Nordic-powered cellular IoT data logger enables flow monitoring applications with 10-year battery life

Ashridge

Ashridge Engineering’s CharIoT uses Nordic nRF9160 SiP for core processing and LTE-M/NB-IoT connectivity

An IoT data logger designed for applications in the water industry has been developed by U.K. based Ashridge Engineering. Soon to be available in three different versions—‘Flow/Pulse’, ‘Flow and Pressure’, and ‘Flow and Two Pressure’—CharIoT is suitable for a wide range of applications including flow monitoring, leak detection, pressure management, pressure relief value management, network modelling and commercial logging.

Collating sensor data

CharIoT can be easily configured and deployed in the field in under two minutes using the associated Android app on the user’s smartphone or tablet, with settings transferred to the device via Near Field Communication (NFC). The device employs the computational power of the Nordic nRF9160 SiP’s 64 MHz Arm® Cortex®-M33 application processor to oversee the sensors and collate the relevant data. The SiP’s multimode LTE-M/NB-IoT modem with integrated RF Front End (RFFE) enables the data to be measured, logged, and securely transmitted to the proprietary Cloud portal, ‘Aquaguard’, via MQTT on a cellular IoT network. 

Quote
In the past we have used a processor and modem in separate packages, but with Nordic’s nRF9160 SiP we have all the components we need in a compact form factor
Damien Lobb, Ashridge Engineering

An intuitive dashboard allows users to quickly identify any issues, associate units into a site, group, or region, configure the units remotely, and export data. All data held within Aquaguard can also be pulled into third-party systems. 

The CharIoT device takes advantage of the nRF9160 low power SiP to provide battery life in excess of 10 years (based on a transmission frequency of once every 30 minutes) even in challenging conditions, helping to reduce the number of single-use batteries used by water utilities. The solution enables these companies to understand flow and pressure in their networks in almost real time, but without the need for large single-use battery packs. 

Power consumption capabilities

“In the past we have used a processor and modem in separate packages, but with Nordic’s nRF9160 SiP we have all the components we need in a compact form factor, while the power consumption capabilities of the nRF9160 were also an important consideration,” says Damien Lobb, Electronics Engineer, Ashridge Engineering.

“In addition, we decided to use a Nordic solution because the company provides a lot of open-source libraries, well-documented code and examples, while Nordic’s DevZone forum is full of expert application engineers ready to advise on any development issues.”

 

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