Top 5 Solutions for LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) Networks

LPWA technologies may be what you need to run your IoT application, particularly if there are no mains or vehicle power supplies available. LPWA will allow your application to run for many years on batteries. So, let’s take a look at the kind of applications that can benefit from getting connected over LPWA networks.

Applications requiring low power technology can be found in a number of areas, such as:

  1. Utilities

  2. Smart City

  3. Transportation/Logistics

  4. Environmental

  5. Buildings

No Mains Power?, No Problem

If your business depends on maintaining and monitoring life-critical resources such as water, you need to know the status of pipes, faucets and hydrants. Water leaks in pipes are costly and wasteful. LPWA connected leak detectors are a typical application for this technology. You may be running a utility or another industrial application such as oil, gas and waste pipelines or perhaps the remote monitoring of tank levels in agriculture or industrial sites where access to mains power is not possible. In all these cases an IoT solution using LPWA technology is the best way to connect.

LPWA technologies have good in-building coverage

LPWA allows the end-point device (sensor, switch, meter) autonomy from mains power sources due to the reduced complexity and lower cost communications hardware used by LPWA networks. If the device you want to connect is inside a building or buried below ground LPWA has superior reach into those environments when compared to other wireless technologies such as 2G, 3G or 4G.

Environmental sensing is a great low-power application

Air quality in our urban areas and along main roads is of concern to all of us. You may be in the business of deploying hundreds of sensors to measure Co2, No2 and other pollutants. These do not generate big quantities of data but they need to operate for long periods of time without needing a costly ‘truck roll’ to change the batteries. LPWA is the most efficient way to deploy an array of sensors.

LPWA technologies are increasingly being used for warehouse monitoring

The transport and tracking of perishable goods such as foodstuffs and medicines may be crucial to your business. Knowing where your stuff is while in transit does not require LPWA technology as the communications device can draw its power from the vehicle. But what happens when the pallet or box is moved into a warehouse or other storage area? You would need to know how long it has been stored there and at what temperatures. LPWA technologies are increasingly being employed to track the condition of these goods.
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Smart Cities and Smart Buildings can also benefit from LPWA

Municipalities and local governments manage infrastructure and services such as car parks, street lighting and refuse collection. Your goal may be to minimise costs, downtime and wastage in these areas and maximise utilisation. All these things can be achieved using IoT technology via LPWA connections. Proximity sensors to activate street lights when pedestrians or cyclists are present, knowing if a parking space is occupied or not, or detecting when recycling bins are full and ready for collection. All of these require small amounts of data but need to be independent of a mains power supply.

 In the property or facilities management business you will want to know the occupancy levels of the buildings you run. Optimising HVAC systems is also crucial to the comfort of your tenants and your profitability. LPWA connected sensors can maximise space utilisation and minimise energy costs, dovetailing into other services in the building such as lighting, security and washroom facilities.