Friday, July 09, 2010

Solar And Battery Power Provides Wireless Sensing

The Flexpower system from Banner Engineering combines low-power sensors, long-lasting batteries, solar panels and wireless I/O devices to allow wireless operation of remote applications. The no-wire solution is designed for applications where wired power is either not available or impractical. Power is generated by lithium D cell batteries or a solar connector and rechargeable battery combination that require an average of two hours of sunlight per day to power a 4-20mA loop.

Flexpower is said to provide reliable, autonomous power sufficient to operate a range of sensors and the remote node of Banner's DX80 industrial wireless network. Applications for wireless sensing and control include: agriculture - irrigation control; monitor steam power plant valve temperatures; pump and flow control; perimeter guarding; tank level monitoring; rotating machinery for auto and other industries; landfill leachate pump counting; material handling; automated guided vehicle control; and vehicle detection.

By powering both sensing and communication functions the modules eliminate the need for any wiring to the installation. Banner Engineering offers a range of photoelectric, ultrasonic and temperature/humidity sensors specially adapted for low power consumption. To limit power use, the sensors are powered only when needed. The DX80 wireless network includes up to 56 remote nodes connecting to a central gateway. The gateway provides Modbus connectivity to PLC or other control units.

Frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) technology and time division multiple access (TDMA) control architecture combine to ensure reliable data delivery within the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band. Additional data radio units can be installed as repeaters to extend transmission range up to 3km per radio hop using 2.4GHz DX80 devices.

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