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Ellenex Low Power Sensors: LPWAN Dominator of industrial IoT applications

The global Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) Market is expected to exceed $40,000 million by 2027!
Low Power Wide Area Network / LPWAN technology has been the most dominant communication protocol for IoT application across industries such as Agriculture and farming, Water and Wastewater, Smart cities and councils, Logistics and Delivery, HVAC and Smart Buildings, Oil and Gas, Mining and Construction

The Wide Adoption of LPWAN technology

Ever since the advent of battery powered devices and sensors in the past few decades, the world has seen their widespread adoption and integration with the latest technology systems and ongoing advancements. This is especially true for applications such as wireless communication, remote monitoring and Internet of Things. Regarding industrial applications and in particular low-power battery-operated sensors, their potential to improve efficiency in many fronts is limitless.

With a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Low-Power wide area network or LPWAN connections of 62.7% from 2020 to 2027, many organisations are looking to invest in these devices to increase profits or even get an edge over the market by integrating the technology with their unique products.

Why do we want LPWAN sensors? 

LPWAN sensors are low-power battery operated sensors that can communicate over long distances with relatively minimal power consumption. This ensures that the battery lasts for a long period of time while providing the functionality the user requires. They communicate data that they read via networks made specifically for LPWAN devices and allow the user to access the valuable information. 

The versatility of the nature of these devices being battery powered means that these devices can essentially be deployed anywhere such as:

  • Remote areas that have no access to electricity

  • Rural regions with under-developed infrastructure

  • Difficulty to access for humans

This opens up the possibility for organisations to develop unprecedented applications that can provide value to society. The property of long battery life of these devices also means lower maintenance and replacement costs in the long term.

From a business perspective, the cost effectiveness along with the deploy and forget nature of the battery operated devices is a huge incentive to adopt these IoT solutions, with some sensors delivering up to 10 years of reliable and uninterrupted operation in the field on a single battery life.

LPWAN is capable to resolving long term & infrequent communications across various industries such as Agriculture and farming, Water and Wastewater, Smart cities and councils, Logistics and Delivery, HVAC and Smart Buildings, Oil and Gas, Mining and Construction

Challenges and insights

All of this sounds good in concept, however, the constraints we are trying to manage with LPWAN sensors are limited functionality and power consumption

  • Strict power usage: The fact that these sensors are battery-powered means the power consumption must be controlled to ensure the continuous operation of the device over its expected lifespan. Depending on the specifications of the LPWAN device, crafting a solution will need careful consideration of these constraints in the forefront of one’s mind.

  • Restricted communication: Features that many take for granted like real-time data transmission and bi-directional communication from traditional wireless devices such as mobile phones, cannot be translated directly for LPWAN devices.

Maximising battery life is paramount for LPWAN devices, making judicious data consumption imperative. A critical factor in this optimisation is the Spreading Factor (SF), dictating data dispersion across bandwidth.

Energy Efficiency is heavily impacts the Transmission Spreading Factor, where LPWAN technology designers need to pay detailed attention and efforts

The graph depicts the energy efficiency of data transmission across varying distances using SF values ranging from 7 to 12. Notably, SF7 exhibits superior efficiency for short distances, while SF12 excels for longer ranges. This reversal underscores the nuanced relationship between SF and energy consumption, highlighting the necessity of strategic SF selection based on distance requirements.

Pioneer of LPWAN Technology: Ellenex pre-configured IoT Sensors

At Ellenex, we have 25+ years of experiences in edge-cutting IoT technologies. We offer top-tier class A sensors which are configured to cater LPWAN characteristics.

With long periods of sleep and short transmission times, Ellenex maximises the battery life of IoT sensors, pre-configuring device communication over 60+ industrial use cases

Ellenex offers pre-configured and easy to use platforms to connect and utilise LPWAN technologies with industrial strength IoT devices, offering LPWAN connection methods over NB IoT/ Cat M1, LoRaWAN, Low Power Satellite, Wirepas

Ellenex offers 5 different LPWAN technologies but primarily focuses on LoRaWAN and NB-IoT, addressing a range of 4000+ product variations with our software platform, emphasising on the user-friendly nature during interaction with the industrial end-users.

  • Intuitive and simplified: as the user can easily update the sampling rate in just a few clicks. The granularity of the user-specified input facilitates a wide range of customisation for sampling rate optimisation.

  • Arbitrary sampling rate tuning: Our user-centric approach on LPWAN technology management allows you to choose how frequent and power-efficient your IoT devices can be, sending downlink commands at the tips of your fingers!

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