15. June 2020

For all those who want to do it smart

LoRa is on everyone's lips: a radio system that serves for the wireless connection of consumption meters and any sensor technology in a building, a factory site or even a district. On the one hand, it is very energy-efficient and on the other hand has a long range. This means that meters and other measuring devices can be connected even if cabling would be impossible or uneconomical. The implementation is quite uncomplicated.

What makes LoRa?

Let us first take a closer look at LoRa. This radio system is - just like the wireless M-Bus - in the 868 MHz ISM - band. The communication is usually bidirectional. With battery-powered sub-meters, a receiver is activated for a few seconds after the sensor has sent a measured value. This enables the gateway to send an "acknowledge", for example. In this way, the sensor knows whether its signal was received by the gateway. In case of an error, the sensor could then repeat a measured value until it is received by the gateway. The communication between the gateway and sensors is distributed over virtual channels by the so-called spread spectrum technology, which increases the capacity of a gateway.

Since bidirectional communication takes place, the sensor can always adjust its spread factor even during operation. When connecting, this is done via a so-called join request. Here, the sender and receiver communicate with each other via the communication.

The range is up to 15 km outdoors with line-of-sight, in buildings about 200 m. For range measurements within city centres, the range is 1-2 km. The data packets are always encrypted.

Distinction of the wireless M-Bus from LoRa

The wireless M-Bus was developed exclusively for the Smart/Sub- meter sector. LoRa, on the other hand, is also designed for the connection of environmental sensors, car park ticket machines, parking lot monitoring or street lighting. Due to its long range, LoRa is used especially in very large properties or even complete settlements. For example, district heating networks, environmental sensor systems in industrial complexes, gas and water meters in residential areas, submeters and smoke detectors in buildings, water shaft meters, larger residential complexes or industrial companies with large open spaces.

Take the next step

With an extended data logger - which serves as a LoRa base station - and the IngSoft InterWatt energy management software, you are only one step away from the Smart City or Smart Living. You are no longer restricted to local data acquisition. Instead, you can collect all relevant data, including data from district heating selection and environmental sensors, across the entire area. The automatic import of data from the LoRa base station into the IngSoft InterWatt energy management software makes your life easier.