U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Advanced Manufacturing Office
Early Field Trials Show Vast Potential for Industrial Wireless Sensors
December 22, 2005
With ITP support, GE and Sensicast Systems are developing a low-cost, reliable wireless communications technology that will move pervasive sensing into industrial markets and deliver significant energy savings to an industry's manufacturing process over its lifespan. Several pilot applications in field-testing suggest that this new wireless sensor technology can reduce the installation cost of this type of equipment monitoring system tenfold, making it a much more attractive option for end users to buy and install. Examples include: a motor monitoring program at San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station in California; an arc furnace crucible wall-temperature sensing system in a working steel mill; and a portable system for steam pipe monitoring used by service engineers at GE Energy. Through these early applications and rigorous testing, GE and Sensicast have developed a positive base of reference applications that will help to accelerate the adoption of this new wireless technology. The technology allows for self-powered wireless devices to be rapidly and inexpensively deployed in industrial settings with performance levels that are well understood.