SMG LLC is monitoring temperature and humidity in
the cold and corrosive
environment of the
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG
Aquarium Penguin Exhibit.
Wireless sensors were used because:
- the exhibit could not be closed for cabling
- cables could not be laid through the
- the sensor locations could change week to week.
The temperature is measured in 6 places including a sensor on
the roof for external temperature. We sample temperatures every 5
minutes and send the data via email to the zookeepers.
messages are also generated and sent to the keeper's cell phone if
specific user-defined conditions occur (e.g. exhibit's internal
temperature goes above a certain level )
Data can also be sent to and displayed on a webpage.
An additional problem arose. The cold environment in the
exhibit is not conducive to long battery life. Because of
the 5 minute sampling rate, battery replacement occurred every 8 months.
One of the wireless sensors was in a hard-to-reach area above the
exhibit. To solve that issue, we deployed
a Radio Frequency
transmitter / power harvester from PowerCast to re-charge the
batteries from a distance. It works well and is charging the batteries currently.
Additional value was realized from the
extra temperature data. A $5,000 planned wall was no longer needed when it was
determined that it would not have appreciable effect on temperatures and
the source of the problem was elsewhere.