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Solar-powered IoT tracking (no battery) and the ‘three golden rules’ of IoT design

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Netherlands-based engineering and design firm SODAQ has invented a solar-powered cellular IoT asset tracker which dispenses with a battery altogether, and runs by harvesting solar energy alone. It is the first of its kind, anywhere, reckons Nordic Semiconductor, which supplied the NB-IoT/LTE-M chip into the bargain.

It should be noted, however, SODAQ already offers a LoRa based cattle tracker that relies on energy harvesting from the sun.

The new cellular IoT tracker product, called TRACK SOLAR, measures 80x80x11.5mm, and weighs 100g. It integrates a light sensor, accelerometer, temperature sensor, and status LEDs, and is powered from a 0.5W solar panel. It offers a positional accuracy of 5-20 metres for GPS, 10-50 metres for Wi-Fi, and 100-plus metres for cellular.

In low duty cycle applications, comprising up to eight ‘pings’ per day, the asset tracker will operate perpetually on harvested solar energy alone, reckons SODAQ. It is well suited to a range of logistics, offshore, site management, and general asset tracking applications, it said.

The device is built on Nordic Semiconductor’s dual-mode NB-IoT/LTE-M nRF9160 system-in-package (SiP). The Norway-based firm said batteries are a key factor for the IoT sector, at large, to succeed in its quest for ‘massive’ scale. “By eliminating the need for battery replacement, the tracker… also eliminates the single biggest cost factor in large-scale IoT tracking installations and so supports high volume, low cost cellular IoT tracking applications,” it said.

SODAQ said the device is able to operate without a battery by following certain low-power IoT commandments. Jan Willem Smeenk, chief executive at SODAQ, outlined “three golden rules” of IoT design. “Sleep as often as you can, work for as short a period as possible, and communicate as briefly as possible when on-air.”

He commented: “As the IoT moves into having hundreds of billions of devices installed worldwide, batteries suddenly become an important issue. First there is the cost issue of having to check and replace batteries which in large IoT installations quickly become the single biggest cost factor over an IoT product or sensor’s lifetime.

“This cost factor will become even more significant as the data subscription costs for cellular continue to fall to what I predict will be around $1 a year before long. Second there is the environmental impact of having billions of battery waste a year. To me, therefore, the future of IoT really does need to be batteryless and therefore self-powered wherever possible. So the SODAQ TRACK SOLAR is a firm a step in that direction for cellular IoT.”

The solar-powered unit is part of the SODAQ’s TRACK range of asset trackers. It is also available with a battery. The TRACK range includes two additional battery-powered products, targeting theft detection and parcel tracking and monitoring.

The post Solar-powered IoT tracking (no battery) and the ‘three golden rules’ of IoT design appeared first on Enterprise IoT Insights.

This content was originally published here.

IoT

Google Nest Hub Max Smart Home Assistant (Chalk, Refurbished, Plain Box) – EXPANSYS Japan

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Best Amazon Prime Day Arlo, Nest, Ring, Blink & Smart Home Deals 2020: Top Security Camera, Video Doorbell, Floodlight, Alarm & Philips Hue Sales Presented by Deal Tomato

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Prime Day smart home & security camera deals for 2020 are finally here, browse all the latest Prime Day Ring Video Doorbell, Nest Protect & Thermostat, Philips Hue smart LED bulb, Arlo Pro & Blink Mini sales listed belowPrime Day home secur…

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Which Smart Home Heating Should You Choose?

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Not all smart heating control systems are suited for every lifestyle and home, with some more and less beneficial than others. SMART stands for ‘Self-Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology’, and differs from standard heating controls by allowing you to control every aspect of your heating schedule from either a phone or tablet. Although room thermostats and timers allow you to control each room instead of your whole home, as long as you have internet access, smart home heating devices let you control your heating from your phone, no matter where you are in the world.

Today, we’re running through 7 of the best smart heating thermostats and systems, comparing features, benefits and what type of home they’re most suitable for.

– 7 day, & 5/2 day scheduling with a pre-configured schedule included
– Choice of up to 4 time periods a day
– Minimum On-Time & Cycle Rate settings ensuring compatibility with many boilers
– Table stand for ease of positioning
– Alert messages to assist fault-finding with a fail-safe mode
– Wireless technology makes upgrading easier and the installation time shorter with less wiring involved

Best for:

– Homes that require high levels of automatic control that provide significant energy efficiency for a wide range of boilers and systems.

– Single Heating Zone Control
– 7 Day, 5/2 Day, or 24 Hour Control
– Programmable Room Thermostat
– Easily Programmed With The Associated App

Best for:

– Homes that are just starting to take the first steps into using smart home heating
– Homes that need a single heating zone control
– Homes that have either combination or standard boiler systems

– Touch-screen interface simplifies scheduling, changing and overriding temperature
– Location-based programming (geo-fencing) adds an automated layer of control, adjusting the customer’s home heating based on their location
– Scheduling features include 7 and 5/2 day bespoke scheduling with up to 6 time periods a day
– Simple flip-up wiring bar for easy access and an easy-to-install boiler or zone valve interface
– Direct wall mounting or wall-box mounting
– Optimisation features include optimum start and stop & delayed start boiler control. Allows the thermostat and boiler to work more efficiently together

Best for:

– Homes with any boiler and almost every heating system
– Homes with 230V on/off OpenTherm appliances (gas boilers, combi boilers and heat pumps)

– Ability to control water temperature and heating
– Self-learning functions to make every experience a unique one, helping it to understand your home’s needs
– Using a smart weather compensation feature and weather data, the vSMART can tell your boiler how hard it has to work to get your home to your required temperature
– You can connect multiple vSMART controllers to one app

Best for:

– Homes with Valliant ecoTEC system/open vented boilers
– Households that want to be able to control water temperature from anywhere too

– A 7-day full programmer that gives great flexibility offering up to three on/off switchings per day
– LoT display, providing text feedback that gives help and programming hints
– Automatic Summer/Winter 1 hour time change
– Choice of 3 different built-in programmes
– ‘Holiday’ button

Best for:

– Homes with heating and stored hot water in complete systems
– Homes with older gravity circulation stored hot water systems, where there’s no interlocking control valve
– Households with different heating needs from day-to-day

– One channel thermostat system with two radiator thermostats to start zoning your system
– Smart heating & hot water control
– Quick & simple to install using an industry-standard backplate
– Easy Zoning with the addition of extra Wiser Radiator Thermostats

Best for:

– Homes with combination boilers
– Households that want to start a zoned system to control individual zones within the home

– Automatic time and temperature control of domestic heating premises
– Optimum Start, Optimum Stop and Delayed Start
– No installer links or switches on the back of the unit means no adjustment is required for combi boilers and most central heating systems
– Scheduled maintenance alert
– Automatic Summer/Winter time change
– Up to four independent time & temperature settings
– Auto, manual, holiday, override and off (frost) modes

Best for:

– Domestic premises
– Most central heating systems and combi boilers

For more smart home heating controls, check out our full range today at MonsterPlumb. If you’re not interested in smart technology when it comes to controlling the heating and water temperature in your home, take a look at our selection of heating controls and valves.

This content was originally published here.

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