Functional Devices self-powered wireless current sensor simplifies retrofits

Functional Devices Inc. introduces what it calls the world's first completely self-powered wireless current sensor with EnOcean energy harvesting technology.
December 31, 2009
Functional Devices wireless current sensor (RIBXKJF-EN) detects load currents ranging from 3 - 150 Amps and transmits radio signals via the interoperable EnOcean wireless standard.

Functional Devices wireless current sensor (RIBXKJF-EN) detects load currents ranging from 3 – 150 Amps and transmits radio signals via the interoperable EnOcean wireless standard.

Functional Devices released what it says is the world’s first completely EnOcean-based self-powered wireless current sensor. Current sensors monitor the status of electrical current flowing through a power line. Functional Devices’ solution wirelessly transmits this status and enables remote monitoring or linking the operation of one machine with another. The Functional Devices current sensor is unique because it generates its own power for sensing and wireless communication, the company said in a Dec. 15 announcement. Eliminating wires simplifies installation, especially retrofitting existing buildings; while self-powering eliminates maintenance throughout the product’s life.

Functional Devices engineer Rob Pinto explains, "Many customers want to interlock an exhaust fan with a dryer; however, the equipment is often some distance apart. With our self-powered wireless current sensor, integrators simply clip the wireless current sensor to the dryer’s power line and connect a wireless relay to the fan. This saves time, cost and the headache or hardwiring to remote locations."

Functional Devices wireless current sensor (RIBXKJF-EN) detects load currents ranging from 3 – 150 Amps and transmits radio signals via the interoperable EnOcean wireless standard. The radio signal is sent to a wireless relay/repeater that uses load current data to switch electrical loads up to 20 Amps. When combined with the relay, the wireless current sensor provides a turn-key "interlocking load" solution for existing buildings.

The new wireless current sensor overcomes major retrofitting barriers now that the job can be done wirelessly and battery-free. Integrators can clamp the current sensor to the cable; then the sensor is able to power itself, detect load currents and transmit radio signals using only the power residing around the cable. After the power to any number of dryers is sensed, a radio transmission is generated which activates the wireless relay to turn on the exhaust fan, giving extra power to the vent system of the building. The repeater function of the relay receiver can extend the range of the exhaust vent by initiating another fan wirelessly. This wireless interlocking solution is designed to save time and cost of hardwiring. Providing cost effective resource saving and innovative solutions is integral to Functional Devices’ effort to provide "green" solutions to building managers.

Also read from Control EngineeringWireless energy harvesting: EnOcean Alliance publishes first specification (see photo) .

www.functionaldevices.com/pdf/RIBXJF-EN.pdf
www.enocean-alliance.org

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering www.controleng.com