Energy harvesting sensors as a battery-free IIoT solution
Looking for maintenance-free sensors? Or are you finding gaps in your data reporting? DCO have built energy harvesting sensors that eliminate tedious battery changes and offer complete, fine-grained data reporting. Likewise, our self-powered sensors remove the need for scheduled installation of power sources by electrical engineers. Designed with OEM’s and maintenance engineers in mind, our sensors ‘work for you’, rather than ‘creating work for you’.
Overall, our truly wireless, equipment sensors, harness power from already existing energy found in their surrounding environment. This includes thermal, solar, electrical induction and vibrational changes that occur naturally. As a result, this ensures reliable operation in varying environmental conditions. Furthermore, our wireless sensors measure elements within machines like heat exchangers, actuators, motors and drives, air handlers, heat recovery units, steam traps, boilers, valves and pipework.
Harnessing energy from ambient sources
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.
Perfect choice for accessing the inaccessible
Energy harvesting sensors need only the tiniest bit of energy to harvest. This energy can be found even in remote places with little infrastructure. For example, locations that are difficult to access may include tunnels (not for the claustrophobic), roof tops (which no ladder can easily reach) and installed equipment that is far-far-away. Consequently, these are the exact places that could greatly benefit from monitoring but where you don’t want to worry about changing batteries. Furthermore, energy harvesting sensors power themselves continually and are always on. As a result, you receive continuous, uninterrupted real-time data on your systems with rapid alerts and updates.
Why choose energy harvesting?
One immediate benefit is that our self-powered sensors do not require work or installation by the site electrical engineer. Furthermore, this reduces safety hazards because it avoids work on live electrical equipment. Additionally, there is no effect on the equipment monitored in regards to energy usage because the power harvested is a fraction of a percent of that consumed by the equipment.
Compact and versatile, our sensors can be easily installed and connected to either a Gateway or mobile data connection. Our dashboard analytics service delivers fine-grained, live updates on the schedule of your process demands - not the one that a battery dictates.
Furthermore, we offer scalable solutions. As your business and operation grow, we can add more energy harvesting sensors and include newly monitored equipment in our whole system monitoring approach. With more sensors installed, our clients benefit from a more clear and complete understanding of their process. In conclusion, this comprehensive data drives better, informed decisions that reduce costs and increase energy efficiency.
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