Power Supply

The Senquip ORB has been designed to offer maximum flexibility in terms of power supply requirements and is able to run off permanent power, solar (with internal rechargeable lithium battery) or replaceable AA batteries. Low power design techniques ensure the longest possible run-time when operating off batteries.

Permanent power

A wide input range of 10-75V operation allows for use in automotive, industrial and telecoms applications. System power is backed up with an internal lithium polymer rechargeable battery in the event of power outages. Supply voltage is monitored to a resolution of 100mV and can be reported on a periodic basis if enabled.

The supply voltage input is reverse polarity protected and is resistant to damage from static and surge.

The ORB can be used with a solar panel as a source of power. When running on solar, the panel needs to be able to collect enough energy during sunlight hours to power the ORB through the night and on cloudy days. Keep in mind that solar panels will tend to get dusty and so should be over-rated to avoid regular maintenance. A typical 12V solar panel used to power the ORB along with it’s specifications is shown below:

Typical solar panel

Typical ORB solar panel

Parameter

Specification

Maximum power

10W

Voltage at maximum power

17V

Current at maximum power

0.56A

Open-circuit voltage

21.6V

Short-circuit current

0.68A

Width

357mm

Height

302mm

The above solar panel was tested with an ORB measuring and reporting 2 input voltages, ambient temperature, ambient pressure and thermocouple temperature at an interval of 5 minutes. To conserve energy in what was a fixed location test, GPS location was measured every 20 base intervals or 100 minutes. The results were transmitted over 4G LTE or Wi-Fi at 5 minute intervals. The solar panel was sufficient to power the ORB.

Internal rechargeable battery

An Internal 3.7V, 1800mAh rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer (LiPo) battery is charged from system power, making the device ideal in applications where power is intermittent such as solar. The LiPo battery can be fully recharged within 4 hours of system power being connected.

If the internal LiPo has been allowed to completely discharge; when power is first applied to the ORB, the battery will go into a pre-charge mode where the battery is charged to a minimum level before the ORB starts operating. Pre-charge mode is identified by a slow flash on the green LED with the orange LED off.

Internal protection circuits prevent damage to the LiPo battery in the event of a short circuit or due to excessive discharge. A temperature monitoring circuit throttles the LiPo battery charging at temperatures above 40°C. It is recommended that the LiPo battery be replaced after three years of use or more regularly if the ORB routinely operates in a temperature range exceeding -10 to 70°C. The LiPo battery should only be replaced by a Senquip replacement part and should only be installed by a suitably trained technician.

LiPo battery voltage is monitored to a resolution of 100mV and can be reported on a periodic basis if enabled.

Replaceable AA batteries

In remote applications, where only low frequency measurement is required, the ORB can be powered by four AA batteries. Either 1.5V alkaline, 1.6V lithium or 3.6V lithium AA batteries can be used. To maximise battery life, it is recommended that either 1.6V lithium batteries like those shown below or 3.6V lithium batteries are used. Where high quality lithium batteries are used, the ORB can run off batteries for up to 10 years in sleep mode. Battery life of 1 to 2 years should be expected in real applications where the ORB has been configured for low power operation.

High capacity batteries

High capacity batteries

The AA batteries are user replaceable and the ORB is protected against incorrect battery insertion. Correct battery orientation is clearly marked in the battery compartment.

The AA battery voltage is monitored to a resolution of 100mV and can be reported on a periodic basis if enabled.

Power consumption

The ORB has been designed to be suitable for use in applications where permanent power is not available and solar and or batteries are the only source of energy. Factors affecting power consumption include the rate at which sensor measurements are made, the number of transmissions of measured data and which internal and external sensors that are connected.

Broadly, the state of the ORB can be divided into three modes: sleep, measurement and transmission. Sleep mode is by far the lowest power state where most internal sensors are turned off and the device is waiting for the next measurement period. During a measurement period, the sensors are turned on and power consumption increases dramatically. The actual power consumed during a measurement phase depends on the power requirements of connected sensors and the duration for which they are turned on. For instance, a 4-20mA pressure sensor will, by default, draw between 4mA and 20mA of current when turned on. The sensor will clearly use less energy when measuring 4mA than when measuring 20mA. Transmission is the most energy intense operation performed by the ORB. During transmission, the Wi-Fi and or 4G LTE radios are turned on and data is transmitted. Limiting the length of radio transmissions has a significant impact on energy consumed by the ORB.

The following strategies can be used to limit power consumption, which will be particularly useful in battery powered applications:

  • Limit the rate at which measurements are taken - if the parameter being measured changes slowly, then measuring it regularly will consume additional energy without a benefit.

  • Turn off sensors that are not required - the ORB contains a rich set of internal sensors. If for example, the GPS is not required, turn it off.

  • Choose external sensors carefully - a 4-20mA sensor may use more energy than a voltage output sensor.

  • Limit the number of daily transmissions - consider only transmitting data when warning and alarm conditions are breached.

  • Ensure that the ORB is placed in a position where 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and GPS reception is optimal. Far more current is consumed when transmitting and receiving in a poor signal environment.

Measured sleep, measurement, and transmission current is given in the table below. The measurements in the table represent current flowing from the internal LiPo battery at 3.5V, with external power to the ORB removed. Except where stated, the GPS is assumed off. Actual values will depend on the power source, selected measurements, battery charge state, distance from Wi-Fi or 4G LTE source and temperature.

Note

A battery life calculator is available on the Senquip Website.

Mode

Current

Time

Sleep

65uA

Up to 24 hours

Measurement (no external sensors, GPS off)

40mA

0.5s

Measurement (no external sensors, GPS cold start)

70mA

54s

Transmit (WiFi from sleep)

97mA

8s

Transmit (4G LTE from sleep)

120mA

20s

Battery life

Senquip has measured actual power consumption figures to determine the expected life when using AA cells. Remember, when setting up for low power applications, that the ORB can make regular measurements and only transmit once per day unless it enters an exception state (warning or alarm is active), in which case a transmission is made immediately and the ORB switches to the exception interval, allowing for faster transmission rates.

Note

Battery life expectation is extremely difficult to estimate and will be affected by all kinds of parameters such as temperature, battery chemistry, quality of reception, and sensors used. The numbers below should be taken as indicative only.

WiFi Transmission

Battery

Base interval

Transmit interval

Sensors enabled

Battery life

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per day

1 per day

All internal sensors except GPS

8.9 years

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per hour

1 per day

All internal sensors except GPS

8.3 years

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per hour

1 per hour

All internal sensors except GPS

2.3 years






AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per day

1 per day

All internal sensors and GPS

7.8 years

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per hour

1 per day

All internal sensors and GPS

2.0 years

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per hour

1 per hour

All internal sensors and GPS

1.2 years

4G LTE Transmission

Battery

Base interval

Transmit interval

Sensors enabled

Battery life

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per day

1 per day

All internal sensors except GPS

7.1 years

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per hour

1 per day

All internal sensors except GPS

6.5 years

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per hour

1 per hour

All internal sensors except GPS

0.9 years






AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per day

1 per day

All internal sensors and GPS

6.3 years

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per hour

1 per day

All internal sensors and GPS

1.9 years

AA 1.6V Lithium

1 per hour

1 per hour

All internal sensors and GPS

0.6 years

Freight Mode

When shipping an ORB, it is important that the device is placed in freight mode. In freight mode, the ORB is put into sleep mode to reduce battery drain to the minimum, and all transmitting devices are turned off. The ORB will exit freight mode when it detects that power has been re-connected.

To enter freight mode access the device webserver by pressing the setup button or directly from a browser if the ORB webserver is always on and you know the IP address. From the webserver, chose the admin link and perform the steps below:

  1. Disconnect all wires including the power input. Remove AA batteries (if fitted).

  2. Press the ‘Enter Freight Mode’ button below.

  3. Wait 5 seconds, then check the Status and Network lights remain off.

  4. Confirm freight mode has been entered by pressing the Reset button; there should be no response from the ORB.

Entering freight mode

Entering freight mode

Note

A shortcut is provided where pressing the Setup button three times, when in setup mode, will cause the Senquip ORB to enter freight mode. Confirm freight mode has been entered by pressing the Reset button.