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energy harvesting wireless

Energy Harvesting Wireless Switches and their Applications

Energy Harvesting Wireless Switches

We live in a world where the number of networks is increasing. Information transmission requirements are also changing profoundly. There is a lot of demand for mobile, flexible and low energy transmission. The answer to all these demands is Energy Harvesting wireless switches. They offer an alternative to traditional cabled solutions as far as monitoring and managing industrial installations is concerned. They are very simple to install and require no maintenance. Energy Harvesting wireless switches are also not subject to failure as a result of damage to cables.

How Energy Harvesting Switches work

Energy harvesting switches make use of energy that is already existing in the environment hence does not generate auxiliary energy through integrated energy sources. To achieve this, Energy Harvesting switches are equipped with the following:

  • Energy harvesting generator
  • PCB

To be able to understand how these elements work, we are going to look at Energy Harvesting Wireless Switches from ZF. These switches embody an inductive generator which it uses to harvest energy.

Energy Harvesting with an inductive transformer

The pushbutton module by ZF works on inductive basis. The button transforms energy created by mechanical actuation into an electrical pulse. The moment the generator is activated, the magnetic flux in the coil system is suddenly reversed hence creating the desired electrical energy. This energy pulse is then converted and spread over time into a constant supply voltage by the energy management components. It then supplies the RF electronics with transmitting antenna, with the energy required for transmitting the RF signal. The generator has a miniature design combined with extremely high energy output. It also has a long mechanical life hence it’s sure to serve you for long.

Generator with PCB

The inductive generator coupled with a PCB is capable of wireless transfer via RF technology. It saves on plug connections, eliminates cabling and is easy to install. It is maintenance free and is very flexible as it allows operations of several receivers with one switch. It also has a unique ID to ensure unambiguous identification.

Connection

Energy Harvesting switches use different RF standards to communicate between the receiver and transmitter. Some of the common RF protocols are:

  • KNX RF
  • Zigbee Greenpower
  • ZF protocol proprietary
  • EnOcean RF protocol

Applications of Energy Harvesting Switches

Energy Harvesting Switches can be used in many applications some of which are discussed below;

Smart home

Energy harvesting switches are used to implement security measure and enhance comfort.

Building automation

Energy Harvesting Switches do not require cables hence cut installation costs and time. They are also low energy consumers hence they enable efficient use of energy.

Outdoor environmental monitoring

Energy Harvesting Wireless Switches use different RF standards. Those designated for the outdoor applications have long-range capability thus can be used to monitor a wide area.

Other applications to which these switches can be put to include LED wireless control and M2M.

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