Energy harvesting RF switches suit easy integration

10th February 2015
Barney Scott

At Southern Manufacturing 2015, on Stand J115, CHERRY has announced that it will show the receiver module used in its energy harvesting wireless switches. The receiver will be available as an RF stamp in the shape of a mini PCB (22x26x4mm), for integration into an existing control system. The module will also be available as an independently housed receiver with connectivity options and its own power supply.

In this shape, the receiver module also benefits from small dimensions (61x69x30mm) and is suitable for wall mounting. Both versions are available for European and North American frequency bands.

CHERRY’s energy harvesting wireless switch for industrial applications is a batteryless alternative for wired microswitches. With the demand for intelligent networking in the industry and the increasing trend for the ‘intelligent factory’, the energy harvesting switch from CHERRY offers advantages where a complex wire assembly and/or batteries would be inappropriate. The required RF-energy is created by the mechanical actuation of the switch and the data is transmitted wirelessly using RF-technology.

As a result there is no need for complex and expensive connection systems, which means no cables, no batteries and no maintenance required - just fit and forget. The technology is designed to be easy to install, even in hard-to-reach places.

The switch offers an energy yield of 2 pulses of minimum 0.33mWs, an operating temperature range of -40 to +85°C, and a long mechanical life of up to 1m operations. Operating force is 8N, vibration resistance is 5g, shock resistance is 15g and the switch is network-compatible. Several available radio frequencies, such as 868MHz and 915MHz (radio range of 30m) and 2.4GHz (with a range of 10m), enable worldwide use.

CHERRY offers two standardised package versions for industrial applications: as a rocker switch for actuation by hand and as a snap-action switch for mechanical actuation. The switch can easily be connected with a standard SPS bus system like OpenCAN and Profibus or industrial interfaces like RS485, SPI, 4-20mA and 0-24V. The signal received simply transmits to an SPS or other industrial control.

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