First wind powered IoT network gateways on turbines

First wind powered IoT network gateways on turbines

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

When the Port of Moerdijk installed a 27MW wind farm in the Netherlands, the operator realised that the towers could also be used to host an Internet of Things (IoT) network.

A LoRaWAN low power long range network was chosen to collect key sensor data from the port 120m below and the wider area.  A network gateway from Kerlink receives sensor data and information in a radius of 25 km, or 2,000 km2, and securely transfer it to users in the energy-efficient IoT network.

In addition to monitoring air quality, including CO2 emissions, sensors are used for monitoring water levels and open or closed bridges and gates around the port, which helps traffic move efficiently and reduces emissions.

The industrial-grade IoT network will be available near the port for shipping, rail and other companies, as well as municipalities, government agencies and individuals, at low cost. Kerlink’s wind-powered outdoor gateways will run entirely on green electricity. The advantage of the height is that the signal is stronger and reaches further. “With these great results, we expect to expand the public Internet of Things into the wind industry, for example for on- and off-shore wind turbines. We usually do that on high buildings and towers,” said Remy de Jong of SkyLab BV, which specializes in installing IoT gateway.

“When we entered into talks with Port of Moerdijk, we got the idea during a brainstorm of using the wind-farm towers. Installing a gateway on a windmill – we have never done that before in the Netherlands, and to my knowledge, it hasn’t been done this way anywhere in the world.”

The project is Kerlink’s second major deployment in the Netherlands. In 2019, it was part of a joint deployment of a LoRaWAN private IoT network at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one of the largest international airports in Europe.

“Kerlink Wirnet iStation IoT gateways are operating 100 meters above the water in what will be an exposed and challenging environment, but this product has repeatedly proven its robust performance and reliability,” said Aurélien Seugnet, Kerlink’s business developer. “Being wind powered also is a key benefit, because they will be out of reach for battery replacements.”

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