what is lora

What is Lora Wireless Technology

Lora

LoRa is a spread spectrum wireless technology, developed by Semtech Corporation. It has been developed to allow long distance transmission of low rate data.

The low rate data is collected by remote field sensors and actuators, and is used for Internet of Things and M2M applications. Lora uses the 868 Mhz unlicensed radio spectrum, in what is known as the ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) bands to wirelessly facilitate low power, wide area data communication between the remote sensors and gateway devices, which connect to the Internet, or other network.

Lora is not suitable for every Industrial Internet Of Things IIOT application.

For example, if you wanted to transmit wireless CCTV images, then Lorawan would not be suitable, due to its low rate of data transfer.

What Lora excels in, however, is in transmitting small amounts of data long distances, and at low power consumption.

Low power consumption is important to wireless IIOT because some of the field sensors which record the data may be in remote locations.

Remote locations include roads and fields, which will be time-consuming and therefore expensive to get to.

By having a low power consumption rate, Lora enabled sensors do not have to have their batteries replaced very often.

Devices can be engineered to run on the same battery power supply for a few years.

Liquid Level Monitoring

LoraWAN can be used to transmit liquid level monitoring sensor data.

Examples of liquids include fuels, water, lubricants, and coolants.

The sensor by Tekelek uses ultrasonic technology to monitor liquid levels.

Using ultrasonic sensors connected to a Lora network offers accurate and reliable liquid measurement.

The battery life is more than ten years.

Using Lora long-range technology gives up to 9.5 miles range, which is 15 kilometres.

Internet of Things | Two Way Radio Wireless Communications – Yesway Communications

Induction Motor

Wet Induction Motor IOT Monitoring

Pouring water on an Induction Motor may stop it working, which can be monitored with IOT.

The reason water stops the motor working, is due to the lowering of the insulation resistance of the internal motor coil windings, but what are the wet induction motor symptoms.

The coil windings are located inside the metal case of the induction motor, and are what generates a magnetic field, which makes the motor turn.

This article will focus on what are known as ‘three phase’ Induction Motors, which have three sets of coil windings inside the motor. It will also be expanded to include the advantages of adding IOT monitoring.

The internal motor windings are wound together in a component known as a ‘Stator’.

Each winding is electrically separated by an insulation layer on the copper wire that makes up a stator winding.

Therefore there should be a high level of electrical resistance between each of the three coils.

This ‘Insulation Resistance’ is typically above 2 Mega Ohms in a correctly operating Induction Motor, however for marine Induction motors 0.5 Mega Ohms is the stated (Solas) minimum.

If the coil windings become wet, then the insulation resistance would drop to a low level, which would prevent the motor from operating, due to a short circuit between the coil windings.

The good news is that induction motors can usually be dried out, and therefore returned to having a high insulation resistance between the Stator coils.

Methods for drying out the stator coils to restore an acceptable insulation resistance include hot air, or heating the coil windings using a welding set.

It is of course vital that the motor is disconnected from the electricity supply, and that only a qualified person carries out the work.

On land based industrial installations a damp or wet  Induction Motor, should trip the safety circuit breakers (RCD), and isolate the supply.

This is because on land, the priority is to safeguard the safety of people and livestock.

On board ships and Super-yachts however, the priority is to maintain the ships important systems, such as Steering gear.

Therefore ships electrical systems are designed to tolerate a single earth fault, without shutting down the whole circuit.

A wet Induction Motor would cause an earth fault to be detected by the ships ‘fault panel’, but not trip the whole circuit.

Yesway has experience of working on Marine Induction motors, and years of related experience.

Monitoring Using Radio Communications

Radio communications technology can be used to monitor the condition of induction motors.

This can be part of your overall business improvement process.

Sensors can be attached or even integrated into induction motors, to monitor motor conditions.

Induction motor parameters that can be monitored by sensors are:

Phase Current

Motor speed RPM

Vibration

Torque

Connecting via LoraWAN

LoraWAN is a wireless technology that can be used for creating a Smart Factory.

Advantages of LoraWAN is low power consumption, so the sensor attached to the motor can be battery powered, and last years.

Another advantage of LoraWAN for monitoring wet Induction motors in Smart Factories is long range, and good signal penetration through walls.

Internet of Things | Two Way Radio Wireless Communications – Yesway Communications



lincoln things network

Lincoln Things Network LoraWAN IOT

What is it

The Things Network is a worldwide crowd funded LoraWAN

Internet Of Things Network, which started in Amsterdam.

It consists of sensors, such as air quality sensors that transmit data wirelessly via ‘Gateway’ devices to the Internet Cloud.

It is rapidly expanding around the world, including the UK.

Why do we need this network?

The world is undergoing rapid change in the world of work, and it has been predicted that many jobs will become automated in the coming years.

The Internet Of Things, or IOT for short, along with Virtual Reality & 3D Printing  is part of this new industrial revolution.

It is therefore vitally important that we educate the current and future generations quickly, so we don’t get left behind as a nation.

The Network helps educate people, and lets businesses cost effectively develop new IOT products.

Where Does The Lincoln Network Cover

The Network is based on a wireless technology called LoraWAN.

As with all wireless technologies LoraWAN, which the Network runs on is range limited.

One of the great features of LoraWAN technology is that the signal can travel a long distance, using low power.

However as with all wireless technologies, buildings and natural objects in ‘line of sight’, will reduce the signal range.

The Network uses devices called ‘Gateways’ to receive the signals transmitted wirelessly from the remote sensors and puts the data onto the web.

The Lincoln LoraWAN LPWA network is now live, and ready for use by business, schools and the public.

The network is expanding around the City of Lincoln, and we are always looking for new sites.

As the Network is essentially a voluntary community effort, we welcome help from schools and local businesses.

Please get involved, as any help is appreciated.

Who is behind the Lincoln things Network?

The Lincoln TTN was initiated by Craig Miles, who can be contacted via the community page at https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/community/lincoln/

Alternatively, he can be contacted via his personal website at  www.craigmiles.co.uk

Yesway sponsored the components to build the first Lincoln LoraWAN Gateway.

Internet of Things | Two Way Radio Wireless Communications – Yesway Communications

industry 4.0

Smart Factories Using LoraWAN

Condition Monitoring

Smart factories improve automation and efficiency compared to traditional factories. LoraWAN is one type of LPWAN wireless technology.

Efficiency is increased both through process decisions being made without human intervention.

Efficiency is also increased by using sensor data to monitor the condition of machinery, such as three-phase induction motors.

Monitoring of induction motors, can include vibration sensors, which monitor the condition of the rotor bearings. A worn  bearing will cause increased running friction, which can be monitored by attaching external vibration sensors to the motor casing.

Other conditions that can be monitored on a factory induction motor, are rotor speed, Stator winding temperature, single phasing faults,  current drawn and voltage levels.

Other uses of smart factory monitoring systems, are the monitoring of the production process.

Smart Factory  Buildings

The factory building that houses the operational machinery, also forms part of  smart factories.

Automated temperature control has been around for years, and is also used in almost every home too. Its called an automatic thermostat!

Smart buildings can adapt the heating control automatically, by sensing where heat is needed in the factory building.

For example sensors, can detect if people are working in a particular section of the factory.

The sensor data is used to only heat the parts of the factory that require it.

The use of sensors can also be used to switch lighting on or off, depending on actual real-life demand for light, within sections of the factory.

Smart control of lighting and heating systems within the factory environment, reduces the variable costs of the the business operation.

Wireless Connectivity Options

Various wireless technologies can be used for wireless smart factory connectivity.

The choice will depend on a number of factors such as communication range needed, data rate and bandwidth requirements.

Technologies that can be used include:

Bluetooth

LoraWAN

Zigbee

Wifi

Yesway is based in Lincoln, UK.

Our phone number is +44 (01522) 740818.

This article was written by Craig Miles of Yesway Ltd.

Induction Motor

Preventive Maintenance For Electric Motors

Preventative Maintenance

Preventive maintenance programmes  are the key to reliable, long-life operation of electric motors.
Whilst AC Induction Motors are particularly reliable in service, almost all electrical equipment requires periodic planned inspection and maintenance. Planned preventive maintenance ensures electrical motors, and starters are kept in good working condition at all times. This is critical for businesses that rely on electric motors. A scheduled routine of motor inspection should be carried out throughout the motor’s life. Periodic motor inspection helps prevent serious damage to motors by locating potential problems early.

Periodic Inspections

Planned electric motor maintenance programmes are designed to help prevent breakdowns, rather than having to repair motors after a breakdown. In industrial operations, unscheduled stoppage of production or long repair shutdowns is expensive, and in marine shipping environments, a potential safety issue. Periodic inspections of motors are therefore necessary to ensure best operational reliability.

Preventative maintenance programmes require detailed checks to be effective. All motors onsite (factory, ship etc) should be given their own individual identification (ID) number and have a record log. The record log is usually computerised these days. The motor records kept should identify the motor, brand, inspection dates and descriptions of any repairs previously carried out. By record keeping, the cause of any previous breakdowns can help indicate the cause of any future problems that might occur.

All preventative maintenance programmes should refer to the equipment manufacturer’s technical documentation prior to performing equipment checks.

There are simple routine maintenance checks that can be applied to three phase induction motors, which help ensure a long service life to a motor. 

The Simple checks that can be carried out, include a review of the service history, noise and vibration inspections. Previous noise issues could for example be due to motor single phasing. Previous vibration may have been due to worn bearings, which allow the Stator to turn. Other checks include visual inspections (damage and burning), windings tests (insulation resistance & continuity), brush and commutator maintenance (dc motors) and bearings and lubrication.

Inspection frequency and the degree of inspection detail may vary depending on such factors as the critical nature of the motor, it’s function and the motor’s operating environment. An inspection schedule, therefore, must be flexible and adapted to the needs of each industrial or marine environment.

A modern approach to electric motor preventative maintenance is to connect the motor to the Internet cloud, or local company server network. This can form part of your ongoing business improvement process.

Motor performance parameters such as phase current, rotational speed, heat and vibration, can all be recorded using sensors.

The sensors are attached either directly to the motor, in the case of vibration sensing, or connected to the power supply feed cable.

Wireless technologies such as LoraWAN can be used to connect remote machinery to the Internet of Things Cloud.

This is also known as IOT or IIOT.

(c) Craig Miles 2019.  craigmiles.co.uk & yesway Ltd

For bespoke electrical training for business & individuals with Craig, call Yesway on  +44 (01522) 740818

two way radio

What is a LoraWAN Gateway

A LoraWAN Gateway is a device that receives (and potentially sends) the wireless data from your lora enabled sensors, and then connects it to the Internet.

These sensors are typically low powered devices capable of detecting such things as moisture of the soil, pollution levels, or pretty much whatever you wish to measure.

The LoraWAN Gateway can be connected to the Internet in a variety of ways, such as Ethernet, 3G,4G and 4G LTE.

Manufacturers include Link-Labs, MultiTech and Kerlink

LORA itself is a low power network technology that is an alternative technology to other standards such as Sigfox.

Internet of Things

 

Lincoln Farmer with poor radio coverage

Lincoln Farmer

Recently we were contacted by a farmer, based just outside of the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

He had had a system supplied and installed by another company a few years ago, however, the performance had decreased over time.

The first task was to carry out a through audit of the installed equipment. This included radio RF performance tests of the installed radios to verify that the correct power output was being achieved from each radio. We also checked on-air speech quality, and receive audio.

Once we were satisfied that the equipment was working properly (there is no point fitting a new aerial to a vehicle with a bust radio), we checked the aerial systems for forward and reflected power. This is done with an SWR (standing wave ratio) meter.

A number of the aerials fitted to the tractors and combine harvesters were in a poor state. Some whips were missing/damaged, while others were simply the wrong length.

The length of the aerial will vary depending on the frequency that the radio operates on.

The farmer had bought a replacement mag-mount aerial from a high street supplier, however, these come ‘un-trimmed’. Therefore some of the power was being reflected back into the radio, and not going out into the ether (as it should).

This is why choosing an experienced company like Yesway, is always a good idea, as part of business process improvement.

After trimming to the correct length, the output power increased. They also reduce the risk of radio equipment damage.

Benefits of LoraWAN for Farmers

A recent development that can benefit Lincoln farmers is LoraWAN and the Internet of Things.

Recently near Wainfleet in the Lincolnshire Wolds Farmers and householders experienced extensive flooding.

The Wainfleet floods were caused by heavy rains causing the river banks to be breached.

By using LoraWAN wireless connected sensors, river levels could be monitored, and the data put onto the Internet cloud via a device called a ‘LoraWAN Gateway’.

There are both public and private LoraWAN networks available, and we have even custom built our own experimental LoraWAN gateway ourselves.

If you are a Lincoln or Wainfleet Farmer who wishes to find out more about how LoraWAN wireless sensor technology could be used to monitor River levels, get in touch.