TTN and LoRaWAN in a Factory

(Mbmltd) #1

Hi There,

We’re interested in adding a bunch of battery powered sensors to machinery installed in factories. I wondered if a TTN LoRaWAN gateway with LoRaWAN sensors across the factory floor would be a good idea? It’s tempting to try to use WiFi but that’s not great for battery life.

There would be many sensors sending data (several times each day) to the cloud for analytics.

Is LoRaWAN and TTN a good choice or is there a better approach?

Jason - Technical Director - MBM Ltd

(Hylke Visser) #2

Battery Powered :white_check_mark:
Sensor data :white_check_mark:
Several times per day :white_check_mark:

As long as the data is not very critical (the radio spectrum it uses can be crowdy), LoRaWAN would work very well for this use case. If you don’t need to transmit a lot of data in a message (10s of bytes max) and you don’t need to transmit often (once every xx minutes), LoRaWAN is perfect.

There are a number of LoRaWAN network operators. National telecom operators or commercial operators provide coverage and you pay a subscription fee. TTN’s public network is built and operated by our community, and can be used for free. It does however not have any service guarantees (although we’ve done pretty good so far). TTN’s network server is one of several open source network server implementations that you can install on your own infrastructure (even on premise). Our v3 stack will be very easy to install on your own (cloud) server or even on a decent Linux gateway.

(Onehorse) #3

We used these BLE sensor nodes in a metal stamping factor connected to a gateway router passing data to a cellular modem wifi AP. Battery life was a challenge and we ended up connecting them to power via USB. I think we could do better today but changing batteries even every six months is really not a good solution.

So we have developed LoRa sensor nodes based on this platform. The base platform has 2.1 uA sleep current and with sensors sending pressure, humidity, temperature, light level and battery charge data every five minutes only costs 50 uA on average, so these would last for a couple of years on a small battery. We plan to deploy these instead in our industrial IoT applications.