22.06.2023 309

LoRaWAN: benefits of wireless sensor networks for smart cities

Smart city automation is playing an increasingly bigger role in the life of modern society. Smart solutions enable you to delegate many routine tasks to programs and technologies, make city life more comfortable, safe, and controllable, save resources and remotely manage devices.

In this article we’ll talk about how Smart cities IoT uses LoRaWAN protocols and low energy networks, and why this technology is the best urban solution.

What are LPWAN solutions?

Smart city development is inconceivable without using a lot of smart devices, such as motion sensors or smoke detectors. While these devices can be directly connected to the Internet, it is not the most practical or cost-effective solution. Such sensors only transmit small data packages and do not need big network bandwidth. Moreover, providing high-quality Internet coverage is a costly task, and for some places difficult to accomplish.

That’s why LPWAN solutions — technologies that do not require high energy consumption — are becoming increasingly popular in large cities. LPWAN protocols are designed to transmit small data packages on unlicensed frequencies. Deploying these networks is easier and cheaper than running wireless Internet. At the same time, IoT connectivity solutions ensure robust data protection, high entering capacity, and extensive coverage. One of the most common systems of this type is LoRaWAN technology.

What is LoRaWAN?

LoRaWAN technology is a wireless communication protocol. IoT applications of LoRaWAN allow devices to be connected to the Internet and controlled remotely. Sensors or battery-operated devices transmit radio signals to a base station (gateway), after which the data is transmitted to a server and accessed through the Internet. The signal transmission works in both directions, so LoRaWAN enables not only the collection of data from the devices, but also the ability to send them signals, start their functions, or change their settings. 

LoRaWAN is used to connect devices with low data rates to the network. Signals are transmitted in the air, penetrating through walls and objects: this makes it possible to place sensors in basements, high-rise buildings, and collect data in dense urban spaces.

The solution provides network coverage in open areas up to 15 km, and up to 5 km in cities (depending on the density of buildings and the material from which the walls are made). Transmitted data is securely encrypted.

Let’s summarize the main advantages of LoRaWAN for IoT infrastructure:

High signal penetration Cost effectiveness and durability
Two-way connection Does not require highly skilled specialists for deployment and maintenance
Low cost for network deployment and device maintenance Maximum energy efficiency
Wide signal range Robust data protection

Using LoRaWAN in smart city infrastructure

The characteristics of the technology make it the best solution for IoT data management in smart cities, ensuring the comfort and safety of inhabitants. The solution is used for different areas, such as:

  • Energy management. Using smart LoRaWAN devices, companies can control lighting, heating/cooling, and other building energy systems, as well as automate resource metering.
  • Public safety. Sensor systems in factories and offices can prevent fires, unauthorized intrusion, and quickly inform the administration about deterioration of structures.
  • Water management and leak detection. Public utility companies and resource providers can promptly receive information about utility infrastructure damages and effectively monitor and prevent resource loss.
  • Building automation. The system of smart devices in shopping centers, offices, and administrative buildings allows for the creation of optimum conditions, for example, switching on air conditioners in rooms depending on temperature and number of people.
  • Environmental monitoring. The devices are able to receive data on temperature and humidity, for example, in greenhouses.
  • Waste management. Smart bins are equipped with a system of sensors and a compressor which reduces the size of garbage. This in turn reduces the workload of public utility services and optimizes waste removal.
  • Smart parking. One of the problems of large parking lots is searching for available spaces and navigation. By equipping the parking area with smart devices and displaying the data on a notice board, administrators can easily solve this problem.
  • Smart street lighting. Street lights can be adjusted depending on the number of pedestrians and vehicles.

Smart public transportation. Traffic management allows passengers to track the location of public transport and plan their travel time.

What the technology allows

Management companies, utilities, local authorities, developers and companies can use LoRaWAN-managed devices to solve business problems, manage resources and reduce costs. Specifically, with technology, it is possible to:

  • Increase building and street safety
  • Reduce the cost of manual resource metering
  • Increase estate values by implementing smart technologies
  • Optimize electricity and heat consumption
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Monitor leaks
  • Improve Quality of Service (QoS)

Jooby: Solution for smart cities based on LoRaWAN technology

In Europe, the Ukrainian brand Jooby produces smart devices managed through the LoRaWAN network. One area that the company specializes in is its solution for remote resource metering — Jooby RDC. It includes radio modules equipped with sensors and software for data processing.

The radio modules automatically take meter readings and transmit them wirelessly through the LoRaWAN network to the operator’s software. These devices are easy to install on meters and can be activated in just a few minutes. The radio modules also record unauthorized actions with meters, notify the operator about a low battery, and other emergency situations.

Jooby produces radio modules for metering:

  • water
  • gas
  • heat
  • electricity

Due to low power consumption, the devices can operate continuously for up to 15 years without battery replacement. The radio modules record meter readings with a preset frequency and transmit them to the resource providers. The solution allows companies and utilities to receive accurate data regarding consumed resources on time, simplify the process of taking readings, find out about leaks or thefts in a timely manner, and reduce operating costs.

LoRaWAN is a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for IoT sensor networks. This system enables cost-effective optimization of resource metering, increases the comfort and safety of cities, and provides broad perspectives for urban planning of the future.

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