Nowadays, nobody will call into question that LoRa™ is a fundamental technology in the IoT world. It can be used on a great many different applications where long-distance device communication and cabling cost reduction are required in an efficient way. Even so, there are five applications where LoRa™ is truly beneficial at the level of both performance and costs reduction.
Smart agriculture and irrigation
Undoubtedly one of the main applications for a long-distance technology which reaches its maximum performance on open areas.
Before LoRa’s release, the deployment of automatic and smart management projects was completely impossible on agriculture and irrigation sectors. It is now possible thanks to a huge cost reduction on the installation of devices and control systems, and the capacity to cover distances from 1 to 15 kilometers with wireless communications.
The term Smart Agro is widely used and it covers different tech applications in the sector, for example:
- Climate monitoring
- Soil monitoring via sensors (temperature, solar radiation, humidity, pH, electric conductivity, …)
- Automation and control of irrigation and ventilation
- Use of Big Data for crop forecasting, agricultural planning, etc..
A smart building is defined as a space that is equipped to satisfy in an automated, controlled and non-presential way different demands of energy efficiency, comfort, mechanic activities, maintenance, security and operations.
A smart building has sensors, collectors and detectors which transmit signals to the central processing unit, where the information is treated in order to actuate following functions programmed on the elements or sending information to an administrator to take the actions needed.
LoRa™ is a technology that can be applied in several Smart Building applications:
- Consumptions monitoring by zones or uses
- Lighting control or Smart Lighting
- Temperatures remote control
- HVAC control systems, BMS and cold/warm air conditioning
Smart energy and submetering
Even taking account of the fact that submetering could be part of others applications described on this article, smart energy metering deserves its own section as one of the best applications for LoRa™ technology.
Beyond the Smart Building, nowadays the measurement of electrical consumption is essential in almost any sector, application or installation. LoRa™ is presented as the ideal protocol for wireless communications in case where only active and reactive energy monitoring is needed.
With no need of installing cables, LoRa™ allows to collect data from energy meters along huge areas and installations where submetering is required. A few examples:
- Energy consumption of each plant on a building office
- Energy consumption metering and invoicing of each office in an office center shared between different companies
- Energy consumption metering and invoicing of each warehouse in a logistics park that rents industrial plants
Solar power generation
In line with agriculture and irrigation projects, the installation of photovoltaic panels is the perfect example of smart application that is able to drastically reduce the costs related to installation, cabling and maintenance thanks to LoRa™ technology.
It is important to remember that one of the LoRa™ ’s main strengths is the low consumption that requires to collect and send data; ideal for applications powered by batteries or 12/24 Vdc power supplies. Kilometers of solar panels being wireless monitored using low consumption devices.
Combining LoRa™ with strings surveillance results in the most efficient communication system for photovoltaic plants monitoring.
Smart water and gas monitoring
Water and gas monitoring is a sector has been waiting a long time for a technology such LoRa™ to minimize costs and maximize efficiency on their automation solutions.
LoRa™ was the remaining piece of a puzzle which already had low consumption ultrasonic sensors as the perfect solution to water and gas monitoring. LoRa™ meets the requirements of high penetration and low cost technology to control wells, pumps, pipes, silos, irrigation and water treatment.
The main applications of LoRa™ technology on water and gas monitoring are:
- Consumptions monitoring
- Flow adjustments
- Sensors remote configuration
- Leak detection
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