Increasing demand for energy harvesting solutions sparks development of new CHERRY products

CHERRY’s energy harvesting wireless switches are ideal for remote signal transmission

According to Yole Développement, the energy harvesting market has the potential to approach the $250 million mark until 2017, thanks to growing demand for wireless networks for the building and industrial sectors. One of the driving forces behind this strong increase in demand for energy harvesting solutions is the growing availability of low-cost and low-power electronic components. In a product environment where signals need to be distributed remotely and widely networked, the use of an energy harvesting solution is ideal, especially as in modern optimized electronic systems the required amount of processing power to transmit the signal is very low.

A typical example for such an energy harvesting solution is an energy harvesting wireless switch. Such devices offer many advantages in applications where a complex wire assembly would be disproportionate to the actual application. The required RF-energy is created by the mechanical actuation of the switch and the data is transmitted wireless via RF-technology. Because of this, there is no need for expensive and complex connection systems and no requirement for any cable-connection. As there are no batteries to be changed or disposed, such energy harvesting wireless switches are very environmentally friendly and completely maintenance-free.

CHERRY Industrial Solutions offers a range of energy harvesting wireless switch solutions for light switches and industrial applications:

The energy harvesting wireless switch for light switches for LED-lamps was developed in cooperation with NXP. With the JN5168 wireless microcontroller from NXP, which integrates directly into a standard E27 base of an LED-lamp thanks to its compact design, lamps fitted with the appropriate E27 base bulb can now be switched on and off directly with CHERRY’s wireless switch without the need for any further components. Also the lamp’s dimming function is incorporated as standard. The chip from NXP includes the complete receiving unit. The solution is based on ZigBee Low Power with a carrier frequency of 2.4GHz.

For industrial applications two package versions of an energy harvesting wireless switch are available: a rocker switch momentary or latching for actuation by hand and a snap-action switch for mechanical actuation, e.g. by a machine. The switches can easily be connected with a standard SPS bus system like OpenCAN and Profibus. The signal received by the receiver is simply transmitted to a SPS.

CHERRY’s energy harvesting wireless switches offer a high energy yield of 0.33mWs per actuation, an operating temperature range of -40 up to +85 degrees Celsius, and a long mechanical life of up to 1.000.000. The operating force is 15N (momentary) and 5N (latching), depending on the lever length. The vibration resistance is 5g and the shock resistance is 15g. Furthermore the switches are fully network-compatible.

Several available radio frequencies (e.g. 868 MHz and 915 MHz (with a radio range of 30m) and 2.4 GHz (with a radio range of 10m)) enable worldwide use in numerous applications. A flexible pairing allows for operation of several receivers with one switch (and vice versa). A ‘unique ID’ excludes a mutual interference between different RF-switches.

Evaluation kits for all energy harvesting wireless switches are already available from CHERRY Industrial Solutions and serial production is expected to start at the end of August 2014. For further information please visit www.cherryswitches.com.

 

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