Five days in darkness

Munich, Germany-based EnOcean has introduced a small solar-powered wireless sensor module.

Munich, Germany-based EnOcean, has introduced a small solar-powered wireless sensor module.

The STM 100 unit itself is comprised of a solar cell energy source, an energy reservoir, three analog and four digital sensor connections, a microprocessor for sensor control, and a radio transmitter – all packed into a 0.8 x 1.6 x 0.4 inch footprint (2 x 4 x 1 cm).

Despite its small size, STM100 stores sufficient energy to operate continuously for up to five days in complete darkness.

Each module assures reliable wireless communication through a combination of multiple RF broadcasts, a fast data rate and error detection.

‘EnOcean’s patented technology lets STM100 generate a surprisingly long-range radio signal with extremely minute amounts of harvested energy,” said Armin Anders, EnOcean’s VP of Product Marketing.

“With just 50 µWs, a standard EnOcean transmitter will comfortably send a signal 300 meters outdoors, 30 meters indoors through walls. The secret is in the signal duration; the entire process is initiated, undertaken and completed in approximately 1/1000 of a second.”

Designed to operate indoors, the device requires only 200 lux to operate (typical lighting values in a building range from 200 lux in hallways, 500 lux on desktops and up to 1200 lux in display cases). Using it, OEMs can create a completely self-powered, functioning, communicating device, such as a thermostat.

STM100s, including solar cell, energy reservoir and radio are available in OEM quantities for less than $25.