Want to avoid wires? Want to lower the cost of installing sensors? If so, a wireless mesh is a good way to go. It’s a great solution for both remote and local tank level monitoring, and it’s an industrial grade, reliable, and proven technology.
What is a wireless mesh?
A wireless mesh network is a series of radios that talk to each other. It’s a point to multi-point radio solution. The big advantage is the radios can transmit reliably around obstacles such as geographic features, foliage, buildings, or inclement weather.
A good radio mesh network is also able to cover great distances, allowing up to 4 miles between individual points, or nodes.
In the case of tank level monitoring, each sensor would connect to a radio transceiver. The radio sends the level data to the network, passed from one radio to the next, until it reaches your main control network, either local or Internet based.
When to use a wireless mesh?
Using a wireless mesh costs a bit of money, so the first rule of thumb is you need to have several tanks to monitor. The amount of cable (and labor) avoided must cost at least as much as the radios themselves. This get’s easier to do in hazardous locations where explosion proof wiring is commonplace.
The next requirement is distance & obstacles. Wi-Fi networking is another way to avoid wires. However, Wi-Fi typically has a hard time with long distances and with large obstacles. A radio mesh is powerful enough to go farther than Wi-Fi, and it simply transmits around obstacles. Any combination of distance and/or obstructions that upsets Wi-Fi (or standard point-to-point radios) is a good reason to use a wireless mesh.
What about the power supply?
If you want to avoid wires completely, you’ll need to use batteries. This can be troublesome with sensors and wireless signals if not managed properly. You’ll need a method to power your sensors up for a level reading, and back down again after the reading is transmitted. This will conserve battery power for years of service.
I’m convinced, what do I need to do?
We work with a partner that provides powerful radio mesh hardware, with integrated batteries, and hazardous location certifications. They integrate easily with our sensors and are proven in the field. We recommend working with them for a completely wireless tank level monitoring solution.
They can even help you monitor other assets on the same wireless network.