Category: Press Releases


Powercast Exceeds 25-Year Battery Life in Wireless Sensors for Building Monitoring and Control

Low-power, long-life wireless sensors eliminate the need for battery replacement

Pittsburgh, PA – January 11, 2012 — Powercast Corporation, a provider of low-power wireless technologies and systems, has expanded the capabilities of its Lifetime Power® Wireless Sensor System with two ultra-long-life, battery-powered sensors. The system provides remote sensing for building automation, HVAC and lighting control, energy management, industrial monitoring, and medical compliance.

The first of the new battery-powered devices, the WSN-1101 wireless sensor, measures temperature, humidity, light, and external temperature probes. Featuring a pre-installed, long-life non-replaceable battery, the WSN-1101 can transmit data once per minute for more than 25 years without maintenance. It comes in a small, wall-mount enclosure measuring only 4”x2”x1”. The WSN-1101 can alternatively be configured with replaceable lithium batteries, available in retail stores, to provide 15 years of battery life. Both options provide battery life performance that is unmatched in the building-controls industry, and deliver a highly competitive alternative to traditional hardwired systems with high installation labor costs.

The second of Powercast’s new battery-powered devices, the WSN-1102 wireless CO2 sensor, can operate on batteries for three to 15 years depending on user-selected data transmission intervals from one to five minutes. The WSN-1102 is self-calibrating with a measurement range of 0-5,000ppm, making it suitable to monitor the environment for occupant comfort as well as safety. Also offering the longest battery-life in the industry, the WSN-1102 makes a compelling case to wirelessly monitor CO2 in both new and existing buildings.

Similar to Powercast’s existing WSN-1001/1002 battery-less, RF-powered sensors, the new battery-powered WSN-1101 and WSN-1102 communicate to Powercast’s WSG-101 wireless gateway. The WSG-101 gateway supports up to 100 sensor nodes and 800 sensor points, and interfaces to wired Building Automation System (BAS) networks via industry-standard protocols, including BACnet, Modbus, Metasys N2, LonWorks, XML, and SNMP. Wireless repeaters with real-time performance ensure that the system can extend to unlimited distances. The WSG-101 also supports redundant configurations for mission-critical applications.

“Powercast’s newest battery-powered sensors provide the deployment flexibility and installation convenience of wireless technology, with the predictability and operating longevity of wired systems,” said Harry Ostaffe, vice president of marketing and sales at Powercast. “There are no other solutions on the market that match this level of performance.”

The WSN-1101 wireless sensor was designed for very low power consumption, which results in its ultra-long battery life. Powercast ran a simulated, worst-case, accelerated battery life test over a 22-day period which confirmed operation for >25 years. The test report is available from the Powercast website.

The list price of the WSN-1101 wireless sensor is around $200 per device, depending on the configuration, and the list price of the WSN-1102 wireless CO2 sensor is $550. The Lifetime Power Wireless Sensor System is also available for private labeling by OEMs, resellers, and systems integrators.

Powercast will demonstrate its new sensors and sensor system at the AHR Expo, Booth #3556, January 23 – 25 in Chicago, IL.

About Powercast
Powercast Corporation is a provider of wireless power technologies and low-power wireless systems for automation, monitoring, and control. Powercast’s technologies eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, extend sensor networks into hard-to-service locations, and enable greater system efficiency in applications such as building automation and energy management.

Category: Press Releases

Powercast Debuts Battery-less, RF-Powered Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor System for Building and Industrial Automation

Powercast Debuts Battery-less, RF-Powered Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor System for Building and Industrial Automation
Radio waves perpetually power sensor networks to eliminate wiring and batteries

Pittsburgh, PA — April 20, 2011 — Powercast Corporation, a leader in RF-based wireless power and energy harvesting technology, today announced its Lifetime Power® Wireless Sensor System for wireless environmental monitoring in HVAC control and building automation. Remote radio frequency (RF) transmitters broadcast RF energy that perpetually powers wireless sensor nodes without batteries or wires.

The Powercast wireless sensor system is composed of three parts: a family of battery-less sensor nodes embedded with Powercast’s Powerharvester® receivers so they may be powered wirelessly, a WSG-101 Building Automation System (BAS) Gateway, and Powercast’s TX91501 Powercaster® transmitter.

The first of the family of sensor devices, available today, is the WSN-1001 Wireless Temperature and Humidity Sensor. Additional wirelessly-powered sensors to measure CO2, pressure, light level, motion and other conditions will follow shortly.

In the wireless powering system, a single transmitter or a network of them power multiple sensor devices. Powerharvester receivers embedded inside the sensor nodes receive RF energy up to 60-80 feet away from the Powercaster transmitters broadcasting radio waves at 915 MHz (a frequency commonly used in industrial and consumer devices). The receivers then convert the RF energy into DC current to power the sensors wirelessly, similar to RFID, but with longer range and greater functionality. Broadcasted RF energy can reach and power sensors even through walls, above ceilings, and behind objects, and provides a reliable and predictable energy source as opposed to pure ambient energy-harvesting technologies such as indoor solar, thermal, or vibration.

The 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 communicate wirelessly 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 estimates that a battery-less, wirelessly-powered sensor system could save users 40-50% over the installed cost of wired sensors and controllers for building automation systems, and can also eliminate the future and repeated maintenance cost of battery replacement and disposal.

Powercast developed its wireless sensor system using the company’s core RF transmitter (Powercaster) and receiver (Powerharvester) energy-harvesting technology, and the other devices included in Powercast’s P2110-EVAL-01 Energy Harvesting Development Kit for Wireless Sensors. The receiver embedded in the sensor nodes is based on Powercast’s award-winning P2110 Powerharvester receiver, which is available for OEMs to design into their own products.

“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. “We look forward to its wide-scale deployment and to further adoption of our core wireless power technology by other sensor OEMs.”

The fully-installed cost of the Lifetime Power Wireless Sensor System, including all hardware (sensors, transmitters and BAS gateway) and labor, is estimated to be around $300 per node for typical, multi-node deployments. A starter kit (2 wireless temperature and humidity sensors, a transmitter and a BAS gateway) is available for $799.

About Powercast (www.powercastco.com)
Powercast Corporation is a leading innovator of RF energy harvesting and wireless power technology. Founded in 2003, Powercast’s proprietary core technology and related intellectual property pioneered the model for completely untethered electronic devices by transmitting and harvesting common radio waves similar to those in wireless communications. Powercast’s technologies eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, extend sensor networks into hard-to-service locations, and enable greater system efficiency in applications such as building automation and energy management.

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PR Contacts:

Harry Ostaffe
Vice President, Marketing and Business Development
Powercast Corporation
hostaffe@powercastco.com
+1 412-923-4774

Michelle Moody
Moody & Associates PR
michelle@moodypr.com
+1 214-363-3460

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