PVH offers long-range reliable communication with LoRa technology
The current technological evolution of the photovoltaic sector has made it possible for utility-scale plants to become larger and larger, including thousands of solar trackers, which are distributed over kilometers. In this situation, it is essential to have a robust, reliable, safe and easy to operate communication system that allows us to know the position and status of each solar tracker, as well as the detection of possible failures.
As a solution to these possible communication and range problems, at PVH we work with LoRa technology, a long-range communication management system that, together with our wide range of controllers, allows us to offer a greater reliability in the communication between the solar trackers and the plant central controller.
Using LoRa wireless technology, we offer a direct transmission between our Meteo control panel (MBox – “MeteoBox”), our central plant controller (TBox – “TrackerBox”) and each of the controllers that are in charge of moving the motor of the solar trackers (DBox – “DriveBox”), with a very long range. When any of our Meteo sensors detects a strong wind gust, it sends a signal to our central plant controller which, in turn, distributes that message to the all the different controllers of the solar trackers at once, so that they can put it in a defensive position as quickly as possible.
It is important to emphasize that the frequency band in which LoRa operates is lower than the 2,4 GHz ISM band (used by Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Zigbee) that is the most congested spectrum in the world, and therefore allows for a longer range and is less prone to interferences.
- LoRa’s long-range wireless communication allows more devices to be connected to the central plant controller, as well as their distribution over larger areas. Theoretically, with LoRa we can talk about distances of up to 20 kilometers in suburban areas.
- The network infrastructure is simpler, since LoRa’s long range allows us to cover the whole plant with a smaller number of antennas, controlling thousands of solar trackers.
- Being a low consumption technology, LoRa allows optimizing the use of the controllers’ battery while ensuring long range communication.
We strive to become one of the most important technology developers in the renewable energy sector, in large part thanks to the research work we carry out at the PVH Innovation Center and in our laboratories.
We are committed to finding new ways to extend the reach and improve the security of communication in our photovoltaic facilities. Today, our DBox (DriveBox), MBox (MeteoBox) and TBox (TrackerBox) are adapted to what wireless technologies like LoRa demand: devices that ensure fast, continuous and independent communication.