GreenWake, autonomous sensors for monitoring industrial facilities
Remote worksites, polluted/contaminated areas, major engineering structures... sites such as these, which are frequently hard to reach, off the grid, or even dangerous, are not always easy to monitor. Sensors are an especially useful remedy for this problem, particularly when they're powered remotely.
After 15 years of research, GreenWake has developed a solution that can power practically any type of industrial sensor through radio waves, over distances of up to 100 m. In other words, no more batteries, no more power cables: the sensors have been made autonomous. This critical component will help accelerate the development of an industrial Internet of Things (IoT), while also reducing operational costs, ensuring the safety of operators and protecting the environment.
GreenWake technology was developed by a research team led by Christian Vollaire, at the Ampère Laboratory of the École Centrale de Lyon. Today, Vollaire has been joined by Victor Bossennec, R&D and Product Industrialisation Manager, and Spas Balinov, Communications and Business Development Officer.
To set up an industrial IoT, you need to be able to install sensors in any location. The idea for this startup came from the need to power these sensors, which have no way to access the infrastructure power grid or present extreme difficulties when it comes to managing the working life of built-in batteries. A radio wave-based remote power system seemed to provide an appropriate solution to this problem.
Any recent good news?
We recently installed our products in order to monitor high-voltage circuit breakers in RTE transformer stations. All of the various electronic technologies that had been tested before weren’t working due to the extreme environment (intense electromagnetic fields). The demonstrator that we used is working perfectly. It’s a world first!
La chose la plus inattendue que votre start-up vous ait amené à faire ?
What is the most unexpected thing that your startup has made you do?
We were invited by the National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (ANDRA) to demonstrate our technology under operational conditions at the future nuclear waste burial site in Bures, 500 m underground. The sensors installed should be able to function for more than 100 years. Our technology, which eschews batteries, is an ideal fit for this type of situation.
In what way does your project revolutionise your category?
Ours is the only technology that allows for a large number of autonomous sensors to be installed in any location, while protecting the environment and ensuring the safety of personnel.