Sensors

Energy harvesting frequencies and protocols

13th August 2019
Alex Lynn

Due to the rising connectivity of mobile devices, industrial applications, smart home applications and vehicles, the importance of wireless technology for data communication increases continuously. Nearly every innovative and smart application benefits from wireless technology which is continuously improved and optimised. 

Some businesses are building on this opportunity to develop smart sensors and energy efficient actuators. One example is the Energy Harvesting Switch (EHS) from ZF.

ZF's energy self-sufficient and wireless switch is a battery-free alternative for triggering actions within a wireless infrastructure of a mesh network but also for Point-to-Point communication. In this application the energy harvesting technology of the switch is extraordinary. The mechanical actuation of pressing the switch is enough to send out a reliable and multi-redundant radio signal. 

During the development of the Energy Harvesting Switch several questions regarding the design arose. In the first step, different frequencies have been selected for the communication of the ZF switch. ZF decided to use the frequency bands 868 MHz for Europe and Asia, 915MHz for USA and 2.4GHz for the global use. 

Depending on application and end product different RF protocols are available for these frequency bands. The Energy Harvesting Switch from ZF supports well-known protocol standards like KNX-RF, Bluetooth and EnOcean.

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