SWG Gießen, the public utility company of the university town in Central Hesse, has commissioned our partner, m2m Germany GmbH, to support them in the planning as well as the establishment and expansion of a comprehensive LoRaWAN® network.
This use case, involving the seventh largest city in Middle Hesse, with a population of almost 90,000 people, and the need for monitoring of various parameters in public buildings and smart city applications, which can be covered via LoRa sensor technology, is a clear case of Smart City technology deployment.
From the beginning, this was not a question of theoretical consideration, but quite clearly of the actual implementation of various applications – first as a test setup, later for a comprehensive rollout.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the priority was to measure CO2 concentrations for prevention in schools, kindergartens, sports facilities, meeting rooms, cinemas, restaurants, and hotels. The yardstick for the concentration of aerosols in the air is a very important indicator for preventing unnecessary infections with the corona virus.
In addition, other environmental measurements, such as temperature, humidity, and light, were taken in parallel. This allows an optimization of the CO2 eco-balance to be achieved, as the measurements can be used to initiate, among other things, the reduction of the room temperature when rooms are unused.
PIR Sensors for motion and occupancy detection within a room is also being currently considered. On the one hand, to detect when rooms are occupied and, on the other hand, to be able to monitor the rooms even outside business hours in order to prevent possible break-ins. An additional light sensor can also be used to detect whether the lighting is still switched on in rooms that are not occupied. This is the case, for example, in gymnasiums where the lighting is switched on overnight because the lighting was forgotten to switch off after the last training session.
After initial consolidation talks, the SWG was recommended to install the LoRaWAN® network server LNS ThingPark – the Enterprise SaaS Small with Macro and Nano LRR software licenses from Actility with corresponding LoRaWAN® transceiver stations (gateways). m2m Germany measured the most suitable gateway locations and set up the corresponding LoRaWAN® network server (LNS).
ThingPark, from Actility, administers and manages both the gateways and the sensors for the various application scenarios. m2m Germany provided the corresponding SaaS cloud application platform, installed it with an individually created dashboard, which can be expanded with new use cases as required at any time. SWG’s technical staff was also trained on the system.
After internal test setups, SWG equipped the first school in Gießen with LoRaWAN® technology.
Here, sensors monitor the usage of the sports hall and ensure that its access door is open or closed. A work room located in the basement, which is potentially humid, is constantly monitored for temperature and humidity to counteract possible mould growth.
The CO2 content of the air in the sports hall is also monitored, because a lot of CO2 means a lot of aerosols. A regular, adequate exchange of air is a key issue in corona times. A positive side effect is that fresh, drier air can be heated with less energy than humid air. In this respect, monitoring the indoor climate also helps to improve energy efficiency.
In addition, SWG has installed LoRaWAN® transmitters on all electricity, district heating and water meters at the School. The information that can be derived from this will ensure transparency in terms of consumption. Furthermore, the automatic recordings improve and simplify the current manual readings by the caretakers for the energy management of the city of Gießen. Smoke detectors in the ventilation system round off the complete package. Thanks to the radio technology, complex cabling of the sensors is also not necessary, which is a further plus point for the use of LoRaWAN® solutions.
These following sensors and gateways are integrated on the ThingPark platform, among others:
Before the first school was equipped, SWG extensively tested various application possibilities internally. Energy consumption, movement, and occupancy patterns as well as smart parking management were put to the test.
Because the use of LoRaWAN® is versatile, those responsible at SWG decided to set up a network for Giessen’s city center. For this purpose, seven gateways are already sufficient to guarantee good coverage – expansion stages will be successive and according to requirements. The new infrastructure will primarily be used by SWG to gradually equip all district heating meters with appropriate sensors for remote transmission.
LoRaWAN® is the first step towards a “Smart City” for the university town in Central Hesse and will contribute to making the town more intelligent and efficient.
Because on the way to becoming a climate-neutral municipality, one thing is needed above all else besides CO2-free energy: transparency in terms of energy consumption. And this is exactly where LoRaWAN® will play a central role.
m2m Germany will support the further expansion and provide appropriate software and hardware solutions, from sensors and gateways to LNS (ThingPark of Actility).
As a specialist for M2M and IoT solutions, m2m Germany has been supporting customers in the implementation of digitization projects for more than 10 years and sees itself as an “enabler” of new business models and opportunities such as Big Data & Co.
The technical focus is on radio technologies such as LTE, Bluetooth, LoRa® or NB-IoT. m2m Germany draws on many years of experience from development and research projects and supports customers from the idea to project planning, prototyping and series development to after-sales service.
m2m Germany works on an equal footing with medium-sized companies and provides large companies with the necessary agility and flexibility in digitization projects. As a distributor of well-known manufacturers and through partnerships with specialists, m2m Germany can also supply complete solutions from a single source as a one-stop shop.
Actility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of companies trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also provides patented ultra-low power tracking solutions. ThingPark Market offers the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of use cases.
Learn more about the LoRaWAN technology by downloading the Actility “What is LoRaWAN” white paper