Energy harvesting switch operates wireless link

July 09, 2014 // By Julien Happich
With the demand for intelligent networking in the industry and the increasing trend for the 'intelligent factory', the energy harvesting technology from Cherry offers many advantages in applications 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.

The company 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, e.g. by a machine. 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.

An evaluation kit is available, providing a functional demonstration of the technology while offering users the chance to measure signal strength and range. The evaluation kit contains an energy harvesting generator, including RF electronics integrated into a microswitch housing, a receiver PCB with multiple digital and analogue outputs, a high performance dipole antenna, a chip antenna, and a CD containing the driver & installation instructions, as well as an instruction manual.

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