discussion / Connectivity  / 23 January 2024

LoRaWAN IoT gateway, low power and solar cell driven

A friend drew my attention to a LoRaWAN IoT gateway solution that seems to have high applicability potential in remote nature conservation projects using LoRa sensors. It is developed by a Danish startup company called SenArch.

Many discussions and questions in this forum are about automatic data collection from ( moving ) sensors located in remote areas, if not mountainous remote areas. This particular solution offers a battery and solar cell driven system that would fit in the back of a pickup truck. According to the website, it could be installed anywhere and could run 'all year round in most environmental conditions'.

I am not a user or potential user of such systems, so I wonder does this sound appealing and innovative to those who are?

Typically, the website does not mention a price and perhaps the product is not yet available off the shelf.

For completeness sake: the friend who drew my attention has an interest in the company. I do not, and I am also not paid or otherwise compensated for writing this. Considering the advertised qualities of the product, I do feel it is worth posting about it here.









Lorawan is a great tech for various applications. In essense, a lorawan gateway communicates with a provider endpoint to send through data that is receives. This can then be received by applications with subscriptions to that data over the Internet. Gateways can be had quite cheaply, Seeed Studios has one for around 100 euros. This is just adding a solar charge unit and there must be some sort of Internet communications, be it cell based or otherwise satellite I guess.

You should aware of all of the profiles of Lora and the constraints, it's intended for low bandwidth data. There are several modes of operation, Lora itself uses spread spectrum transmission with error correction. If you use a high degree of error correction you can transmit successfully longer distances, but with a longer period between allowable transmissins. For example, on spreading factor 12 (SF12) I think you may only transmit again 5 minutes or so later. With SF7, you have less power and less error correction and you can retransmit 5 seconds later.

So think it terms of small amounts of information to be transmitted. It's not a network replacement. The same also applies to zigbee or xbee pro, although they would be more suitable for larger amounts of data and can be used as I understand it as a sort of very, very low bandwidth meshed network. But lorawan is really for individual packets of data.

The Things Network has a lot of information regarding Lorawan in general that's well written I think.

The things network can also be used for free up to a certain number of nodes as a understand it.