What IoT applications does LoRaWAN serve best? Senet suggests 19
LoRaWAN supports a broad set of IoT applications, applicable to a wide variety of vertical markets. Below is a comprehensive list of 19 use cases, as provided by LoRaWAN provider Senet, which offers LoRaWAN infrastructure in 80 countries.
Check out the new report on the state of the LPWA market, available July 23, in which Senet chief executive Bruce Chatterley is interviewed, alongside others – go here for latest reports. Today is also the last chance to register for the July 23 webinar on the LPWA market – go here to sign up.
In the meantime, here are Senet’s prime use cases for LoRaWAN. Many of these, or at least many sub-sets of these, could be served, also, by any of Sigfox, NB-IoT, or LTE-M – or indeed other proprietary LPWA technologies. But Senet, in the LoRaWAN game, says LoRaWAN is best. Here’s why.
1 | Asset tracking
Securely tracking the location and condition of valuable equipment is critical to many industries, and managing asset utilization and reducing lifecycle costs becomes much easier with IoT-enabled solutions. Integrating data from intelligent technologies improves decision making for planning and operations. LoRaWAN sensors measure location, vibration, temperature, loads, and speeds, and use a combination of real-time and historical data to recommend maintenance before issues develop. Access to asset performance data also maximizes uptime and provides the ability to analyze trends to meet and exceed production goals.
2 | Backflow valve monitoring
Backflow preventer devices are installed on water pipes to allow water to flow in one direction but never in the opposite direction, preventing water sources from becoming contaminated. Monitoring and proper maintenance of backflow valves is critical for the health and safety of workers and manufacturing systems. All industrial water customers are required to have backflow protection devices at water service entrances. Undetected relief valve discharges cause contamination and flooding. LoRaWAN connected backflow preventers include a wireless monitor that senses when a backflow condition exists and sends immediate text or email alerts to facility managers. Monitoring solutions ensure safety, reduce liability, and offer peace of mind.
3 | Cold chain monitoring
Cold-chain storage trackers monitor products in temperature-controlled environments, such as refrigeration and freezer units through the entire chain of custody, from processing and production to storage and delivery. LoRaWAN is ideally suited for cold-chain applications in healthcare where medicines need to be maintained at highly regulated temperatures, and food transport and handling to reduce the risk of illness resulting from contaminated foods or ingredients. A major component of regulation in these markets is the ability to track, report, and maintain location and temperature conditions.
4 | Equipment tracking
Securely tracking the location and condition of valuable equipment is critical to many industries, and managing asset utilization and reducing lifecycle costs becomes much easier with IoT-enabled solutions. Integrating data from intelligent technologies improves decision making for planning and operations. LoRaWAN sensors measure location, vibration, temperature, loads and speeds and use a combination of real-time and historical data to recommend maintenance before issues develop. Access to equipment performance data also maximizes uptime and provides the ability to analyze trends to meet and exceed production goals.
5 | Irrigation management
Water is a precious resource for municipalities, yet the EPA estimates more than 60 per cent of irrigation goes to waste. Conventional irrigation methods for city-owned and managed facilities can be difficult to justify – especially when sub-surface water supplies are strained. Remotely operated sprinkler heads and nozzles can be customized with watering schedules based on soil moisture and weather conditions – reducing unnecessary water use and enhancing sustainability. Cities using LoRaWAN enabled smart irrigation control systems are able to make every drop of water count and still have beautiful parks, medians and gardens for citizens.
6 | Leak detection
Leaks in pipelines and other systems that involve water, gas or chemicals present a serious issue with the potential for significant economic losses or substantial environmental pollution. LoRaWAN water leak detection and flooding sensors monitor for the presence of water inside and outside industrial facilities. If a malfunction occurs or an anomaly is detected, the system pinpoints and sends alerts with actionable information to facility managers to guide quick response and resolution.
7 | Logistics / transportation management
LoRaWAN technology makes it easy and affordable for supply chain and logistics organizations to track high-value assets, including those that are in transit. With the technology’s long range and low power consumption qualities and GPS-free geolocation, vehicles, cargo and other assets can be easily monitored over large geographic regions and within harsh environments. Fleet tracking systems using LoRaWAN connectivity can reduce costs by keeping fleets in the field longer, improve fuel economy, enhance safety, provide visibility into maintenance issues and deliver overall improvements to operational efficiency.
8 | Parking space monitoring
Research has proven that searching for available parking spaces increases traffic congestion and carbon emissions, frustrates drivers, and stifles economic opportunities for businesses. In-ground or surface-mounted LoRaWAN sensors provide accurate vehicle detection in parking spaces and vehicle counts for parking lot entrances and exits. Capturing real-time parking data can streamline and improve overall parking space utilization and contribute to business and municipal revenue streams.
9 | Pest management
Ever-increasing population densities are creating perfect conditions for rats and other rodents to thrive. Pest control programs are necessary to protect people and facilities from rodent disease, contamination and damage, yet manual inspections are costly and time consuming. LoRaWAN connected pest management solutions enable a new level of visibility and can be monitored anywhere and in real-time. Rugged, water-resistant traps deliver quick, high-voltage shock offering a humane and safe alternative to rodenticides. Easy web and mobile application pairing, multi-year trap battery life and real-time alerts when service is required improve efficiencies and reduce costs for indoor and outdoor rodent control programs.
10 | Environmental monitoring
Many coastal cities experience chronic flood during moderate to heavy rains and high tides can leave thoroughfares and neighborhood roads with impassable standing water. Monitoring environmental factors such as air quality and precipitation can address these issues and help create smarter, safer and more resilient communities. Rugged, weather-proof solar powered units placed on top of light poles and bridges utilize ultrasonic sensors and LoRaWAN technology to remotely measure water levels above dry land or a body of water. These real-time environmental monitoring systems measure air quality, hyperlocal weather and precipitation levels to predict flooding and notify citizens of hazardous conditions.
11 | Public safety
Demand for comprehensive safety and security solutions is on the rise. IoT-enabled public safety solutions provide first responders with innovative technology that can help mitigate risk and enhance the safety of individuals. LoRaWAN technology is being incorporated into personal wearable devices such as ID badges and are equipped with a panic button to send an instant SOS with the user’s location information. Deployed across corporate and college campuses, these solutions are designed to address the gap of one second to attack vs. seven seconds to dial 911 with cell phone-based solutions.
12 | Soil moisture monitoring
Only three per cent of the world’s water is accessible freshwater. Of that, 70 per cent of the freshwater consumed is used in the agricultural industry – the largest consumer of water globally. Being able to capture soil moisture data is critical for agriculture, horticulture and landscaping industries. Too much water in the soil leads to waterlogged areas and root-rot damage, while too little water will harm growth. Remote LoRaWAN soil moisture monitoring systems offer farmers real-time insight into the soil moisture condition of their crops. Soil holds moisture differently in various areas. With low-cost, plug and play probes that can be deployed across large fields, valuable data results in smarter irrigation decisions, increased yield and 30 per cent reduction in water consumption.
13 | Space utilization
The enterprise workforce has become increasingly mobile and rapidly transitioned to an ‘anytime, anywhere’ work ethos. As a result, office space can sit unused for long periods of time or can be overbooked, based on the unpredictable flow of employees and visitors. The task of adequately utilizing and scheduling available space has become a logistical challenge for businesses. Evidence-based occupancy data from LoRaWAN sensors takes away the guesswork and equips teams with actionable intelligence to improve workplace practices, inform future designs to accommodate a growing workforce, and ultimately boost employee productivity.
14 | Steam trap monitoring
Steam is used in a wide range of industries. Common applications include steam heated processes in factories and steam driven turbines in electric power plants. Steam traps are a type of automatic valve that filters out condensed steam and non-condensable gases such as air without letting steam escape. Steam traps fail at an average rate of 10-30 per cent each year creating waste and costly inefficiencies. Testing steam traps is a labor-intensive process typically done manually once per year. LoRaWAN steam trap monitoring systems allow enterprises to interrogate their steam trap population on a frequent basis to detect failures. Data is securely sent to an online building management system providing dashboard visibility and reports on which traps are functioning normally and which need repair.
15 | Tank monitoring
With the large number of propane and fuel oil tanks being used for residential and commercial purposes, a reliable system to monitor fuel levels is essential. Fuel delivery companies are a critical partner in Smart Industry supply chain operations where run-outs can have detrimental effects. Without the means to remotely measure fuel levels, trucks are often being dispatched inefficiently – driving up operational costs and complicating customer service delivery. By placing low-cost, low-power LoRaWAN sensors on fuel tanks, fill level and other valuable data can be sent over the Senet network to tank monitoring solutions used by supply companies to optimize their delivery process. In addition, industrial operations can accurately forecast fuel usage to reduce truck rolls thereby reducing their carbon footprint.
16 | Temperature monitoring
Maintaining appropriate temperature of valuable assets is important to healthcare, food services and other industries. Temperature excursion can cause catastrophic product loss. In addition to the destruction of resources, these events expose enterprises to losses such as damage to brand, reputation and public image. Remote LoRaWAN monitoring of temperature and humidity with low power sensors provide enterprises with the ability to access readings and historical logging for compliance audits. Alarm systems with multiple threshold settings provide cost-effective protection and safety measures.
17 | Water management
Water-intensive businesses including supermarkets, hotels, car washes, food and beverage processors and commercial buildings experience water waste from damaged equipment, spills and leaks. Rapid notification and response are key to eliminating waste, cutting cost and reducing compliance risk. A water management solution comprised of LoRaWAN sensors to measure flow and pressure through piping networks, facilities and equipment provides municipalities with detailed insight into their total water footprint. Water management applications monitor pH and chlorine ranges and provide the ability to detect mechanical malfunctions and failure points instantly.
18 | Water metering
Water utility companies can stay responsive, lean and resourceful by deploying LoRaWAN metering systems to replace outdated, labor-intensive processes. Advanced metering infrastructure solutions help utility customers and municipalities boost efficiencies and accelerate sustainability efforts at the best possible total cost of ownership. Smart water metering solutions provide the ability to acquire usage data and bill accounts remotely, increasing operational efficiencies and generating additional service revenues.
19 | Waste bin monitoring
Being able to automatically sense and monitor bin fill level, location and pick-up frequency allows fleet operators to track performance, manage the status of work orders in real-time and decrease labor costs. LoRaWAN based waste monitoring solutions reduce both collection times and expenses. Automatic notification alerts when bins are reaching pre-defined thresholds provide intelligent route planning for collection service providers and eliminates unnecessary visits and overflowing garbage bins for end users.