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Author: Ivo Frank

Marketing

Refrigerator temperature logger: What is important?

In industries where the storage of temperature-sensitive goods is critical to quality, safety and regulatory compliance, refrigerator temperature loggers play a crucial role. Whether in the food industry, healthcare or pharmaceutical facilities, ensuring optimal storage and transportation conditions is not only a business necessity, but also an ethical obligation. In this article, we explain what you should look for when purchasing data loggers to ensure that the storage temperature of your temperature-sensitive goods is always reliably documented.

Offline temperature logger and online temperature logger

Temperature data loggers can be divided into two basic categories: Loggers that are not integrated into a network, i.e. are read out manually via interfaces such as USB, and loggers that are integrated into a network, i.e. send data wirelessly, e.g. to a cloud.

The choice between offline and online temperature loggers depends on your specific requirements. Offline loggers are easier to integrate, but involve considerable effort in terms of evaluation and allocation. Online loggers enable automatic data transmission via the Internet and, depending on the wireless connection, transmission in real time.

Comparison table: Offline vs. online temperature logger

FeaturesOffline temperature loggerOnline temperature logger
Local data storage
Real-time monitoring✓ (Dependent on technology)
Independence from network
Remote access and alerts✓ (Possible via the Internet)

In addition to the general classification into offline or online loggers, other requirements play an important role in selecting the ideal logger for your application.

1. Measuring accuracy

Different areas of application place different demands on the measuring accuracy of temperature loggers. When monitoring the temperature of rooms such as offices or lounges, a measuring accuracy of +/-1 °C may be sufficient. In research laboratories or the food industry, on the other hand, the precession requirements can be considerably higher. When selecting data loggers, it is therefore particularly important to ensure that the devices meet the measurement accuracy required for the respective application. In addition, you can save costs for measuring accuracy that you may not even need.

2. Battery life

Wählen Sie einen Temperaturlogger mit niedrigem Stromverbrauch, um eine längere Betriebsdauer zu gewährleisten und somit die Kosten für Batteriewechsel zu minimieren. Zudem gibt es Anbieter welche im Rahmen eines Servicevertrags Batteriewechsel- oder Wartungen durchführen.

3. Connectivity/Integration

Ensure simple and user-friendly integration of your temperature logger by choosing a system that can be easily integrated into your existing infrastructure. Especially when using online data loggers, choosing the right wireless technology is crucial. For interference-free data transmission, it is important that the wireless network has sufficient coverage. Technologies such as LoRaWAN which are characterized by a long range, low energy consumption and good building penetration. If you already have a software system, make sure that the data loggers can be easily integrated into it.

4. Real-time monitoring and alerting

Check whether an alarm function is required for your application in accordance with the certification requirements. Advanced temperature loggers with real-time monitoring and alarm configuration enable an immediate response to temperature fluctuations or device failures, which helps to minimize potential damage. It should be noted that these alarm functions are only available with online loggers, as a continuous network connection is required for real-time transmission.

Beispielhafte Darstellung eines Laptops auf welchem ein Dashboard zur Temperaturüberwachung Kühlschrank zu sehen ist.

5. Compliance and documentation

Compliance with legal regulations is mandatory in many industries. Your temperature logger or the associated software should therefore have automatic data recording and easy-to-understand reporting functions. This facilitates documentation for audits and inspections.

6. Flexibility for different requirements

Take the specific requirements of your industry into account. Some temperature loggers offer functions that are specifically tailored to the needs of food businesses or care facilities. For example, choose a model that can record multiple parameters to be more flexible and better meet your individual requirements.

Temperature logging with SenseING

We would be happy to advise you on your specific requirements and offer you customized solutions in the field of temperature logging with our products. Contact us for further information and individual advice.

Food cold chain: key role for freshness and quality

The cold chain of food is of crucial importance to ensure the freshness, quality and safety of products. The correct handling and maintenance of the cold chain plays a key role for the entire food industry. In this article, you will learn what a cold chain is, what challenges exist and how compliance with the cold chain can be documented.

What is a cold chain?

The process that describes the uninterrupted cooling of food or goods requiring refrigeration on the way from production to the end consumer is known as the cold chain. The cold chain extends from production, storage and transport through to storage and display in retail outlets. To ensure that the cold chain is maintained, technologies for permanent temperature control, refrigerated vehicles and insulated containers are used.

Regulations on the cold chain

Die Einhaltung strenger Vorschriften zur Lebensmittel Kühlkette ist von entscheidender Bedeutung, um die Sicherheit und Qualität von Lebensmitteln zu gewährleisten. Ein integraler Bestandteil dieser Vorschriften ist das HACCP-Konzept, das für “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” steht. Alle Lebensmittelunternehmen, die an der Kühlkette beteiligt sind, müssen diesem systematischen Ansatz folgen, der die Identifizierung und Bewertung potenzieller Gefahren auf allen Stufen der Lebensmittelproduktion, -lagerung und -verteilung vorschreibt. Kritische Kontrollpunkte (CCPs) werden dann definiert, um sicherzustellen, dass Gefahren auf ein akzeptables Maß reduziert werden. Das HACCP-Konzept dient nicht nur der Optimierung von Abläufen, sondern auch zur Eigenkontrolle.

With regard to compliance with temperatures, the Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 stipulates that food business operators must ensure that appropriate measures are taken throughout the food supply chain to ensure that food, particularly perishable food, is stored and transported at temperatures that guarantee its safety and quality. This includes closely monitoring temperatures to ensure compliance with established standards and to minimise the risk of harmful micro-organisms multiplying.

The TLMV stipulates that the basic cold chain temperature of -18 °C may be subject to upward deviations, including short-term fluctuations of no more than 3 °C during dispatch and deviations of no more than 3 °C during local distribution and in retail freezers as part of bona fide storage and distribution procedures. Strict application makes it possible to proactively manage risks, improve food safety and effectively control the entire cold chain process.

Why must the cold chain not be interrupted?

Interrupting the food cold chain can have serious consequences:

Maintaining an uninterrupted cold chain is crucial for the quality, safety and shelf life of perishable food. Any interruption in the cold chain carries the risk of temperature fluctuations, which in turn can favour the growth of microorganisms. This can lead to loss of freshness and even health risks for the consumer. The cold chain must be unbroken from production to transport to storage at retail and finally to the consumer's home in order to avoid premature spoilage, microbial growth or loss of quality.

Challenges in the cold chain

a. Energy consumption: Maintaining the cold chain requires considerable amounts of energy. This high energy consumption raises environmental concerns as it contributes to increased CO2 emissions. The food industry is therefore looking for sustainable solutions to minimise energy consumption while meeting refrigeration requirements.

b. Transport risks: Interruptions during transport pose a significant risk to the cold chain. Power failures, technical defects or unplanned stops can affect temperature control and therefore jeopardise the quality of the food. Companies rely on advanced technologies and monitoring systems to minimise such risks and ensure an uninterrupted cold chain.

c. Temperature documentation: Companies often use disposable data loggers to document the transport temperature. This unsustainable solution generates waste and can be a financial burden. In addition, the manual evaluation of offline data loggers is time-consuming and prone to errors. The lack of real-time monitoring makes it difficult to recognise temperature deviations in good time. In addition, temperature documentation requirements are becoming increasingly stringent, further increasing the need for innovative solutions to ensure quality and safety in the cold chain.

Technology for automatic monitoring of the cold chain

In view of increasing requirements for temperature documentation, companies are increasingly relying on advanced technologies to automatically monitor the cold chain. Intelligent sensors, IoT (Internet of Things) and wireless transmission systems enable a fully automatic and permanent Documentation of the temperature conditions during the entire logistics process. The integration of automated monitoring systems therefore not only improves efficiency, but also the sustainability of the cold chain, as the use of disposable data loggers is reduced.

Conclusion

The cold chain is crucial for the safety and quality of food. By investing in IoT sensors for automatic temperature documentation, companies ensure continuous monitoring of the cold chain. This not only ensures compliance with regulations, but also maintains the freshness and quality of the food - a crucial contribution to consumer safety and satisfaction.

Documentation of the refrigerator temperature

The correct handling of goods requiring refrigeration is not only mandatory, but also crucial for the safety of the goods. Accurate documentation of the refrigerator temperature plays a key role in this. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the aspects that are important when documenting the refrigerator temperature for goods that require refrigeration.

  1. Why does the temperature have to be documented?
  2. What needs to be considered during documentation?
  3. Who has to document the temperature?
  4. How can the temperature be determined?
  5. What regulations are there in Germany?
  6. Temperature ranges for storage

Why does the temperature have to be documented?

Accurate documentation of the refrigerator temperature is crucial for several reasons:

  • Quality assurance: The quality of food, especially sensitive products such as meat, fish and dairy products, depends heavily on the storage temperature. Compliance with the prescribed temperatures ensures the freshness and shelf life of the products and therefore customer satisfaction. To maintain the chemical and microbial stability as well as the pharmacological activity of medicines, which is crucial for patient safety and compliance with manufacturer requirements, they must also be stored refrigerated.
  • Legal requirements: In many countries, including Germany, there are clear legal regulations for the storage of goods requiring refrigeration. Regular documentation serves as proof of compliance with these regulations and protects against possible legal consequences in the event of non-compliance.
  • Avoidance of waste: Precise temperature monitoring helps to avoid unnecessary waste. Products stored at the wrong temperature can spoil more quickly or lose their effectiveness and may have to be disposed of. Accurate documentation helps to minimise losses and use resources more sustainably.
  • Consumer confidence: The transparent documentation of the refrigerator temperature demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and a sense of responsibility towards the consumer.

What needs to be considered during documentation?

Documenting the refrigerator temperature requires accuracy and continuity. It is important to check the temperature regularly and document the results systematically. This can be done with the help of Temperature recording devices or with manual recordings. It is essential to pay attention to the frequency of the recordings in order to be able to adequately trace the temperature curve. When working with data loggers, a recording frequency of 20 minutes is advisable. Ideally, the temperature should be documented several times a day if manual documentation is used. Caution: Temperature fluctuations cannot be traced in this way. It should also be considered whether other parameters such as ambient humidity should be monitored. In the event of temperature fluctuations or deviations, it is important to take immediate action.

Who has to document the temperature?

The need to record storage temperatures depends on various factors, including the type of products stored and the regulations that apply in the respective industry and region. As a rule, companies that store food, pharmaceuticals, biological products or other temperature-sensitive goods must record the storage temperatures. Here are some examples:

Food industry: Companies that produce, store or transport food often need to monitor and record storage temperatures to ensure product safety and quality.

Pharmaceutical industry: Pharmaceutical companies often need to monitor the storage temperatures of medicines and vaccines to ensure their efficacy and safety.

Organic products: Companies that store biological products such as blood samples or other biological materials often need to record accurate storage temperatures to ensure the integrity of these products.

Chemical industry: Some chemicals require specific storage temperatures to ensure stability and safety. In such cases, it may be necessary to monitor and record the storage temperatures.

Responsibility for documenting the refrigerator temperature usually lies with the operator or quality management. It is important that clear responsibilities are defined and that staff are appropriately trained and understand the importance of correct temperature control.

How is the temperature determined?

Accurately determining the refrigerator temperature is crucial. This can be done by using temperature recording devices that automatically record data and send it to cloud storage via the internet. Alternatively, manual thermometers can be used, which are read and documented regularly. It is important to check the temperature measuring devices regularly to ensure their accuracy.

What regulations are there for refrigerator temperature documentation in Germany?

In Germany, the storage of goods requiring refrigeration is subject to certain regulations that serve to ensure the safety of the products. Please note that the following regulations are only an extract:

HACCP concept

Since 1 January 2006, the (EC) No. 852/2004 on food hygiene to draw up an HACCP concept for anyone who handles food or places it on the market.
The HACCP concept consists of seven principles that guarantee the systematic identification, assessment and control of hazards in food production and thus ensure food safety.

Apothekenbetriebsordnung

Pharmacies are equipped with special refrigeration facilities and are obliged to ensure the refrigerated storage of medicinal products in accordance with the provisions of Sections 2a, 4 and 16 of the German Medicinal Products Act. Apothekenbetriebsordnung to document.

Temperature ranges for storage

Medicinal products must be stored in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions; medicinal products are roughly categorised into the following areas.

FieldsTemperature range
Deep-frozen (e.g. some blood products or vaccines)< -15 °C
Refrigerator temperature (e.g. biologics, insulins, antibodies)2 to 8 °C
Cold or cool8 to 15 °C
Room temperature (usual storage temperature for medicines)15 to 25 °C

Temperature ranges for food storage

ProductRecommended temperature range
Frozen products-18 °C
Raw fish & minced meat+2 °C
Poultry meat+4 °C
Perishable food, fresh meat & dairy products+7 °C
Butter, cheese and cheese preparation+10 °C
These values are general guidelines and may vary depending on regional and industry-specific requirements. It is strongly recommended that you check the exact legal requirements and industry-specific standards and seek professional advice to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Conclusion

Documenting the cooling temperatures of goods requiring refrigeration is not only a legal requirement, but also makes a decisive contribution to product safety. Accurate records and compliance with the prescribed temperature ranges guarantee the freshness, safety and highest quality of the products.

Sources:
https://haccp-hygienemanagement.de/was-ist-haccp/haccp_konzept/
https://www.pharmawiki.ch/wiki/index.php?wiki=Temperatur

Refrigerator temperature control with PDF table

PDF table for manual documentation of the refrigerator temperature

For those who still prefer the traditional method of manual temperature documentation, we offer a PDF table to help you record the refrigerator temperature. This chart provides a clear structure to record temperatures correctly. However, we would like to point out that automated systems with intelligent sensors can save resources and increase accuracy.

The following article explains why a PDF table alone is no longer sufficient and the advantages of automated documentation.

Warum die Temperatur­doku­mentation von Hand nicht ausreicht und wie es einfacher funktioniert

In a world where technology and innovation go hand in hand, it's time to rethink outdated methods of temperature control in refrigerators. Many organisations still rely on manual documentation with a thermometer and chart on paper to ensure that their food and refrigerated medicines are kept safe. However, this task is often carried out by staff who are already under a heavy workload. The good news is that there is a better and more cost-effective solution: automated documentation using intelligent sensors. This allows staff to concentrate on their core business again, which ultimately saves time, nerves and money.

Why the PDF table is no longer sufficient

Manual refrigerator temperature recording in tables is time-consuming and error-prone. Records can be forgotten, made up or entered incorrectly. This carries the risk of inconsistencies and inaccurate data, which can jeopardise the safety of goods. In addition, manual monitoring can only be done at specific time intervals, which means you may not recognise important temperature fluctuations.

kühlschrank temperaturkontrolle tabelle pdf

Networked refrigerators for seamless documentation

Networking fridges may seem complex at first glance, but in practice it is surprisingly simple. Thanks to modern technologies, refrigerators can be equipped with intelligent sensors that can be integrated into the appliances with little effort. The system consists of three components: The sensors are simply inserted into the fridge, central receiving stations collect the data and forward it to a cloud application. The simplicity of these systems enables particularly cost-effective integration without costly changes to the infrastructure.

Die Vorteile der auto­matischen Doku­mentation mit Sensoren

In addition to simple and cost-effective integration, systems for automatic temperature documentation in refrigerators offer a number of other advantages.

Continuous monitoring

Sensors enable round-the-clock, continuous monitoring of the refrigerator temperature. This allows temperature curves to be mapped precisely.

Precise data

Minimising the risk of human error during data capture. This contributes to more accurate and reliable data, which is particularly important in environments with strict quality standards.

Time saving

As no manual recording by personnel is required, you save time and resources. You no longer have to deal with tedious documentation.

Alerting

You receive immediate warnings in the event of deviations from the specified temperature limits. This allows you to act quickly to solve potential problems.

Central administration

The recorded data is stored centrally in the cloud, which enables detailed traceability in the event of inspections or quality controls.

Personnel relief

As no manual recording in PDF tables is required, you save time and resources. You no longer have to struggle with tedious documentation.

Conclusion

In a world where time and precision are of the essence, manual refrigerator temperature control with pen and paper is no longer fit for purpose.The use of sensors and automated documentation is not only more efficient, but also safer. When it comes to storing goods that require refrigeration and complying with health regulations, you should rely on modern technology. This allows your staff to concentrate more on their core business, which ultimately saves time, nerves and money.

5 Steps for a Successful IoT Project

Whether in smart cities, Industry 4.0 or logistics - the Internet of Things (IoT) offers great potential for optimising processes in companies. At the same time, the integration of the IoT often presents companies with challenges due to its complexity. To save costs and ensure smooth implementation, it is advisable to consult an IoT specialist as early as the conception phase. After all, companies specialising in the Internet of Things, such as SenseING, have the necessary know-how and the corresponding overview to successfully implement projects.

In this blog post, we have summarised five important steps that will help you make your IoT project a success.

1. Definition of the Project Objective

Before starting an IoT project, it is important to define clear goals and carefully analyse the needs. Goals such as increasing efficiency, reducing costs or optimising the supply chain should be identified. It is also important that the goals are realistic and measurable. Distinguish between short-term, medium-term and long-term goals, whereby you should first focus on the short-term goals. This is the only way you can determine at the end of the project whether you have achieved your goals or not. The more precise your project goal is, the better you can align your resources and strategies to it. So all in all: take enough time to define your goals and implement them clearly and precisely - this will lay the foundation for project success.

2. Choosing the Right Technology

Once you have defined your goals, it is important to select the right IoT platform and the appropriate IoT devices and infrastructure. In doing so, you should ask yourself the following questions: What functionalities do we need? What are our security and data protection requirements? Do we need a scalable solution for future growth? Does the infrastructure already need to be suitable for a nationwide rollout? Which interfaces are needed?

There are many different platform and equipment providers on the market, so it is advisable to make a comparison and evaluate several options. Also look to see if the providers have experience in your industry or can meet specific industry requirements.

Note that the connectivity of the components plays an important role in the choice of technologies. Make sure that the different components of the IoT are compatible with each other. Creative workshops with your technicians are very helpful here.

Another important aspect in the selection of a IoT platform and infrastructure is the integration with your existing systems. Seamless integration not only enables better control over project management, but also saves time and costs.

In summary, it is crucial to carefully consider the choice of the right IoT platform and devices as they are essential to the success of the project.

3. Secure and Protect Your Network

Due to the large number of networked devices in the Internet of Things, it is especially important to protect your network from cyber attacks. Here are some measures you can take:

  • Check regularly that all devices and components in your network have the latest security updates. Manufacturers regularly release patches and updates to close known security gaps. Therefore, always keep your devices up to date.
  • Separate your network into different segments or VLANs to limit the spread of attacks. This prevents a compromised device from compromising the entire network.
  • Set up a firewall to prevent unauthorised access to your network. Configure the firewall to allow only the necessary traffic.
  • Set up monitoring tools to detect suspicious activity on your network. Regularly check logs and events to detect possible security breaches early.
  • Ensure that regular backups and data backups are automated

By implementing these security measures, you can effectively protect your network and reduce the risk of cyber attacks.

4. Implement and Test Your Application

Implement your project plan by testing and implementing the required IoT devices and infrastructure in a prototype setup. Work with your team or external experts to integrate the hardware, software and network components. Thoroughly test the system to ensure it runs smoothly and delivers the desired results.

Note that testing your applications is a continuous process. This means that you need to regularly update and improve your applications to ensure that they meet your requirements.

5. Roll-out, Optimisation & Scaling

After you have tested and validated your IoT applications, it is time to roll out your project to the. Analyse your data carefully and identify weaknesses or areas for improvement. Use these insights to optimise your applications and improve their performance.

Scalability is an important factor for the long-term success of your IoT project. Plan for scalability from the beginning to ensure that your applications can keep up with an increasing number of users. Make sure your IoT platform and network architecture are scalable enough to handle future growth.

Conclusion: How to Achieve a Successful IoT Project

A successful IoT project is not a simple undertaking. It requires careful planning, a clear vision and a deep understanding of the technical aspects. However, with the five steps in this article, you can ensure that your project is on the right track. First, define your goals and make sure they are realistic and measurable. Then select the appropriate IoT technology that meets your needs and gives you the flexibility you require. Protect your network from cyber threats and make sure your data is safe. Test your applications carefully and make sure they run smoothly. Continually optimise and scale your project to ensure it remains successful.

Eine Person, über die Schulter fotografiert, hält einen LoRa-Tracker in der Hand. Im Hintergrund ist ein Laptop mit einer Tabelle und einer Landkarte zu sehen.

Our Professional IoT Service for Your Success!

Take advantage of our know-how as IoT experts and benefit from our comprehensive range of hardware, software and service - from installation to analysis of your data.

Energy self-sufficient temperature data loggers for food logistics

SenseING bringt energieautarke Temperatur Datenlogger mit integriertem Solarpanel auf den Markt. Allein durch die Beleuchtung in Fahrzeugen und Lagerhallen erzeugt der Logger genügend Energie, um autark zu arbeiten.

Um die lückenlose Einhaltung der Kühlkette bei temperaturempfindlichen Gütern zu gewährleisten und Risiken zu minimieren, sind Logistikunternehmen verpflichtet, die Temperatur in regelmäßigen Abständen zu kontrollieren und aufzuzeichnen. Bisher geschieht dies oft manuell, was einen hohen Personalaufwand bedeutet und Fehlerquellen birgt.

Der Datenlogger lädt sich über sein Solarpanel selbst auf.

Autarker Temperatur Datenlogger für lückenlose Datenerfassung

Der neue Temperaturlogger mit der Bezeichnung „SLC-PV“ des Karlsruher Unternehmens dokumentiert die Temperatur und die relative Luftfeuchtigkeit auf der Ladefläche von Fahrzeugen. Die große Besonderheit des Loggers ist seine autarke Energieversorgung. Dank eines Solarmoduls lädt der Logger seinen Energiespeicher selbstständig auf und das auch ohne Tageslicht. Für den autarken Betrieb benötigt der Logger lediglich 250 Lux und kommt somit bereits mit der Beleuchtung in Hallen oder in Fahrzeugen aus. Lästige Batteriewechsel gehören damit der Vergangenheit an und mögliche Datenverluste sind ausgeschlossen. Logistikunternehmen können sich somit auf eine kontinuierliche Datenerfassung ohne manuelles Eingreifen oder Ablesen der Temperaturwerte verlassen.

Die automatisierte Datenerfassung des Loggers ermöglicht eine lückenlose Übertragung der gesammelten Informationen. Am Lagerort angekommen, werden die Daten automatisch über den Funkstandard LoRaWAN übermittelt, die die Daten in die Cloud übertragen, wo sie analysiert, visualisiert und verwaltet werden können. So können Unternehmen ihre Temperatur- und Feuchtigkeitswerte einfach und effizient überwachen und automatisierte Berichte erstellen. „Darüber hinaus bietet SenseING die Übernahme der erfassten Daten in bestehende Kundensysteme über standardisierte Schnittstellen an“, erklärt Geschäftsführer Sven Kruse.


Die Integration der autarken Temperaturlogger ist einfach und unkompliziert. Die Logger werden vorkonfiguriert ausgeliefert und können in wenigen Schritten in Betrieb genommen werden. Dabei können die Logger auch problemlos zur Temperaturdokumentation in Lagerhallen eingesetzt werden.

Automatisiert Auflagen erfüllen

Die automatische Datenübertragung ermöglicht eine lückenlose Dokumentation der Temperaturwerte während des gesamten Transport- und Lagerprozesses. Somit können Logistikunternehmen nicht nur den personellen Aufwand und die Fehlerquellen reduzieren, sondern auch die Effizienz und Zuverlässigkeit ihrer Temperaturüberwachung verbessern. Zudem unterstütz die dauerhafte Dokumentation die Logistikunternehmen bei ihren Qualitätsmanagement-Audits.


“Alles in allem bieten wir mit unserem autarken Datenlogger Unternehmen die Möglichkeit, ihre Effizienz zu steigern, Kosten zu senken und ihre Betriebsabläufe zu optimieren”, so Kruse abschließend.

Der autarke Temperatur Datenlogger mit integriertem Solarpanel ist ab sofort verfügbar. Darüber hinaus bietet SenseING weitere Logging-Lösungen entlang der Lieferkette an. Unternehmen, die ihre Logistikprozesse optimieren und ihre Temperatur- und Feuchtewerte zuverlässig überwachen möchten, sind herzlich eingeladen, weitere Informationen anzufordern.

LPWAN technologies and their applications

Anyone who is concerned with the Internet of Things (IoT) has probably come across the term LPWAN. But what is it and what are its advantages? In this article you will learn everything you need to know about LPWAN and its use cases.

What is LPWAN?

LPWAN, Low Power Wide Area Network, refers to technologies and network protocols that are used to network wireless devices. The technologies enable the transmission of small amounts of data over long distances with extremely low energy consumption. They are divided into licensed and non-licensed technologies.

Advantages of LPWAN technologies

Die Hauptvorteile der Technologie sind bereits im Namen enthalten: Low Power und Wide Area. Der geringe Energiebedarf erhöht die Batterielebensdauer der Geräte erheblich, so dass diese in der Regel über mehrere Jahre wartungsfrei betrieben werden können. Die hohe Reichweite ermöglicht die Verbindung von Geräten über mehrere Kilometer hinweg, was besonders in ländlichen und abgelegenen Gebieten von Vorteil ist. Damit verbunden ist eine hohe Durchdringung von Objekten und Materialien. Im Vergleich zu höherfrequenten Funktechnologien wie zum Beispiel Wi-Fi oder Bluetooth, durchdringen LPWAN Signale Hindernisse wie Wände und Gebäude sehr gut.

In addition to the low energy requirements and the high range, licence-free networks provide additional popularity. This is because they do not incur any licensing costs.

Den Vorteilen gegenüber stehen jedoch die niedrigen Datenraten, denn diese bewegen sich meistens in einem Bereich von wenigen 100 bit/s bis hin zu einigen 100 Kbit/s. Somit eignen sich die Technologien hauptsächlich für Anwendungsfälle, welche mit einer geringen Bandbreite auskommen.

What technologies and standards are there?

LoRaWAN

LoRaWAN stands for Long Range Wide Area Network and is a licence-free radio standard of the LoRa Alliance. The radio standard uses licence-free frequency bands, which can vary from country to country. In Europe and many other countries, the technology uses the 868 MHz or 433 MHz frequency bands, while in North America it uses the 915 MHz frequency band.

The networks can be built locally or globally and provide a secure and scalable infrastructure for IoT applications. The technology is supported by various manufacturers and service providers and is an important part of the growing IoT ecosystem.

NB-IoT

NB-IoT stands for Narrowband Internet of Things and is a radio standard for the Internet of Things (IoT). The standard uses existing mobile networks and has a very narrow bandwidth, which makes it very energy-efficient.

NB-IoT networks use existing LTE masts and antennas that are well developed. So, unlike LoRaWAN and Sigfox, using NB-IoT requires no investment in network infrastructure, regardless of where the devices are located in the world. This, in turn, allows manufacturers to develop internet-enabled devices that can connect right out of the box.

LTE-M (Cat-M2)

LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines), auch als Cat-M2 bekannt, ist eine lizenzierte Variante des 4G-LTE-Netzwerks, das auch für die schnelle Übertragung von Daten und die Nutzung mobiler Breitbanddienste für Smartphones und Tablets verwendet wird. Im Vergleich zu anderen LPWAN-Technologien verfügt LTE-M über eine wesentlich bessere Datenrate. Zudem finden IoT-Geräte welche LTE-M nutzen fast überall eine gute Verbindung, da 4G das am weitesten verbreitete Mobilfunknetz ist.

Sigfox

Sigfox is a French company that offers an eponymous licensed LPWAN network for the Internet of Things (IoT). Like other LPWAN technologies, Sigfox is specifically designed for the transmission of small amounts of data from IoT devices. For this purpose, the network uses the radio frequencies 868 MHz in Europe and 902 MHz in the USA. Sigfox is only approved by a few network operators per country. Thus, network coverage of Sigfox varies regionally and depends on the availability of Sigfox base stations. In addition, the transmission capacity of Sigfox is very limited. Only 140 messages with up to 12 bytes each can be sent or 8 bytes received per day.

Areas of application

LPWAN technologies are used almost everywhere where a wireless connection is needed, but the data transmission rate and data volume requirements are relatively small. In the area of smart cities, LPWAN networks can be used, for example, to monitor environmental conditions such as air quality and noise levels. The technologies are also suitable for monitoring car parks or waste containers.

Another area of application is Asset Tracking, dabei geht es um die Lokalisierung und Überwachung von beweglichen Objekten wie Fahrzeuge, Geräte oder Transportbehälter. Mit den drahtlosen Technologien können diese Objekte in Echtzeit verfolgt werden wodurch eine effizientere Lieferkette ermöglicht wird.

In agriculture, LPWAN networks can be used to monitor soil moisture, temperature and other parameters. This increases crop yields and reduces water consumption.

Weitere Anwendungsfälle könnten sein:

  • Intelligent building and energy management
  • Monitoring of supply and disposal systems
  • System monitoring
  • Supply chain management
  • Intelligent traffic and transport management
  • Health and medical applications
  • Home automation and smart home solutions

Overall, LPWAN offers a cost-effective and practicable solution for networking devices and transmitting small amounts of data over longer distances. Although the data rates are limited compared to other technologies, they are sufficient for very many use cases and enable reliable and, above all, energy-saving networking.