takes significant effort to deploy wired power for all those 100 sensors to get them up and running. Contracting an external resource for electrical installation is a significant cost, using in-house resources introduces delays and incurs opportunity costs.
In contrast, energy harvesting sensors have a simple plug and play installation. This means, any employee can install the self-powered sensor to a machine, and it is ready to harness data immediately. In conclusion, there is no scheduling contractors or complex configuration – energy harvesting sensors are designed for ease of use and deployment.
Battery-free and maintenance-free
Sensors that rely on batteries, need their batteries changed. Thus, to ensure that sensors are running, engineers engage in a never-ending schedule of routine maintenance and battery exchanges. In truth, you can eliminate this reactive task completely. Battery-free, energy harvesting sensors do not need routine maintenance, they work non-stop without battery changes. Furthermore, this makes self-powered sensors an ideal choice for remote monitoring in hard to access locations and sites with limited existing infrastructure.
Energy harvesting sensors are vital for reducing a plants overall energy usage and reaching zero-waste. The simplicity of harnessing energy from the surrounding environment, something that is already there, and using it generates zero waste. Specifically, ambient energy is all around us – in heat, light, movement, and other ambient sources. In contrast, wired sensors that need to be plugged in use energy. But look deeper; when you plug-in wired sensors, perhaps hundreds of them, the effort and additional infrastructure consume resources and add cost to your bottom line. Furthermore, what is the source of the energy your plant relies on? Unless your plant is fully powered by renewable sources, the energy you need to run additional equipment will generate waste and add to carbon emissions.
Additionally, for sensors that run on batteries, most of the waste is in the supply chain. Think about the impact of battery production and used batteries on the environment. Batteries are developed using non-renewable resources and rely on recycling programmes for the billions of batteries discarded every year.
DCO System’s energy harvesting sensors provide benefits that pay-off immediately. They are easy to install, ready for immediate use and provide complete information. Furthermore, energy harvesting sensors tap into a free, zero-waste source that is reliable and eliminates the need for energy sources and continuous battery maintenance. It's clear why energy harvesting sensors are the rising star, isn’t it time you made the switch.