Wireless power system works in buildings

April 21, 2011
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Powercast, a US-based wireless power and energy-harvesting company, has introduced a wireless sensor system that works within buildings. 

The significance of this system is a single RF transmitter can be used to power a number of sensors over distances of 80 feet.

It is expected to be used in environmental monitoring in HVAC control and building automation. The company has designed radio receivers embedded inside the sensor nodes which will receive RF energy up to 60-80 feet away from the transmitters broadcasting radio waves at 915MHz.

“Broadcasted RF energy can reach and power sensors even through walls, above ceilings, and behind objects,” said the company.

The P2110 Powerharvester receiver converts RF energy to DC with a claimed efficency of 70% and provides the energy to Li-ion and Alkaline batteries. When an adjustable voltage threshold on the battery is achieved, the IC automatically disables charging.

It will operate from 0V to support capacitor charging. Receiver sensitivity is -5 dBm.

“Powercast’s wirelessly-powered sensors offer the long-term predictability of wired sensors with the deployment flexibility of battery-powered systems,” said Harry Ostaffe, vice president of marketing and business development at Powercast. 

Firm’s WSG-101 BAS Gateway can scale up to 100 sensor nodes and 800 sensor points for large-scale deployment.

The gateway interfaces to wired BAS networks via industry-standard protocols, including BACnet, Modbus, Metasys, and LonWorks.

The sensors and gateway use data links at 2.4GHz using 802.15.4 radios which users can set to channels that will not interfere with, nor be interfered by, Wi-Fi networks.

Powercast has also teamed with microcontroller supplier Microchip and Texas Instruments to offer a design kits for transmitters and RF-powered sensor nodes.

According to Powercast, a wirelessly-powered sensor system could save users 40-50% over the installed cost of wired sensors and controllers for building automation systems.

The fully-installed cost of the Lifetime Power Wireless Sensor System, including all hardware (sensors, transmitters and BAS gateway) is estimated to be around $300 per node for typical, multi-node deployments.

A starter kit, with two wireless temperature and humidity sensors, a transmitter and a BAS gateway, is available for $799.

The firm’s chips can be bought from Future, Mouser and Microchip Direct.


www.powercastco.com

Article source: http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Articles/2011/04/21/50951/wireless-power-system-works-in-buildings.htm The feed :

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