Wireless sensor networks will find major impact in energy-related applications


George West,
President &
Senior Analyst,
Mountain View, CA, U.S.A. — (METRING.COM) — June 18, 2007 – A new report from WTRS, an independent market research organization, demonstrates that energy use monitoring and utility management will improve both profit and environmental achievements for all involved. The report examines the energy conservation potentials of wireless sensor networks (WSN), and finds that the opportunities for projects and products that more effectively manage energy use are being driven by a confluence of events.

The first of these is a growing demand for energy. At the same time the constraints on adding new power generation capability, such as regulations and the resistance to the construction of new power plants located near metropolitan areas, as well as the capital requirements to build a new physical plant, are challenging the construction of new power generating plants. Combine this with government and industry mandates for smart power infrastructure networks, automated metering services, and automated demand response systems, and the result is an increased demand for new products and technologies that manage the use of power in a more flexible and imaginative fashion – the power of wireless technologies.

The well-known capabilities provided by wireless technologies – ease of installation, flexible deployment, and lower infrastructure costs – are proving to be key enablers of these new solutions. In addition the broad portfolio of solutions tying wireless sensor networks back into traditional IT networks are helping organizations extract real value from information generated by wireless sensor networks. These factors are contributing to the explosive growth in the adoption and deployment of solutions based on wireless sensor technology.

"Research indicates that companies can recognize up to 30-90% reduction in operating costs by simply wirelessly-enabling a process," said President George West. "We have heard reports of project payback periods as short as 90 days. The opportunities for extraordinary project ROI’s are being fueled by wireless sensor networks."

The WTRS report has also identified other conclusions, including:

  1. The industrial sector is likely to undergo workflow churn as WSN applications increase safety, reliability and efficiency of industrial facilities.
  2. Module and development kit pricing has dropped over the last six months, while functionality has increased.
  3. Frequency agility requirements are driving evolution toward industrial standards.
  4. AMR management is a truly significant opportunity in the utilities sector.
  5. European government mandates are strengthening market hold on WSN.
  6. Slow economic growth in the US changes direction of WSN market expansion.
  7. The WSN market is likely to converge on three to four players.
  8. A fundamental driver for WSN is ability to power sensors with batteries.