Today, Disruptive Technologies is excited to introduce a new wireless temperature sensor for improved battery life at high and low temperatures. With 10 years of expected lifetime at 70°C/176°F and 5 years at -40°C/-40°F, the Wireless Industrial Temperature Sensor sets a new industry standard for tiny wireless sensors.
Since its release in 2019, our Wireless Temperature Sensor has been the most popular in our lineup. It is being used in a wide range of applications, from measuring temperature in offices to monitoring critical components in substations.
Designing small, battery-operated sensors that work reliably over a long time on temperatures above and below room temperature is challenging for any manufacturer due to the nature of the lithium battery chemistry. As the temperature increases, the lifetime is normally reduced exponentially. This can be seen in the datasheet for our standard temperature sensor, where the lifetime of 15 years at 25°C/77°F is reduced to 7 years at 50°C/122°F, and to 4 months at 85°C/185°F.
From our experience working with partners and direct customers over the last couple of years, we know that easy installation, zero maintenance, and long battery life are keys to making IoT business cases successful. At DT, we strive to develop a platform that delivers on these three principles. The new Industrial Temperature sensor is our next step in giving customers the predictability they need to correctly calculate the return-of-investment and make new business cases work.
Making tiny wireless sensors with 10+ years of battery life is hard regardless of the temperature it is operating at. Like with all electronics, long battery life and small size are opposite forces. A smaller device requires a smaller battery, which subsequently decreases its battery life.
Additional factors, like the battery's internal resistance pose more challenges: The internal resistance increases when the battery becomes smaller and when the temperature is reduced. This makes it harder to draw enough current to transmit a radio signal.
These challenges are overcome by our own custom-designed, proprietary DT Silicon microchip technology, and our own radio protocol, Secure Data Shot (SDS). DT Silicon allows us to perform ultra-low-power sensing using two orders of magnitude less power than other sensors use to sleep between measurements.
A big part of our sensor IP is understanding how batteries and other components respond to temperature changes and how the lifetime varies with the amount of energy drawn from the battery within a certain amount of time. Our proprietary radio protocol, Secure Data Shot (SDS), allows the DT Silicon to operate the sensor optimally without the constraints standard radio protocols would impose. Over the last years, we have collected thousands of hours of battery characterization data and created sensor software that understands the battery's state and is optimized for low power consumption and reliability. This puts us in a unique position to tackle the more considerable challenge of creating a tiny sensor with long battery life at higher temperatures.
At higher temperatures, the battery self-discharge is detrimental to the lifetime of the battery. An Industry Standard CR coin cell battery will be drained in months even if it was only stored unused at the high temperature. For the Wireless Industrial Temperature Sensor, we changed to using BR batteries – which have a significantly lower self-discharge rate at higher temperatures but are notoriously hard to make useful for wireless applications due to their low voltage and increased internal resistance.
By building on our experience of utilizing DT Silicon with CR battery technology in our standard sensors, we have combined low power consumption at high temperatures with tiny size in the Wireless Industrial Temperature Sensor we are releasing today. In addition, the reliability of miniature electronic components at high temperatures is reduced according to Arrhenius’ law. The Wireless Industrial Temperature Sensor uses electronic components with improved reliability at high temperatures to guarantee that the whole system can be powered for years at high temperatures without breaking down.
The Wireless Industrial Temperature Sensor is 19x19x3.5mm and can last for up to 10 years when placed continuously at 70°C/176°F and is rated for use from -40°C to +85°C/185°F. Another positive note that comes with the change to BR is that we have also improved the battery life at -40°C from 4 months in our standard sensors to 5 years in our Industrial Temperature sensor – making it an excellent sensor for cold chain applications.
The Wireless Industrial Temperature Sensor is available today for customers in the EU, US, and Canada and can be ordered directly from DT by contacting our sales team.
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